How did you hear about the awards?
I found out about the Queens Awards some years ago and have followed them each year, never thinking for one minute that the charity and social enterprise that I founded in 2013 would one day be a winner! I set up Phoenix Health and Wellbeing to support people who had chronic health issues and low incomes with the aim of making counselling and complementary therapies accessible to this group.
Why did you apply (particularly for the Sustainable Development award)?
Our team is passionate about social enterprise and sustainability. Phoenix Health and Wellbeing provides an excellent example of how certain health and wellbeing services can be provided using a sustainable business model. Our social enterprise generates the revenue to fund our charitable work. We do not receive statutory funding but generate the income that we need through trading with the general public and local business.
Why did you win The Queen's Award for Enterprise?
Over the last 8 years we have gone from a standing start with no clients or regular income to an organisation that supports roughly 400 vulnerable individuals each year, with independent funding. The service that we provide really does improve the quality of life for some people and literally saves lives in some cases.
The judges recognised the value in our innovative business model but were also impressed by our response to the COVID 19 pandemic. After the initial National Lockdown, we worked to quickly move as many of our services on-line as possible without compromising safety or quality. We also introduced new services to mitigate the loneliness felt by some vulnerable adults who had to shield due to their health issues.
What does this Award mean to you?
Receiving the Queen’s Award for Enterprise is a huge vote of confidence in our business model and organisation generally. Although we have grown, we are still a small organisation. We have aspirations to grow dramatically and support more vulnerable adults over the next 5 years. The Queen’s Award will add credibility to our business for both the health care professionals who might refer patients to us and the local population and businesses who will get involved in driving the increased revenue that we need to fund our growth.
Have you seen any benefits since winning the Award?
This Award could not have come at a better time for the entire Phoenix Health and Wellbeing team. After a year of rapid innovation, adapting our services to operate within the confines of COVID 19 this was a huge boost to morale. I can honestly say that the morale of the entire team has been positively impacted, from the Board of Trustees, Management and Administrative team, counsellors, therapist and volunteers. All are deserving of this honour.
Do you have any top tips for future applicants?
Applying for Queen’s Award for Enterprise is a daunting prospect but actually far simpler than you may initially think. One top tip would be to break down your organisation’s activities and focus firmly on the achievements within each area. The application process is also an opportunity to take a step back and really look at how you have overcome challenges within your organisation. This is not something that many small business owners take the time to do but is a really valuable exercise in its own right. Most importantly of all I would say just take the time to apply, you never know where it might lead you.
Find out more about Phoenix heath and wellbeing on their website: https://www.phoenixhealthandwellbeing.org.uk/
Visit our website to apply: https://www.gov.uk/queens-awards-for-enterprise
Or follow us on social media @TheQueensAwards