We are delighted to announce our 2024 Finalists’ ideas and project proposals, along with their immediate support needs.

Our reviewers and assessors worked tirelessly to help select our shortlist from the large number of outstanding applications. Thank you to everyone who got involved in helping us review our entries. Supporters and pro bono partners of the Awards are now invited to engage with these organisations to assist their development. Please take some time to review the applicants below and their support needs and get in touch where you think you may be able to assist in their development.

If you would like to offer your support to any of the projects below, please email Mona Rahman at [email protected]

Adoptionplus - Relational Health Measure | Teenagers Views

Many adopted and fostered teenagers in the UK have a history of abuse and trauma. Although good relational health with their adoptive/foster parents is an essential element for their mental health and wellbeing, there are no bespoke adolescence evaluation tools that measure this. We believe, what we measure is what we focus on, and we want to encourage a focus on relational health. We’ve already designed and piloted STEP, a relational health app, currently commissioned by 12 local authorities. Working with the Rees Centre at Oxford University we have also validated TAYC-R, the first ever relational health measure, completed by parents caring for young people with a trauma history. We need to understand both perspectives of the relationship to get the full picture, and so now require funding to design and validate the first ever relational health measure for adopted and fostered teenagers, co-designed with teenagers.

Support needed:

  • Digitalisation: Digitalisation of the teenager’s relational health questions with scaling options, that we can send to 400 teenagers, for the validation of the measure.
  • Design: To design the visual marketing information for teenagers, to explain about the measure and why we need their help to validate it.
  • Branding: Help identify a name for this new measure that will engage with teenagers and their parents.
  • Legal Governance: Support with ownership and licensing agreements of this new measure.
  • Scaling Up: In the longer term, help to identify what would be required to develop this measure so that it was available more widely, for all families with teenagers, wishing to improve relational health.
  • Social Financing: Help us identify social financing to embed this new measure into our STEP app, and in future, potentially expand it so it’s available for all families with teenagers.

https://www.adoptionplus.co.uk

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Beam Project

Our mission is to reduce the incidence of child sexual abuse. We offer professional training that is designed and delivered by people with direct experience. We’ve lived it; now we help you to stop it.

Children rely on adults to intervene. We teach frontline professionals (such as teachers, police and health staff) how to broach the issue in a way that addresses the barriers children face in disclosing… without asking leading questions. All our work is guided by the notion of what would have helped us.

We think our approach is innovative not only from the direct experience standpoint, but because we use disclosures as the main metric for measuring our impact.

Support needed:

  • Impact Measurement/ROI: Child sexual abuse results in societal costs of about £10 billion per year, according to a Home Office report. We need help forming a solid argument as to why our training is worth the cost, based on the likelihood that it leads to disclosures of abuse that would’ve otherwise been missed. We also want to measure our other impacts in terms of improved soft skills, and ensure that we are capturing the most reliable evidence.
  • Policy Influencing: Besides our training, we will carry out policy campaigns to affect systemic change. For example, we support the introduction of mandatory reporting laws in regulated activities. We need help with connections and understanding the most effective levers to focus on.
  • Accountancy: We need someone to take care of our organisation’s accountancy requirements so that we can focus on the core work.

https://www.beamproject.org/

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Food Behind Bars - Prison Food Education Programme

Prison food standards in the UK are poor. Prison catering teams are under-resourced, understaffed and under pressure. They are producing thousands of meals per day in a logistically-challenging environment on a budget of £2.70 per head. As a result, the average prison meal is repetitive, uninspiring and unhealthy.

Food Behind Bars is the UK’s only Registered Charity dedicated to transforming food standards in prison. We know that good quality food in prison is possible. And we know that better nutrition in prison reduces violence by 37% and transforms wellbeing.

This is why we want to develop a Prison Food Education Programme to inspire and upskill prison catering teams. It will empower them to create kitchens that are a source of pride, joy and delicious food. It will enable them to pass on the skills they’ve learnt to the prisoners who work in their kitchen. And it will provide ongoing support and connection to ensure good food continues to positively impact some of society’s most vulnerable individuals.

The funding and support from the Awards will enable us to build and pilot this programme, before rolling it out nationally.

Support needed:

  • Scaling Up: We have a plan to build, pilot and roll out the Programme which has the potential to improve the diets of over a quarter of the prison population within 3 years. We want support in our scale journey, to ensure we can impact as many people as possible in a financially-sustainable way.
  • Impact Measurement: It’s imperative that we monitor and evaluate the results of our Programme to measure its impact. We believe it could impact everything from rates of violence, mental health incidents and health conditions, but we need more support in this area to create some truly compelling evidence.
  • Programme Development: Although we are experienced in developing and delivering training programmes in prison, this is the first time we are incorporating a digital programme. We would love some expertise in this area as we begin building the digital modules.
  • Influencing Public Policy: We believe this programme could create systemic and much-needed change. We want to use it to influence public policy, raise awareness and perhaps provide a future model for the government to adopt

https://www.foodbehindbars.co.uk/

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Gen

Loneliness is the social epidemic of our time. In February, Google Trends exposed a dramatic surge in searches for “how to make friends,” “where to make friends,” and “where to meet people.” Last year, 49.6% of UK adults reported feeling lonely.

Gen is an app designed to help people make new friends through personality typing and real-life meetups. It assesses users’ personality traits and preferences, connecting them with individuals that share similar interests and outlooks. We then curate local events tailored to various personality types. Whether you’re an introvert looking for cosy coffee chats or an extrovert seeking vibrant social situations, Gen hosts the perfect event to connect like-minded individuals.

One of our goals is to re-popularise third spaces and revive a sense of ‘community’. We collaborate with existing venues, workshops, and organisations, with the app serving as a directory to promote local businesses and encourage community engagement. By leveraging the accessibility and permanency of technology, Gen makes the problem the solution, and tackles loneliness in a fun and innovative way.

Support needed:

  • Business Model Optimisation: We ask for support in refining our existing business model, which is essential for improving our value proposition, cost structures, and market strategy. We want Gen to leverage the attention and excitement associated with tech start-ups and utilise these advantages for social impact..
  • Marketing and Advertising: As a ‘phygital’ product, we focus on digital marketing and innovative guerrilla tactics to drive user engagement and create buzz. As a community app having a physical presence through flyers, billboards, and grassroots advertising is essential. Your expertise in crafting compelling campaigns and unconventional promotional tactics will help amplify our brand and product.
  • Branding and Design: We hope for creative collaboration with designers that can elevate our branding, allowing it to resonate with a wider audience and effectively communicate our core values of inclusivity and community. With your help, we aim to craft a compelling brand identity highlighting our commitment to local engagement and the importance of human connection.
  • Impact Measurement: Understanding and quantifying Gen’s impact on users and the broader community is crucial for validating our mission of tackling loneliness and demonstrating value to our stakeholders. With your assistance, we want to develop a framework that ensures we continuously enhance our contributions to the community.

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Getting Clean - Soap with Hope

I’m Chris and I’m an addict. I am just one of many. Around 300,000 adults use drug and alcohol services each year in the UK. This number is rising, along with the crime, death and unemployment related to problematic drug use.

Through 25+ years battling addiction, I gained first-hand experience of the institutions, hurdles and emotions that can stand in the way of addicts accessing recovery. This is what inspired the project Getting Clean, a Lived Experience Recovery Organisation (LERO) led by recovering addicts and supported by the world’s first Professor of Addiction Recovery.

Getting Clean aims to smash the stigma around addiction and demonstrate that addicts can be some of the most productive and exemplary members of society. Focusing on environment and empowerment, Getting Clean has pioneered a social enterprise model to provide skills and a safety net to fellow recovering addicts. We are an ethical product provider with an innovative peer-to-peer recovery model embedded into our working processes. Having started off as a volunteer group, Getting Clean has grown into an aspiring startup that aims to simultaneously disrupt the soap market while eroding systemic barriers for accessing recovery.

Support needed:

  • Legal & HR: Creating pathways to employment is one of Getting Clean’s key objectives. We have begun developing a Tier System to vet and qualify volunteers for employment, either internally or through external partners. To make sure this Tier System is fit for purpose, we would benefit from HR and Legal consultation to help us navigate the legislation and requirements around recruitment and employment.
  • Strategic Growth: We have already partnered with a number of university research groups to measure impact and the progression of our volunteers through recovery. However, we would benefit from consultation on how to best optimise and scale our impact through strategic growth (e.g. matters of legal entity, governance and business development). We have identified a number of practices from other successful social enterprises that we intend to emulate. Some assistance with developing our concepts and stress testing our proposed model would help us to ensure that our project is a success.
  • Brand Development: Getting Clean’s business plans are somewhat dependent on becoming an established and identifiable brand that resonates with our target customers. Increasing brand awareness is not just essential for our growth but also for our mission of changing the public perception of addiction. Getting Clean does not want to remain a cute little grassroots project. We want to scale up into a curated brand and B-Corp style company. This is how we can truly show that recovery is possible and that addicts are capable of being leaders. Assistance with creating a professional brand and image during this early stage of our organisation’s development would be highly beneficial.
  • Fundraising and Investment: the more money we can raise, the more addicts we can employ, the more impact we can deliver. Getting Clean has a hunger for growth but we are also cautious of compromises and profitability pressures. We want to create a new type of workplace that understands the needs of recovering addicts and always places people before profits. Advice around seeking investment without compromising on our workplace standards and company values would be very welcome. This could be crowd investment, social investment or VC – we need experts to guide us.

https://www.gettingclean.co.uk/

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Initiative Earth - Earthed

With 60% of Earth’s ecosystems degraded and wildlife populations dropping by 69%, we face an ecological crisis. By 2030, a crucial 1 billion hectares must be restored to secure a liveable future for all. Achieving this monumental task requires mass mobilisation and addressing substantial gaps in practical skills, access to funds, and network capacity.

Earthed removes these barriers, enabling local people everywhere to participate in nature restoration. We offer open-access education in practical nature skills, community services for peer-to-peer learning, and grants to initiate and sustain restoration projects. Members can access the platform for free or choose to donate.

Our goal is to make ecosystem restoration, urban regeneration, and agroecology as common and appealing as gardening. Our strategy includes preserving traditional ecological wisdom, making land stewardship skills accessible, nurturing a peer-led learning community, and mainstreaming restoration through partnerships with celebrities, businesses, and universities. By 2030, we aim to have 100,000 members contributing monthly, generating substantial funds to empower local nature initiatives and reshape the ecological engagement narrative.

We know that together, humanity can make every balcony, city, river, and forest burst with life. Indeed, it is only through active ecological citizenship that we will ever be able to address ecological breakdown and build just, healthy, and nature-centered societies.

Support needed:

  • Technology Expertise: Leveraging the technology expertise within the network, e.g. around EdTech and app development, to enhance Earthed’s educational content and member learning experience.
  • Governance and Impact Expertise: Support to further strengthen our governance structures as we work to scale our initiatives globally. Refining our impact measurement framework, particularly for measuring complex elements such as biodiversity changes.
  • Marketing: Support the development of powerful marketing campaigns aimed at mainstreaming ecosystem restoration and reaching new audiences and markets, especially in areas where it is most needed but currently underrepresented.
  • Membership & Community Development: Strategic support on developing our membership learning journey and network as we scale
  • Fundraising: Refining our approach to corporates, trusts and institutional funders and exploring how we might develop new funding streams both in the UK and internationally.
  • Grant-making Strategy: Working with the experienced grant funders in the network to co-develop our approach to the Earthed Action Fund, particularly around our ideas to include a participatory grant-making model where members have a say in what nature restoration projects get funded
  • Networking Opportunities: Connecting with like-minded innovators and leaders in the social change sphere could lead to new ideas, practices, and potential collaborations for Earthed.

https://www.earthed.co/

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Khadys Dream – Before You Commit

37 OUT OF 40 Young people aged between 13-21 at a workshop admittedly answered on a questionnaire, they will willingly go to prison for 2 years or more for £1000.

Khadys Dream is an innovative ecosystem designed to provide support for young people at risk of offending.

The “Before You Commit” program educates young people on the hidden consequences of crime and the criminal justice system. Consequences that people with lived experience would know to stop young people from living the experiences. It discourages criminal activity by showing the realities of prison life, post-release challenges, and the impact on mental health, family, and future opportunities. The program uses a realistic approach with seven modules, featuring lived experiences and professional insights, to give young people a complete picture of the criminal justice system.

The program targets young people who underestimate the impact of crime. It challenges the glorified criminal image in media and discourages delinquency. By shattering these illusions, we can offer young people alternative paths alongside access to relatable role models.

Support needed:

  • Funding: identification of relevant grants and support with writing grant applications, as well as introductions to impact investors.
  • Brand & Marketing: Khadys Dream is rapidly establishing itself as a reliable brand among the youth. It is crucial for us to uphold the brand’s reputation and effectively promote it in order to sustain its growth.
  • Impact Measurement: The available data indicates that the programme is effective, as it has led to increased awareness, growth, positive word of mouth, and change. However, assistance is required in analysing the data comprehensively to determine how to utilize it effectively in the future.
  • Collaboration: Connecting young people with organizations that align with their values, steering them away from criminal activities and offering an alternative route.
  • Enhancing professional communication: Facilitating introductions between influential individuals within the same sector, with a focus on young people and the criminal justice system, in order to drive meaningful systemic transformation.

https://khadysdream.com/

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Local Energy Systems

We are developing tools for community energy projects, allowing anyone to get involved in the net zero transition.

Our flagship innovation is a novel machine learning approach to site finding which allows us to accelerate community energy project development, a sector with the potential to eliminate fuel poverty and catalyse progress towards net-zero.

Our goal is to put communities at the heart of the net-zero transition and ensure equitable access to the benefits of renewable energy.

Support needed:

  • Fundraising: The R&D we are doing has the potential to significantly reduce fuel poverty and decarbonise the grid. We have the plan and expertise to address these pressing issue, but need financial support to realise it.
  • Regional Connections: We need community groups to trial the technologies we’re building. If you are personally involved with or know relevant groups please do reach out – we’d love to work together to build energy systems that work for everyone.
  • Accountancy: Solving these major issues requires rapid growth. Our team works hard to ensure our financial operations are ready to scale and support on this would be greatly appreciated.
  • Branding & Marketing: We need to create an accessible and user-friendly interface that customers can use. Branding and marketing support would be a great help to communicate effectively with customers and boost our brand.

https://www.localenergysystems.co.uk/

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Recondition

The disabled consumer makes up 1.7 billion people worldwide, yet they still remain overlooked in the fashion industry. This needs to change. At Recondition our solution is designing fashion with disabled bodies in mind.

We design functional clothes without the expense of style, by designing with a user-centred process, we work alongside our community to create meaningful products. Equal importance is given to both the fashion and the function.

Hosting community driven events allows us to give back, these share stories from within the disabled community and educate and inspire around accessibility. We want to expand this side of Recondition by acquiring an innovative retail and community space which will allow us to host more events and workshops.

Reconditions mission is to create a fashion landscape where everyone has the equal opportunity to express themselves, by breaking down the stigma of what it means to be adaptive fashion.

Support needed:

  • PR: We would really benefit from a consultation and some guidance with a PR specialist who can help us get the word out there about the current problem and our solution.
  • Marketing: We are seeking some guidance on building both a brand and a personal brand through social media. The disabled community has a really strong presence on social media but it doesn’t seem to break mainstream feeds often. We want to learn how to optimise our reach and the spread the word to a wide audience.
  • Retail Product Launch: Guidance on creating a product launch marketing plan in the run up to launching our first product designed alongside our community.
  • Finance: Advice on financial planning and forecasting to help us optimise our budget to create a long term social impact.
  • Creating Community Spaces: We would be seeking help with how to go about creating our community driven retail space in Manchester.

https://reconditionmcr.com/

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Teenage Helpline

Teenage Helpline is a nationally operating Charity in the UK and was originally founded by Joshua Towers when he was age 14 following his own personal struggles. Most support avenues are operated by adults which can be overwhelming for young people who may not feel that adults understand or can relate to their difficulties. The purpose of Teenage Helpline is to bring young people together to provide peer-led support. Unlike other support organisations, every mentor at Teenage Helpline is aged between 16 and 25, meaning that those young people who feel unable to reach out to adults now have an avenue to talk to somebody when they most need it. Peer mentors at Teenage Helpline are friendly listeners, not offering formal guidance or counselling, but are equipped to discuss issues that young people face, whether that’s mental health, school and work, family and relationships or absolutely anything else.

Support needed:

  • Fundraising: With huge ambitions as a Charity, we are at a stage of our growth where we need to be able to maximise how we reach out to young people to tell them about what we offer. Teenage Helpline would benefit from support that would enable us to meet our significant fundraising goals to allow us to engage with more young people across the UK.
  • Social Investment: As Teenage Helpline aims to become more financially self-sustainable, we are exploring options to launch independent commercial activities that are designed to generate revenue to fund the core activities and costs of the Charity. Support would be beneficial in upskilling our Commercial Team in how to access social investment opportunities to enable new commercial activities to rapidly grow to fund the ambitious plans of the Charity.
  • Impact Measurement: Whilst Teenage Helpline has been operating for over 13 years now, we recently relaunched the Charity in November 2020. One of our biggest challenges to date is effectively measuring the impact that we are having as a Charity on those beneficiaries of our services. Guidance and support from other organisations who have faced similar challenges would be beneficial to enable us to better be able to measure and demonstrate the positive impact we are having in a more quantifiable way versus through individual case studies.
  • IT Support: Teenage Helpline has a diverse team with a range of skills and experiences, but everyone working with the charity currently is a volunteer. Pro-bono support in the IT and legal areas would be most beneficial to the Charity to help us deliver change quicker.

https://teenagehelpline.org.uk/

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