One of the region’s most successful social care charities, Community Integrated Care, has been awarded the prestigious ‘Charity of the Year’ accolade at this year’s Charity Times Awards
This honour recognises its implementation of a groundbreaking strategy, which sees it invest to create a greater social impact, meet gaps in community provision, and champion the care sector in an era of austerity.
For two decades, Charity Times Magazine has celebrated the very best of the UK charity and not-for-profit sectors with this independently evaluated programme. The charity was awarded the event’s hallmark honour after being selected from a pool of hundreds entries by an expert judging panel.
Community Integrated Care support people across St Helens who have learning disabilities, autism, mental health concerns and dementia. It has a 31-year history and employs more than 6,000 colleagues.
Judges praised the charity for its bravery in “disrupting the status quo” and acting ’as mavericks’ with its launch and early implementation of a new five-year strategy called ‘We Dare’.
The We Dare strategy aims to support organisational growth from its current £120m annual income to a £200m turnover within five years, so it can reach and change the lives of more people.
This growth will deliver a greater surplus for the charity – which will be directly re-invested into developing the highest quality care and support services, meeting unmet need in the community in an era of reduced public spending, and better rewarding its workforce. At a time when many care providers are reducing their focus to their core operations, the charity is charting a bold, brave and ambitious path.
Judges hailed the “impressive results” that the charity has already delivered within the first eighteen months of this new strategy. It has invested more than £2 million in technology, training and infrastructure, to enhance its services and employee experience.
This is underpinned by a strategic focus on employee engagement at all levels. These investments and efforts have delivered highly impressive increases in colleague satisfaction and quality ratings.
Community Integrated Care has also developed a strong focus on innovation. Examples of progress include developing the ground-breaking Community Integrated Care Learning Disability Super League, a collaboration with rugby league’s Super League and RFL governing bodies to create a world-first inclusive sports programme for people with support needs. With this project, and other leading collaborations with major sporting, cultural and community institutions, the charity is championing equal access and opportunities for people with support needs.
The charity has committed to raising awareness of the vital service that the sector provides and to advocate for models of support that can make a greater difference to individuals, communities and the public purse. To support this, it has led important initiatives at Parliament and the House of Lords, and generated national media interest in a period when both the issues and opportunities within social care are often overlooked in political discourse.
Mark Adams, CEO of Community Integrated Care, says: “Winning this award recognises the impact that our charity delivers in enabling people to lead fuller, happier lives, in what is a time of genuine challenge for the social care sector. It also acknowledges the importance of the charity sector and social care providers like ours in standing up for what matters most in society and shaping inclusive communities, where everyone is valued.
Like all care providers, Community Integrated Care is constrained and challenged by the current political and economic climate. However, we think it is important that organisations like ours continue to innovate, act strategically and speak out, so we can sustain a sector that is the absolute backbone of our nation. Our strategic intent makes clear that we are committed to investing in our people, developing incredible projects and creating pioneering partnerships.
We are still in the early stages of this strategy and we know that there is much more to deliver in the years ahead. Community Integrated Care is absolutely motived by the journey ahead and excited for what we, and our partners across the sector, can achieve in the future.”