SPONSORED: The selfless charities supporting our community

The beating heart of our community, charities and non-profit organisations have been a saving grace this past year for many.

Sharing their expertise in places of uncertainty and providing services simply to help others, these companies have shown how deep their selflessness truly runs and will be recognised at next month’s 2021 Birmingham Post Business awards.

The Third Sector Organisation of the Year category is sponsored by InYourArea and celebrates those organisations that put compassion and charity at the forefront of what they do.

Be it charity, hospice or non-profit, there are organisations throughout Birmingham that have gone above and beyond to help those who need it.

The online awards ceremony takes place on Tuesday June 15visit the event website here to register for your free ticket.

Please email nikki.kandola@reachplc.com for more information and to learn about sponsorship opportunities.

The ceremony will be hosted on our new virtual events platform The Awards Room which gives nominees and sponsors the chance to experience real-time networking, with guests grouped together on their own tables.

Follow the hashtag #BPBAwards for updates on social media.

The finalists for the Birmingham Post Business Awards 2021 Third Sector Organisation of the Year are:

Forward Carers CIC

West Midlands-based, award-winning social enterprise and CIC, Forward Carers is funded by local authorities, NHS partners and charitable grants. It is committed to creating ‘carer-friendly communities’ and is the founder and lead partner of Birmingham Carers Hub to provide more than 18,000 carers with advice, support and wellbeing services.

Unpaid carers are everyday heroes who put the needs of their loved ones ahead of their own. Forward Carers steps in early and stays with the carers throughout their journey, providing free, wide-ranging family support services tailored to each family’s unique situation. The small team work with grassroots organisations whose expertise is in the communities they work, providing diverse support working relentlessly to support carers.

The organisation set up new services during the pandemic to keep carers connected like befriending phone calls, weekly emails and online groups. It provided hundreds of food and play parcels to carers and families, as well as co-ordinating vaccine and PPE access. Its Carer Friendly Card easily identified the hard workers’ jobs whilst raising awareness of the caring role and giving them access to priority services.

It distributed more than £400,000 Emergency and Wellbeing payments after applying for extra funds from Birmingham City Council, and also helped organise and deliver nearly 3,000 messages to patients as part of the Letters to Loved Ones scheme.

Midlands Air Ambulance Charity

Midlands Air Ambulance Charity covers six Midlands counties. It provides critically ill or injured patients with advanced, pre-hospital care and lifesaving intervention at the incident scene to give them the best possible chance of survival and recovery, before conveying them to the most appropriate hospital.

Since 1991, the charity has undertaken more than 63,000 missions, attending up to 13 patients every single day. It remained operational during the pandemic as demand surged. To support the NHS further, the aircrew split their shifts between operational hours working on the aircraft and supporting colleagues at the 999-call centre.

MAAC made steps to future-proof as charity shop closures and fundraising event cancellations predicted a drop in fundraising income. The charity offered key stage one and two children the Sky Champs Education Programme that eventuated in sponsor and corporate partner M6toll extending its support and donating a further £15,000.

The charity provided factual and frontline insight to the press and was the only air ambulance to receive multiple pieces of national broadcast coverage during the period, totalling in more than 375 pieces of coverage in three months. It enhanced its digital marketing and website to promote its key messages, all resulting in fundraising that funded 140 air ambulance and critical care missions.

Witton Lodge Community Association

Witton Lodge Community Association was established in 1994 by residents in Perry Common as a response to the announcement that 908 houses would be demolished. The association owns and manages almost 200 homes for social rent and a 40-apartment Extra Care Scheme. With a focus on support that protects lives and livelihoods, it helps local people with jobs and skills, their wellbeing and more.

Staying open during the pandemic, it set up the first official food distribution hub in North Birmingham and transferred its key services online. It also provided new services like an IT lending library, free benefits advice and a domestic violence support service. This was alongside purchasing and refurbishing for families in need, and ensuring there was always a strong sense of community spirit.

Its Erdington Covid-19 Task Force managed essential support for thousands of elderly, isolated and vulnerable residents. It included more than 40 organisations and members to utilise and share resources and expertise. The new Be Safe and Vaccinate campaign encourages everyone in Erdington who is offered the vaccine to take it.

Millennium Point won this category in 2019
Millennium Point won this category in 2019

In partnership with Compass Support and local social work teams, the Erdington Neighbourhood Network Scheme provides access to services, organisations and practitioners who can help reduce isolation and promote good health and wellbeing. Over the last 12 months the scheme has funded more than a dozen projects to support those in need.

To respond to the needs of residents and businesses, it established the North Birmingham Economic Recovery Task Force to create local well-paid jobs, retain wealth locally and promote social enterprise to revitalise communities in North Birmingham. Its new services to integrate mental health interventions into employment services will help to create inclusive growth.

To promote environmental sustainability, it has constructed a new Eco Hub at Witton Lakes and is developing plans for an Erdington Enterprise Hub to support economic sustainability and self-employment.

The full list of 2021 categories and sponsors is:

  • New Business of the Year – sponsored by Millennium Point
  • Small Business of the Year
  • Manufacturing Business of the Year – sponsored by Propel Finance
  • Covid Defiance Award
  • Professional Services Firm of the Year
  • Property and Construction Business of the Year
  • Third Sector Organisation of the Year – sponsored by InYourArea
  • CSR Project of the Year – sponsored by Barclays
  • International Trade and Export Award
  • Young Businessperson of the Year – sponsored by Birmingham Metropolitan College
  • Company of the Year (chosen from the category winners)

Business Live – West Midlands