The Impact Awards are back. This year, we’ve created the new category of Change Maker, to recognise people who have been the driving force behind an organisation with great impact.
The Change Maker award is an exciting new category, designed to recognise those exceptional individuals we all have in our communities, who are working to build a better world.
We’ve shortlisted three exceptional Change Makers and we’re inviting you to pick the overall winner.
Mandy Young, Adrenaline Alley
Adrenaline Alley was inspired by Mandy’s son John’s love of skateboarding. As a severely ill child who spent several years in and out of hospitals, John had struggled to socialise with young people his age. Skateboarding gave him a way to make friends and became a genuine passion, but there was nowhere safe in the area for youngsters to practise.
After John was attacked by local thugs at the age of 13, Mandy and John initiated a grassroots movement to provide the community with a safe space for skateboarders, in-line skaters and BMX riders to practise their sport. Mandy had no prior experience in social enterprise or charity work, but galvanised the community, with 150 people attending the first meeting. After two years of raising awareness, researching and fundraising, Mandy secured a venue for an outdoor park. When the organisation outgrew this space a few years later, Mandy found a larger venue, secured the required funding and maintained the project.
With the help of a Charity Bank loan, Adrenaline Alley has now tripled in size. It receives 56,000 visits per year, employing 20 people in the local community and keeping young people away from drugs, drinking and anti-social behaviour, maintained by a zero tolerance policy. Each month, about 1,000 people visit for the first time, setting them on a path towards a healthier lifestyle.
Graham Perolls, Hospices of Hope
Graham Perolls was inspired to create Hospices of Hope after a chance meeting while on holiday in Romania in the late 1980s. Visiting a local hospital, he saw first-hand how the lack of resources caused unnecessary pain and suffering for patients. As the founder of a hospice in his home town of Dartford, Graham saw an opportunity to use his experience to help the terminally ill in Romania.
Hospices of Hope has now been running for 25 years, pioneering hospice care in south east Europe. It has set up four hospice centres in Romania, one in Serbia and one in Moldova, caring for 30,000 terminally ill patients and their families to date. For his services to the hospice movement, Graham received an OBE in 1999 and the CMG in 2014.
A loan from Charity Bank paid for a tea room and charity shop in Kent, used for fundraising activities. To date, Hospices of Hope has raised more than £20 million in the UK, while also developing its fundraising capacity in Romania so that 85% of the running costs budget now comes from the country itself.
Susan Aktemel, Homes for Good
Susan Aktemel is an award-winning entrepreneur with 12 years of experience working with Glasgow letting agents. Her previous ventures include founding Impact Arts, a community arts initiative that has grown into a national charity.
Building on her background in real estate and her commitment to social change, Susan has created the first letting agency in Scotland to specialise in letting homes to people on low incomes. Homes for Good CIC aims to make high-quality, affordable homes available to those who might otherwise struggle to secure accommodation.
To date, Homes for Good Investments has provided homes for 127 adults and children. Loan finance from Charity Bank and social investment from Impact Ventures UK allowed Homes for Good to create a pipeline of 120 properties to be rented. It is estimated that this will benefit 480 people in Scotland over the next eight years.
The vote will remain open until 12 noon on Monday 25 April. The winner of the Change Maker award will be announced at our Impact Awards evening on 29 June.