Eastlight wins national recognition for community impact of All In

An audience of people are sat together and are holding green a4 cards in the air that say "I'm All In"

A groundbreaking programme which saw teams of residents work with their communities to create solutions to major social issues has won a national award.

Eastlight’s All In programme scooped the Neighbourhood Transformation award at the Affordable Housing Awards in Manchester on Friday, 17 November.

All In was an opportunity for 20 Essex residents to get paid a full-time salary to dedicate a year of their lives to one goal: creating a bold solution to a big social issue in their community and then making it happen.

Four teams worked with thousands of residents in Braintree, Colchester, Halstead and Witham to create four uniquely community-led schemes, taking on everything from poor mental health to the cost-of-living crisis.

When the programme ended in June 2023, members of each team successfully applied for funding from Eastlight to continue making a difference out in the real world.

Research by the University of Essex found that for every £1 invested, the Social Return on Investment for All In in its first year alone was £6.26, creating £7.5 million in social value for local communities.

James Green, Social Innovation and Community Empowerment Director, said: “We created All In, the UK’s first community incubator, because we believe the people experiencing the social issues which impact the lives of so many in our communities are the best people to tackle them.

“Our 20 inspirational community entrepreneurs and the thousands of local people who supported them over the last year have demonstrated that in spades.

“They have created ideas which continue to make a difference to residents’ lives today, and this national award is powerful recognition of the impact of their outstanding work.”

The Affordable Housing Awards recognises the achievements of social housing providers, their staff and residents to make a difference in the communities they serve.

Eastlight was shortlisted for six awards in total, and further recognition came in the Campaign of the Year award when Eastlight was highly commended for “telling the story of All In”.

The Succeed @ Eastlight programme was highly commended in the recruitment campaign category for its success in attracting people from all walks of life to begin a career in housing.