Centrica-backed social investment fund Ignite has been recognised by an awards body that promotes best practice in communicating social and environmental issues.
Ignite won three EVCOM Clarion Awards (Advertising & Promotion, Best Video and Grand Prix categories) for the film it produced about Midlands Together, the first company it invested in.
Midlands Together received £500,000 from Ignite to help support its work providing paid employment, construction training and tailored support to ex-offenders.
It does this by buying empty properties, employing ex-offenders (in partnership with social enterprises) to refurbish them and improve their energy efficiency, and then selling the properties for a profit.
The surplus is then reinvested back into the business to expand its work.
Midlands Together has so far rehabilitated 150 ex-offenders, and aims to empower these individuals with the professional skills and self-esteem to secure on-going permanent employment in the sector.
British Gas is supporting the project, providing assistance with training and procurement.
Ignite is the UK’s first energy-focused social investment fund, seeking new ways to tackle energy-related challenges while having a positive social impact.
Thanks to the backing it has received from Centrica, Ignite will invest a minimum of £10 million over the next 10 years.
Ignite has made three investments to date and hopes to announce a further £1.4m of investment by the end of 2014.
To date, 150 Centrica people have been involved in supporting social enterprise, equivalent to 2.5 years of support and an estimated £150K of in-kind support