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September 2020
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The Guardian Public Services Awards, in partnership with Hays Specialist Recruitment, launch today. Now in their seventh year, the Awards are the leading celebration of excellence among organisations commissioning or providing services, showcasing innovation and best practice across Whitehall, local government, the NHS and beyond.

David Brindle, the Guardian’s Public Services Editor, said: “With a new government in place and spending cutbacks at the top of its agenda, never before has it been so important to celebrate and honour the extraordinary contribution that those who deliver our public services make day in, day out. Last year’s winning projects included an astonishingly popular free leisure services programme in Birmingham, an innovative housing scheme in Derby for women victims of domestic violence who also have mental health or addiction problems, and a hugely successful travel training initiative for young people in Gloucestershire with physical and learning disabilities.

“The public can get involved with the awards by encouraging friends and family working in the public services to enter the team categories. They can also nominate – and later vote – for a special award, Public Servant of the Year, on our website,”

The awards fall into three main categories. Service Delivery comprises: Children & young people, Complex needs, Carers, families & communities, Care of older people, Housing & regeneration, and Transport & mobility. Innovation and Progress includes: Sustainability, Transformation, Customer service, Partnership working, Diversity & equality, and the new Skills development award. The Special Awards are: the Citizenship & volunteering award, the Guardian Public Servant of the Year award and the overall winner.

Last year’s overall winner was Birmingham City Council, in partnership with Heart of Birmingham PCT, who also won Diversity and Equality prize for their Gym For Free initiative, which enabled all residents in the Ladywood Constituency to use council sporting facilities for free.

Karen Jerwood, project manager of the scheme, said: “It was very exciting for us to win the Diversity & Equality Guardian Public Services Awards, and an honour to be the Overall Winner. The national recognition that the award gave us really helped at a time when we were planning to expand the scheme across the whole city.

-The whole experience, from nomination to ultimately receiving the award, has helped us to further refine our work. I would fully encourage all people managing worthwhile projects in the public services to consider putting forward a nomination.”

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