Provider of the year award speech:

The winner of the 2018 Provider of the Year is an organisation whose mission is “to reduce inequality by inspiring change and supporting families and individuals to create the change they want.”
Set up initially in Hendon as a Community Interest Company in 2013, they are a shining, successful example of local people working hard for the good of other local people.  They are in their 3rd year of delivering for FACL and have been particularly successful in supporting people with mental health problems, to better manage their condition and move forward in their lives. 
It’s founder and Director has previously won a Lloyd’s Business in the Community award, which has helped to catapult them forwards and underlines their reputation for quality and excellence, as well as innovation and compassion. 
They have skilfully dealt with sensitive issues, to remove the stigma around mental health and encouraged people to be more open, share their thoughts and help each other, within a safe and trusting learning environment.
The team delivers adult and family learning provision.  It has developed particularly strong links with schools, to engage with families in difficulties, to help them strengthen their relationships while they learn together.
They are a fervent advocate of volunteering and frequently compliment their core staff with very skilled and dedicated volunteers to broaden their offer.
This year, our winners have shone not only because of their amazing dedication to their learners, but also through some incredibly efficient and accurate data collection (. . .not the most exciting subject, we know, but essential, none the less!) 
Our winners have worked as one of four FACL providers, delivering under a national Mental Health Research programme, to explore whether taking part in Community Learning can have a positive impact on a person’s mental health.  The results are being analysed and are due to be released this Spring, but we are confident that the findings will prove it does just that. 
All tutors reliably create an environment of support in the classroom, where nothing is too much trouble and emotive topics can be raised and dealt with to bring about positive outcomes.  It’s Community Learning at its very best and we are proud to have them within our city.

Tonight’s winner of Training Provider of the Year is IMPACT North East