12 December 2018 (updated 13 December)

Last night, Glass Door received the top prize in the "Everyday Impact - Long Term Enterprise" category at the Social Change Awards.

The Directory of Social Change (DSC) hosts the awards for charities, individuals and groups who work towards achieving a positive change in society. "These are the people or organisations that have a clear vision for change. They engage and involve others to bring about real and concrete results that can be seen and felt on a daily basis," the DSC explains on its website.

Judges short-listed three candidates for each of six categories, with the winner decided by public vote. The DSC received around 150 nominations and over 5,000 public votes. (Thanks due everyone who backed Glass Door and well done to all those shortlisted). 

The award ceremony, held at the House of Lords, was attended by Caroline Hillam and Emma O'Shea from Glass Door.

Caroline said: 

We are a small charity that punches above our weight thanks to the amazing support we receive from so many in the community. 

Volunteers cook and serve meals within a network of 28 church-based shelters, providing healthy meals and a warm welcome. Others help process the overwhelming volume of referrals Glass Door receives by phone.

 

Caroline (left) and Emma (right) received the award at the House of Lords.

In response to the announcement, Chief Operating Officer, Lucy Abraham said:

Winning the award is great validation for the work so many in the community take on. While numbers of homelessness are on the rise, so is support from the community. 

Last year, over 1350 volunteers supported the charity. In the same year, Glass Door raised over 1 million pounds, allowing the charity to expand the shelter network and increase the pool of caseworkers on hand to help meet the rising demand for shelters and support services. 

The framed awards were presented to each charity by Lord Dannatt and featured artwork by award-wining cartoonist Grizelda, who works regularly features in The London Times, Private Eye and Punch comics. 

Debra Allcock, CEO of DSC, reminded those attending as to why charities exist in her opening speech. "Our job is to be purveyors of hope... You can't always rely on the state to help - you can always rely on a charity," she said.  Quoting George Bernard Shaw, she added: 

Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got a hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.


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