Awards & Achievements
We are very proud to have been shortlisted for, and received, so many awards in the last few years. This section includes details about some of those awards.
Homeless Link Excellence Awards – Excellence in Supporting People
Changing Lives is thrilled to have been awarded the ‘Excellence in Supporting People’ award at the inaugural Homeless Link Excellence Awards.
This award honours services and projects that can demonstrate innovative and person-centred ways of working, which have led to improved outcomes for people facing homelessness or living in supported housing. Changing Lives was awarded for our Personal Transition Service (PTS), which we deliver across our North East accommodation projects, in partnership with MayDay Trust.
Inside Housing UK Housing Awards – Outstanding approach to meeting specialist housing need (shortlisted)
Changing Lives was a finalist in the ‘Outstanding approach to meeting specialist housing need’ in the UK Housing Awards 2018.
Changing Lives run a specialist residential project in Newcastle-upon-Tyne for families affected by substance misuse. This accommodation provides a place for women who have children, or who are pregnant, to recover from substance misuse whilst maintaining contact with their families. It is for this life-changing specialist support that Changing Lives was recognised in the 2018 UK Housing Awards.
The Charity Awards – Social Care, Advice and Support (shortlisted)
Changing Lives was shortlisted in the ‘Social Care, Advice and Support’ category in The Charity Awards 2018.
Changing Lives’ dedicated employment team have been supporting people overcome multiple disadvantages and barriers to employment since 2010, when we realised that people who were being supported in our drug and alcohol services were experiencing significant difficulties finding work. We launched our employment team across our drug and alcohol services in the North East of England and Yorkshire to provide specialist support for people facing barriers to finding work – barriers such as lack of work experience or skills, low aspirations or confidence, or lack of understanding of the job market.
Since our dedicated employment team launched we’ve supported 500 people into fulfilling and lasting careers. Our employment team were thrilled to be recognised at a national level and shortlisted to the final three in the ‘Social Care, Advice and Support’ category at The Charity Awards 2018.
North East Charity Awards – North East Charity of the Year (winner)
We are delighted to have won the prestigious North East Charity of the Year 2017 award. The recognition for our near 50 year history of supporting vulnerable people in the North East means the world to us.
Howard League for Penal Reform Community Awards (runners-up)
Changing Lives’ Women’s Services in Doncaster was shortlisted in the 2017 Howard League for Penal Reform Community Awards ‘Women’ category for our life-changing work in reducing re-offending. Within Doncaster and across Yorkshire and Humber, Changing Lives provides community and custody interventions to women to address individual needs and work towards a brighter future away from offending.
Partnership Matters award, York NHS Trust (shortlisted)
Changing Lives were shortlisted for our work supporting people who are being discharged from hospital in the city of York to no fixed abode, facing homelessness.
Inside Housing ‘Housing Heroes’ Awards – Inspirational Colleague of the Year (shortlisted)
Changing Lives’ long-serving Project Manager, Liz Spruce, was shortlisted in the national Housing Heroes awards in 2017, in the category ‘Inspirational Colleague’. Liz dedicated 25 years to Changing Lives and supporting the homeless community in the North East before retiring in December 2016.
North East Charity Awards – North East Charity of the Year (shortlisted)
Changing Lives was shortlisted for the award of North East Charity of the Year at the North East Charity Awards in 2016. We were shortlisted alongside Children North East and St. Oswald’s Hospice.
North East Business Awards ‘Heart of the Community’ Award
We were honoured to be shortlisted in the category of ‘Heart of the Community’ at 2016’s North East Business Awards. The Heart of the Community award ‘celebrates excellence in corporate, social and ethical activity, and seeks to identify those organisations which best exemplify the social and community spirit which is at the core of North East culture.’
Northumbria Police Diversity and Partnership Award
In 2015 our Newcastle-based outreach services – GAP and MAP – were nominated for, and won, the Northumbria Police Diversity and Partnership award for their work with Sergeant 8220 Jill Cowling.
GAP/MAP work with women and men who are being sexually exploited, or are vulnerable to sexual exploitation, as well as those involved in sex work. This award highlights extensive partnership work or outstanding achievement in diversity at a local regional level.
Third Sector Organisation of The Year – Runners Up
Changing Lives’ Women’s Centre in Doncaster were proud to have been shortlisted and come runner-up in the ‘Third Sector Organisation of the Year’ category at Doncaster’s Business Awards in 2014.
Best Companies 3 Star Accreditation
We were awarded Best Companies 3 Star Accreditation in 2014. The Best Companies programme was established in 2001 and the survey and accreditation award scheme was set up to recognise and acknowledge exceptional workplaces across the UK, with results published in the Sunday Times.
The survey, which is the largest and most comprehensive of its kind in the UK, is based purely on staff feedback and looks at employee engagement as an integral part of an organisations’ success and growth, helping set a benchmark for other employers. Topics such as wellbeing, leadership and ‘giving something back’ are featured throughout which means we have jumped up a whole star since last year.
Voluntary Organisations’ network North East – Outstanding Larger Organisation
In 2013, we were winners at VONNE’s annual North East Community Sector Awards for Outstanding Larger Organisation.
The Sunday Times Best Not-For-Profit Organisations
We were listed on the Sunday Times 100 Best Not-For-Profit Organisations to work for.
The Cyrenians’ (as we were known then), jumped 33 places to 22nd (out of 206 organisations) in the annual Sunday Times 100 Best Not-For-Profit Organisations to work for 2013. The Best Companies programme was established in 2001 and the survey and accreditation award scheme was set up to recognise and acknowledge exceptional workplaces across the UK, with results published in the Sunday Times. The survey, which is the largest and most comprehensive of its kind in the UK, is based purely on staff feedback and looks at employee engagement as an integral part of an organisations’ success and growth, helping set a benchmark for other employers. Topics such as wellbeing, leadership and ‘giving something back’ are featured throughout
In 2012, we were listed on the Best Not-For-Profit Organisations to work for by The Sunday Times.
Our CEO, Stephen Bell was awarded an OBE for his services to homelessness in 2011. Stephen has been at the forefront of efforts to develop the range of services that we offer as a charity.
In 2010, we were winners of the highly prestigious National Community and Residential Award for the Combined Heat and Power unit at accommodation project in Bentinck Road, Newcastle in conjunction with Yanmar, who kindly donated and installed a 10kW unit.
We received The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2009. The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award given to volunteer groups across the UK.
In 2008, we were named the Charity Times’ National Charity of the year.