Community spirit is at the heart of the BIBAS

Lancashire boasts a vibrant community sector, comprising over 4,000 charities alongside numerous Community Interest Companies (CICs) and Social Enterprises.

These organisations play a vital role in addressing unmet needs that may otherwise be overlooked by businesses, local councils, and government bodies.

From poverty relief and healthcare services to employment support and community development, these entities serve diverse purposes, catering to the varied needs of Lancashire residents.

Ranging from large-scale regional and national organizations to grassroots initiatives operated on modest budgets, they collectively employ tens of thousands of individuals in paid and voluntary capacities.

Last year’s BIBAs winners – Blackpool-based The Boathouse Youth – know all about what it means to be at the very heart of a community. With Blackpool constantly being described as having some of the most deprived wards in the UK, the organisation has prided itself on being there for children who, in their words, “live below the breadline.”

Now in its 15th year, the charity operates in two of Blackpool’s most deprived communities, providing education and recreational activities for youngsters who have experienced social deprivation and have limited access to the most basic services.

Laurance Hancock, CEO, said: “To win a BIBA capped off an incredible year for the organisation. We pride ourselves at providing the very best for our youngsters.

“At a time where a lot of families in Blackpool are struggling with the cost of living and uncertain times, we offer a respite for many and to have that work rewarded with an award in front of hundreds of our peers is a moment I, and the organisation, will never forget.”

Sponsored once again by the Lancashire Post, the county’s daily newspaper with a rich history dating back to 1886, this award acknowledges the outstanding contributions of these community-driven enterprises.

Vanessa Sims, editor of Lancashire Post, said: “Once again, the calibre of Community Business of the Year never fails to amaze the judges. There is such passion in their work, and they always are at the very heart of the community.

“As a newspaper, we look forward to seeing the applications and those who sacrifice so much to help other people. The Boathouse Youth are just one example of many we have seen throughout our sponsorship of the BIBAs and I am sure that this year will be no different.”

A reminder of those all-important dates
Community spirit is at the heart of the BIBAS
Applications close this month!