Blackburn social enterprise SAMS is celebrating winning a Red Rose Resource Award and a cash prize, courtesy of award sponsor Viridor, just two years after winning it for the first time.
The coveted Best Community Enterprise award was won by environmental arts group SAMS for their scrapstore which collects end of line and surplus materials from businesses across the region and distributes it to community groups, schools and other organisations.
The Red Rose Resource Awards is an annual event held as part of Lancashire County Council and Blackpool Council’s commitment to not-for-profit organisations across our region. These groups help ensure that items needed in their communities are redistributed instead of being lost to landfill and provide a broad range of services to meet local need, such and training and employment opportunities.
Jan Calderbank of SAMS said “We are immensely proud to have won this award for a second time. It gives a real boost to the team to receive this recognition for all their hard work and commitment. It acknowledges how much the project has grown since our last win, too. Everything we have redistributed would have been landfilled – but we have achieved so much through rescuing all of these materials!”
She continued: “We hope to put our prize money towards an evening out for our staff and volunteers to thank them for their contribution to the Project and I’m sure the boss will have some ideas too!”
With just two full time and one part time staff member, SAMS has provided materials to 121 organisations, delivered 178 craft classes to vulnerable adults and local children, plus 18 outreach classes to 209 young people excluded from mainstream education, provided 10-week entry level work placements for 22 long-term unemployed adults – and in the last year 23,903 people accessing materials sourced from SAMS which would otherwise have been landfilled.
Nikki Di Giovanni, National Coordinator of Scrapstores UK said “There currently are 93 scrap stores across the UK providing materials to 74,000 community groups and diverting 10.5 million kilos of unwanted materials from landfill every year. SAMS make a significant contribution to the network of Scrapstores UK, sharing information, suppliers and recently hosting a national ‘scrap swap’ meeting in Blackburn!”
Michael Keane, General Manager at Viridor, who provides transport services to the Lancashire Waste Contract said; “It is with great pleasure that I was able to attend the Red Rose Resource Awards and I am thrilled that the work of SAMS has been recognised again. Viridor was keen to continue with the support for the Best Community Enterprise Award as it supports a fantastic local initiative, ensuring that Lancashire is leading the way in its promotion of recycling, reuse and reducing waste. The work of SAMS is vital to this cause and I hope they enjoy their celebrations!”
The Red Rose Resource Awards is a platform for community groups who prevent unwanted items from being sent to landfill by reusing or recycling, and in doing so, provide support for communities across our region.
The ceremony was held at the Environmental Education Centre at Farington Waste Recovery Park in Leyland, following afternoon tea and homemade cakes courtesy of homelessness charity Emmaus Preston. Winners were presented with a glass trophy made of recycled TV screens, and generous cash prize to invest in their organisations and teams. The event was organised and delivered by Global Renewables on behalf of Lancashire County Council and Blackpool Council.