WOCT shortlisted for UK Social Enterprise Award

The logo of the 2021 UK Social Enterprise Awards, a stylised laurel wreath in multicolour.

West Oxfordshire Community Transport has been named as a finalist in the UK Social Enterprise Awards, recognising businesses which are transforming society.

We are delighted to have been recognised as one of the leading social enterprises in the country, having been named as a finalist in the Transformative Community Business category at this year’s UK Social Enterprise Awards.

The Awards, run by Social Enterprise UK, the national membership body for social enterprises, recognise the nation’s most pioneering social enterprises.  West Oxfordshire Community Transport will be joining other shortlisted organisations at the prestigious awards ceremony held at London’s iconic Guildhall on 8 December.

“This is really exciting news and we are absolutely delighted to have been shortlisted,” says Margaret Burden, Chair of Directors. “To receive this recognition for all the commitment put in by our team of drivers and our operations team (manager and volunteers) feels so rewarding.”   

This year the Awards featured two new categories one recognising a Social Enterprise Building Diversity, Inclusion, Equity & Justice and the other for the Social Enterprise Team of the Year – a category specifically acknowledging those teams which have demonstrated the strength, passion and resilience so characteristic of the social enterprise sector over an extremely challenging year.

Previous winners have included a company set up to tackle furniture poverty, an IT consultancy employing people with autism and a community energy co-operative – demonstrating just how diverse the social enterprise sector is.

Peter Holbrook, Chief Executive of Social Enterprise UK, commented: “We have had a record number of applications this year, all of which have showcased the strength, dynamism and resilience of the social enterprise community through what’s been an incredibly difficult and uncertain period.

“Over the course of the pandemic social enterprises have been going above and beyond the call of duty to support their teams, the individuals, and communities they work with, showing the grit, determination and innovation so inherent to this sector. They’ve been operating directly on the frontline of the crisis, launching new products and pivoting their business models to meet the needs of communities and society as a whole.

“The Awards are all about celebrating the achievements of the UK’s social enterprise movement, which is showing us that another way of doing business is possible – one which has never been more important as we look to build back better and address the climate emergency.”

WOCT honoured with Outstanding Commitment To The Community Award

The certificate presented to WOCT in recognition of its Outstanding Contribution to Witney.

We’re delighted to have won Witney Town Council’s Outstanding Commitment to the Community Award for 2019.

The accolade forms part of the Council’s annual Citizen of the Year Awards ceremony, which has sadly had to be postponed due to the unprecedented situation this year. The awards celebrate “the shining lights in our community from the past year; those that go above and beyond and give just that little bit more to the benefit of the town.”

“Many residents see WOCT as a lifeline, and town businesses appreciate the trade they get from regular services,” Councillor Duncan Enright, Mayor of Witney 2019-20, said, explaining why the Council chose to bestow this award. “The community bus has featured in the national news, cooperative awards and even earned Witney a mention in a song by electronic band Underworld!”

In the absence of a formal ceremony due to the ongoing pandemic, we have been presented with a signed and embossed certificate by Witney Town Council; we will be displaying copies of this certificate in each of our buses, so that we can share this honour with our passengers.

Speaking about the news on BBC Radio Oxford, Director Margaret Burden said that everyone at WOCT was “absolutely thrilled and incredibly proud to have been given this award. We work very hard to provide our service, doing it because we know it’s needed.”