The ‘Families Included Prize’ which aims to reduce the social isolation and loneliness of Essex families with children aged 0-5 was launched at County Hall today. Essex County Council, working with Nesta, the UK’s innovation foundation, will deliver the first ever, local government challenge prize* and is encouraging people across the county to enter.
The Families Included Prize is an exciting new way for the Council to engage local communities, as well as discover and support great solutions. Social isolation is a growing concern for parents, guardians and carers in Essex, regardless of background, and impacts all aspects of life.
We are inviting applications from individuals, groups and organisations across communities in the county – anyone who has a great idea about how to address this issue – to apply. Ideas can relate to any aspect of life including personal, professional and social experiences.
Open until Thursday 14 July 2016, the prize process has several stages. Entrants will be whittled down to 10 finalists who will each receive mentoring and financial support to develop and test out their ideas. The winner, who will be announced in January 2017, will receive £10,000 to help develop their idea.
A short animated video has been produced outlining the Prize, its aims, who can enter and how. This can be viewed at https://youtu.be/-UXUP5bgVSw
Cllr Dick Madden, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Adults and Children, said: “Looking after a young child is one of the most rewarding things someone does but we know it can also be one of the toughest. We are aware that there are families and carers in the county who feel isolated and are in need of support.
We also know there are people among the Essex community with great ideas that we want to work with. I encourage anyone with an idea, who’s thought ‘I know how I can solve this challenge’ to enter.”
Helen Goulden, Executive Director at Nesta, said: “Challenge Prizes are a proven way to develop new ideas that tackle real problems. That's why we’re excited to be supporting the delivery of Essex’s first challenge prize. The Families Included Prize will give people in Essex the opportunity to put their ideas forward to help build more resilient families by reducing isolation.”
For more information about the Families Included Prize in Essex, please visit: http://challenge-prizes.essex.gov.uk, and follow the #familiesincluded on Twitter.