Halifax Opportunities Trust has been shortlisted for Social Enterprise of the Year in the SEYH (Social Enterprise Yorkshire and Humber) Social Enterprise Awards – a prestigious award in recognition of the successful way it uses business activities to help vulnerable people in Calderdale.
The awards are run by SEYH in partnership with Sheffield-based disability support group The Burton Street Foundation, to honour the best of business run by, and for, their local communities.
Halifax Opportunities Trust, Calderdale’s second biggest charity, is in the running to win the Social Enterprise category sponsored by health, social care and charity lawyers Hempsons.
They will find out if they’ve taken the top accolade during a celebration dinner at the Burton Street Foundation’s Sheffield Headquarters on Tuesday, November 7.
Halifax Opportunities Trust supports disadvantaged people in Calderdale to give them and their families a better chance in life. It works alongside them to help find good jobs; to develop their knowledge, skills and qualifications; to grow their own businesses and also to address issues of isolation and loneliness.
It was set up as a social enterprise so it can raise funds through its wide range of business activities. This income can then be used to fund its charitable services.
It raises funds through various activities including delivery of contracts for the public sector, sales of fruit, veg and preserves grown at The Outback, its organic garden and straw-bale kitchen, ans small-scale restoration and repair work via its employment and wellbeing services.
Over 17 years in operation, HOT has grown to become one of the largest Social Enterprises in the UK – among the top 5% – and has attracted over £10m of external funding into the district, on top of the multi-million pound income brought in through trading with local people and organisations.
CEO Alison Haskins said: “We are very honoured to be shortlisted in these awards which recognise all the organisations across the UK who are running businesses of all kinds for the benefit of their local communities.
“We’re really proud of the way our business model has enabled us to grow, but we remain committed to retaining a very local focus, with our activities firmly rooted in Park Ward in central Halifax. It’s one of the most deprived wards in Calderdale but, with the right support, people can overcome a range of challenges and go on to achieve their full potential.”
“None of it could be achieved without the hard work of our dedicated team and everything we do is governed by people living and working in the local area. We’re also proud of the fact that that many of our staff started out as service users, volunteers or apprentices and have since progressed into long-term and senior roles in our organisation.”
Find out more about SEYH.