A multi award-winning business has won its most significant accolade to date.
Recycling Lives Ltd, a unique recycling business which uses its commercial operations to support social programmes, has earned a fourth Queen’s Award; fittingly for Promoting Opportunity for Social Mobility.
The award recognises its work supporting, training and employing ex-offenders, providing skilled, sustainable jobs in its business via its associated social programmes in order to reduce reoffending rates.
It is one of just six organisations to win a Queen’s Award for Promoting Opportunity in 2019, and one of 201 winners nationally across four categories.
The Preston-headquartered business works in partnership with Recycling Lives Social Enterprises and the Recycling Lives UK charity to deliver the UK’s leading offender rehabilitation programme and a unique residential programme.
The social enterprise supports up to 300 men and women at a time in 12 prison-based workshops, HMP Academies, and up to 10 men at a time in the Preston-based residential facility. The HMP Academies train offenders in recycling or fabrication, skilling them for work on release. The charity’s residential programme supports men to undertake training and work placements to move into meaningful work and their own homes.
These deliver unrivalled success, reducing reoffending rates to less than 5% and supporting more than 70% into employment immediately upon release from prison.
Every year dozens of graduates of these programmes move into work with Recycling Lives’ fast-growing business, which has tripled turnover and expanded across England and Scotland in recent years. A large number of its 400-strong team have come through the programmes while many more work for partner businesses including United Utilities, Galliford Try and Kier.
The business operates 12 recycling sites nationally, as the country’s largest scrap car recycler, a scrap metal processor and recycling waste for blue chip businesses, employing staff in a range of operational and office roles.
Chief Executive William Fletcher said: “We are incredibly proud of our unique model and how it is changing lives.
“Winning a Queen’s Award for Promoting Opportunity is the ultimate testament to our impact. It recognises the symbiotic relationship of our organization; how our business is integral to the success of our social enterprise and charity and vice versa.”
It is the fourth Queen’s Award win for the business, following two for Sustainable Development in 2010 and 2014 and one for International Trade in 2018.
The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are the most prestigious business awards in the UK, celebrating pioneering products and services, impressive social mobility programmes or sustainable development.