Health and Social Care Award Spotlight: Macaulay College

Posted: 11 June 2024, in Awards

At the Social Enterprise Awards Scotland 2023, the Health and Social Care Award was won by Macaulay College. Based in Lewis, Macaulay College provides people with additional social and educational requirements with a programme of activities that encourages them to have meaningful and fulfilling working and social lives. The educational strategy has been developed to enable Macaulay College students to achieve their full potential and reach person specific targets, whilst enriching both their working and social lives.

We spoke to Jo-Ann McConnachie, Development Worker at Macaulay College to find out why they applied for the 2023 Social Enterprise Awards Scotland, how winning have benefitted them and what’s next for their organisation.

Why did you apply to the Social Enterprise Awards Scotland 2023? 

    Encouraged to apply by an advisor, I investigated previous winners and was in awe at the amazing work that goes on, the wonderful impact in such varied settings that organisations were having. A key part of my role as Development Worker is raising the profile of the work of our service provision. This opportunity allowed me to share the work being carried out in a wider national spotlight. To showcase, in the application, the achievements of the students, the organisation and the Directors in setting it up 14 years ago was a great opportunity.  

    How did the Social Enterprise Awards Scotland benefit you? 

    This award gave us, in a way, a stamp of approval. It’s led to more recognition with stakeholders, enabled us to showcase on a national platform and know that others are now seeing what an amazing place MC is. We’ve established new connections with other organisations e.g. we’ve worked with Health & Social Care Alliance on a Case Study, they’ve also created a wonderful film about Macaulay College. At present we’re working hard to fundraise for an essential refurbishment/extension. To say we’ve won this award, amongst amazing competition and to be able to show this film is so impactful. 

    What progress have you made since winning the Health and Social Care category? 

      The directors have received local recognition with 2 community awards since winning the Health and Social Care Award. We’re focused on fundraising towards the building project to allow us to double capacity and operate as a wider community venue. We’ve received invaluable Business Plan support from Impact Hub Inverness and DTAS & were awarded £0.5 million by UK Government Community Ownership Fund. We’ve now secured 75% of project costs and project is out to tender. This month sees our first ever Occupational Therapist Students on placement with us, giving students a great opportunity to engage with a vulnerable and hard to reach client group.  

      What would you say to someone considering entering the 2024 Social Enterprise Awards Scotland? 

        We would thoroughly recommend people to apply. Application questions help you evidence and share the work that you do. These questions enable to you to present a piece of work you can then use in a variety of ways to support your work e.g. funding applications. This can be a catalyst for other projects, it helps you see how impactful the work of your enterprise is. I know that there are so many demands on your time but imagine what might come from being short listed or even winning.   

        What is next for your organisation? What can we look forward to or expect? 

          All being well, 2025 will see the completed building project at MC, allowing those on the waiting list to have places, increasing staffing and enabling us to meet more diverse needs (all service provision for client group is at capacity).  We’ll have a fully accessible facility with much larger workspaces, much needed quiet spaces. We’ll have the first ever Changing Places Toilet on Lewis. Next development steps include the creation of a Community Engagement Worker & a Farm Manager to work in a wider remit such as School/Community Group visits and delivering of crofting/land skills to the community. 

          We are so thankful to have been awarded this recognition among so many amazing organisations.  Getting a chance to meet other organisations at the Conference was really interesting and an opportunity to feed back on our own experience and know that we’re not alone facing challenges we all face was really encouraging.  The Award Presentation Event was an incredibly positive experience, huge feel good factor to know hear about places that makes such a differences in the lives of people. 

          To find out more about Macaulay College, please visit their website or follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

          Social Enterprise Scotland Awards are open

          The awards are a real opportunity to showcase the very best of the sector, highlighting the agility, ability and active role that social enterprises play in building places, supporting communities and making a positive impact on our environment and wellbeing.

          We have 9 categories available. This is your chance to spotlight the incredible work of your organisation, celebrate your achievements, demonstrate social impact and be recognised as best in sector. All Social Enterprises that operate in Scotland or individuals that work or volunteer in Scotland are eligible to enter. Find out more and start your application