The annual Guardian Public Service Awards offer us a great insight into some of the best practice in public service in the UK.
The awards recognise the best projects and people in the public sector each year, across a range of categories including leadership, workforce diversity, workforce wellbeing, workforce learning and development, recruitment and HR, digital innovation, transformation, care, housing, and public health and wellbeing.
It may interest you to know what agencies came up as winners in public service awards in the UK sponsored by the Guardian, and what issues are getting the attention.
We have chosen three issues to feature for you: a council working to be carbon neutral, peer support for beneficiaries, and recruitment and positive action in a fire service.
You may look at these and say – yes we are doing that just as well as them or better – in which case tell us about your work firstname.lastname@example.org
Or you may look at them and say – I would like to know more about that. If so just go and look at https://www.theguardian.com/society/series/guardian-public-service-awards-2019
Nottingham City Council – carbon neutral by 2028.
Nottingham met is 2020 target to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 26% four years early. More than 40% of all journeys in Nottingham are made on public transport. Energy consumption of council buildings has been cut by 39%.
It has a workplace parking levy, and the money raised from it has helped to tackle congestion and pollution but has enabled them to net $61m to improve and “green” public transport.
The savings the energy team generates means it actually makes a profit for the council that can be used to cross-subsides other departments
Turn2Us – connect SMS-based peer support app
A charity called Turn2Us found that more than $17bn of means-tested benefits were left unclaimed in Great Britain in 2016-17. The first response was to create an online benefits calculator to help people on low incomes identify welfare support they are entitled to.
The second step was to develop an SMS message service to help people successfully apply for welfare support. This was combined with step-by-step advice from a trained digital volunteer. These volunteers have lived experience of claiming benefits so offer practical peer-to-peer support. In successful cases, users can secure an average benefits increase per household of 2,600 pounds a year.
West Midlands fire service - recruitment and positive action
From having on 5% women fire fights in 2014, West Midlands now has 10% which is double the national average for fire services. Since January 2018 27% of the new firefighters employed are women and 32$ come from BAME (Black, Asian, Minority, Ethnic) communities.
The team used social media much more extensively to recruit, they ran opening evenings to unpick misconceptions about the service, they ensured role models spoke at these events and established staff support networks to recognise and promote diversity.
Diversity is a huge advantage when working with the community on preventative work in the fire service.