In November 2011 the Social Economy team at East Belfast Mission (EBM) won the Belfast Media Aisling Award for Belfast’s Best Business in the social entrepreneur category. They entered the Ulster Bank Achievers Awards and became provincial winners of the Award for Social Entrepreneurship 2011.
East Belfast Mission is delighted with their continued success into 2012.
On Thursday 11th October 2012 they attended the Social Economy Networks (SEN) awards at Belfast Castle and won the regional award for Best Social Enterprise. This took them through to the next stage held in London on Monday 12th November when they won UK Social Enterprise of the Year.
Meantime, the Belfast Business Awards took place for the 7th year in a row. The awards are organized by Belfast City Council in partnership with Belfast City Centre Management. The prestigious ceremony took place in the City Hall on Thursday 8th November 2012 with 11 awards presented in recognition of the fine work of businesses across the city.
EBM won another 2 awards:
- Highly Commended Award for Best Green Business
- Best Social Economy Business
Anne Walsh, Director of Business Development at East Belfast Mission, said: “Our mission is to see community transformation and renewal in East Belfast and to offer hope and a future for all those in need, regardless of background or belief”.
East Belfast Mission is based on the lower Newtownards Road and became a registered charity in 1985. Working in Community Regeneration in Ballymacarrett, a particularly socially deprived area of east Belfast, EBM has came a long way since the soup kitchen of the 1800’s. EBM is part of the Methodist Church in Ireland and has a long track record of social engagement in the inner city. The organisation has recently moved into a “state of the art” building known as Skainos on the Newtownards Road Belfast. The building boasts a “vertical garden”, private and social housing - apartments with an amazing view of Belfast - and other organizations such as the Tearfund, Age Concern and Niamh are now located in the superb premises.
EBM works across all communities offering a range of services to meet the needs of everyone. With 90 staff currently employed and approximately 100 volunteers, the range of community projects include:
- Hosford - a hostel for the homeless, providing support and life skills
- Compass – Youth, family, community and counselling work
- A worshipping congregation at the church
- Pastoral work in the community
- Stepping Stone - employability programme
Social Economy projects:
- restore - 9 charity shops including a Vintage shop with bridal department
- refresh café - a social economy café open to the public & serving meals on wheels 5 days per week to ill or housebound in the local area and now open as a bistro on the weekend evenings
- refurb – a workshop dedicated to the refurbishment of good quality second hand furniture which is diverted from landfill, restyled, repainted or recovered and sold through the restore shops
- recycle – a bicycle repair workshop offering training and employment and selling good quality low cost bikes through restore whilst highlighting a healthier lifestyle through cycling
- rekindle – a stick chopping project using all redundant wood by kindling and selling stick bundles through restore
- Bright Sparks – a new day care nursery which opened in the new building in September 2012