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Attending the 2021 Social Enterprise Awards

Clearvoice Attending the 2021 Social Enterprise Awards article Clearvoice Attending the 2021 Social Enterprise Awards article

All of us at Clear Voice were honoured to be nominated for two 2021 Social Enterprise Awards. Unfortunately, we didn’t take home a trophy, but it was a massive achievement to be selected as a finalist. Thank you to the entire team, our incredible interpreters, our partners, and our clients for your work and support. We had a fantastic evening at the awards ceremony as this guest blog by Rosie, from our operations team, wonderfully captures…

London’s Guildhall is a Grade I listed building still used as the centre of governance for the City of London. When we arrived, we were almost taken aback by its showmanship! On arrival we were ushered through to our table, via some champagne, to the sound of a choir. Above us was the incredible ceiling of the Grand Hall, a ceiling that has looked down on government banquets, state trials and no doubt some secret shenanigans (if only those walls could talk). Below us were the Crypts which, for over 1000 years, have played host to Kings, Queens, Lord Mayors of London, and other nobility. And sandwiched between the two was our team. Suited, booted, seated, and ready to represent Clear Voice for the evening.

Fantastic food from a social enterprise

After some more gawping at our surroundings, we were served the first of our dishes for the evening. Before the event we were told the menu would be completely vegetarian unless we requested otherwise. The menu for the evening had been curated by The Clink, a social enterprise operating at the women’s prison HMP Downview, where it gives residents the opportunity to complete a Level 1 or Level 2 NVQ in Professional Cookery. The food definitely did not disappoint: curried cauliflower, aubergine parmigiana and a chocolate brownie dessert served with a sparkler! Throughout the evening we were reminded of the thought that had gone into the event itself, ensuring its social impact. This was very fitting.

Proud to be a finalist

For the awards themselves Clear Voice had been selected as a finalist in two categories: ‘Prove It: Social Impact’ and ‘UK Social Enterprise of the Year’. The nominees for both awards were star-studded and inspiring, including a befriending service for elderly people who look forward to meaningful interactions (The No.1 Befriending Agency), a grassroots charity that provide employment and training for refugees and asylum seekers (Breadwinners), and a social enterprise that uses coffee to make a positive impact on the lives of those experiencing homelessness (Change Please). The ‘Prove It: Social Impact’ category was won by a social enterprise that uses surplus food to feed those on the cusp of poverty, whilst also empowering and nurturing local communities (Community Shop). The UK Social Enterprise of the Year award was also an incredibly competitive category, won by a company looking to revolutionise the food system to make it fairer and more sustainable (Locavore).

We were very proud to be runners-up in these categories, a credit to the work Clear Voice is doing. It is a huge honour and reflects the impact we continue to have on the lives of vulnerable people who need help communicating. We felt inspired from start to finish at the Social Enterprise Awards and although we would have loved to take home a trophy, not winning didn’t feel sour given we were up against some many other incredible organisations. All the nominees had been doing their very best to bring about positive and lasting change in their respective fields. We were proud to appear alongside them!