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Big Issue Invest Scotland-backed Projekt 42 scoop top social enterprise prize

The not-for-profit gym won the One to Watch category at the Social Enterprise Awards Scotland less than a week after launching £1 million Power Up programme

Not-for-profit gym Projekt 42 led the way at the Social Enterprise Awards Scotland after securing the One to Watch gong last night.

The Leith-based social enterprise was named the hottest property north of the border at the Scottish Parliament ceremony – less than a week after helping to launch Big Issue Invest Scotland’s Power Up programme.

Ben Macpherson MSP and partners from Aberdeen Standard Investments descended on the gym last week as the firm became one of the first, alongside hot drink outfit Coffee Grind, of 20 businesses that will benefit from the £1 million two-year plan.

The firm aim to strengthen the connection between physical fitness and mental health through carefully crafted fitness classes, life coaching and counselling – including the UK’s only Physical Active Counselling programme.

Elsewhere, Grassmarket Community Project took home the big prize of the night with the Social Enterprise of the Year award.  The group supports socially isolated vulnerable adults, providing them with a range of support services as well as the opportunity to train, volunteer or work in anyone of their five social enterprises which include: an events space, a café, a staff canteen, a recycled wood workshop and textiles enterprise.

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INCH Architecture/Sir Robert McAlpine were acknowledged for their social impact while CRNS Reuse Consortium took home the ‘Buy Social’ Market Builder Award for their option of purchasing reused furniture.

In the Tech for Good category, Instant Neighbour took the silverware with their own furniture programme – selling good quality second-hand furniture to support people on low incomes.

Managing director of Loch Lomond’s Callander Youth Project Trust Chris Martin was named the 2017 Social Enterprise Champion after taking the project from a small room six years ago to a a successful suite of social enterprises consisting of a five-star hostel, café and events venue in the newly refurbished Callander Hostel.

Together we have created a sector to be proud of and proven time and time again how business can change the lives of our most vulnerable, creating a fairer, more inclusive world

Fraser Kelly, chief executive, Social Enterprise Scotland, said: “We’re delighted to announce the winners of Social Enterprise Awards Scotland 2017. Social enterprises in every corner of Scotland are building a better economy and a fairer society.

“The Social Enterprise Awards Scotland is a unique opportunity for social enterprises to gain serious recognition for their achievements and raise their public profile. A huge congratulations to the winners and to everyone who took the time and effort to enter this year.”

Jonny Kinross, chief executive of the Grassmarket Community Project, Winners of Social Enterprise of the Year 2017, said: “We’d like to congratulate all the winners and finalists tonight – together we have created a sector to be proud of and proven time and time again how business can change the lives of our most vulnerable, creating a fairer, more inclusive world.”

The Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security and Equalities, Angela Constance MSP, added: “This is another excellent opportunity to put Scotland’s social enterprise sector on the world stage, welcoming friends and neighbours from around the globe and celebrating all we have achieved.”

The Social Enterprise UK Awards are now just two weeks away with the best and brightest businesses for good set to be celebrated in central London on November 23.

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