Today sees the LankellyChase Digital Empowerment Awards for homeless and vulnerable people working working with new and emerging digital technologies. The winners will be announced on Wednesday 14 May.
The awards, presented by the LankellyChase Foundation with Lemos&Crane and Thames Reach will give a total of £2,500 prize money to projects using the growing potential of digital technologies such as the internet, social media, apps and SMS for improving the lives of homeless and vulnerable people, giving them a voice, enhancing their skills and capabilities, facilitating peer support and making the services they receive more personalised and empowering.
71 entries were received from UK non-profit organisations including: homeless agencies, supported housing agencies
charities, third sector organisations, housing organisations, local authorities, adult social care organisations
and other public bodies.
Julian Corner, Chief Executive of the Lankelly Chase Foundation, commented: “Thanks to all those organisations and projects that entered the LankellyChase Digital Empowerment Awards for homeless and vulnerable people. We are delighted that we have tapped a rich vein of exciting and impressive work. It was a hard job to get the shortlist down to 12 and it will be even harder to choose the winners and runners up. We hope that these awards will be the beginning of a real breakthrough.”
Jeremy Swain, Chief Executive of Thames Reach said: “These are hard times for homeless people. Agencies need to be constantly thinking of new ways to empower their service users. The LankellyChase Digital Empowerment Awards have given us real food for thought at Thames Reach. Technology is a real opportunity and this is an area of work that Thames Reach will want to actively develop in the years to come.”
Lemos&Crane are working with homelessness charity Thames Reach to develop insight and guidance on how digital technologies can engage and empower homeless people. The research will explore how digital technology can be used to improve the lives of vulnerable people by giving them a voice, enhancing and expressing their capabilities, facilitating peer-to-peer support and making the services they receive more personalised and enabling.
The shortlisted 12 are as follows in alphabetical order:
Down Not Out
Down Not Out is a news agency run by and for homeless, vulnerably housed people and other marginalised groups, providing access to media related courses and offering opportunities to develop and amplify their own voices to tell their own stories and to raise awareness and challenge stereotypes.
Card Readers for Big Issue vendors
The project aims to provide mobile Chip and Pin card reader devices to Big Issue Vendors to enable increased sales of the magazine and thus increased income from customers who previously may have walked on by due to insufficient/no cash as we move forward into an increasingly cashless society.
CoolFruit is an inspirational, stigma busting digital magazine project developed by vulnerable people with complex needs, facilitating a peer lead opportunity for people to express themselves, have a voice and share their experience ‘as citizens’ whilst challenging cultural stereotypes developed by media and myth.
Promoting positive mental health, through clients who suffer severe mental distress and isolation creating creative digital profiles that will showcase their creative talents in music, art and writings.
The Re|Source is a peer led virtual studio and community development tool, designed and developed by women in the criminal justice system.
A dedicated digital inclusion worker embedded in Home Works housing support team, providing flexible and personalised one-to-one digital inclusion coaching to vulnerable clients who are homeless in East Sussex.
‘ME’ mobile phone app
‘ME’ is a mobile phone app for homeless and vulnerable people to experience real time access to their own development plans, social networks, local services and opportunities.
P3 The Social Inclusion Charity
Community Reporter Scheme
P3 Community Reporters gives people a voice. People experiencing social exclusion use exciting digital technology to have their say on things that matter to them; through blogs, social media, newsletters, videos and photos.
Papworth Trust Museum Street Centre
My Safe Social Network
A comprehensive and bespoke project including a mainstream qualification course in Safe Social Networking skills that was written with and for the support of vulnerable disabled adults to access social networks and communicate with peers, friends and family in a safe and meaningful way.
Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
Digital Empowerment for Stable Way Travellers’ Site
Addressing inequalities and improving social inclusion and life chances for the Irish Traveller Community on Stable Way through enhanced digital technology.
Single Homeless Project
In 2011 SHP set up Unheard Holler as a platform for the people passing through SHP to express their views, either in writing or on video, on social issues and other topics that are important to them.
‘Moving On’ Android mobile phone app
An Android mobile phone app to help young people move home with as little stress and cost as possible and to assist young people who find themselves homeless.