A NOT-FOR-PROFIT business with offices in Brighton and Hove has won a national award.

Here scooped the Employee Owned Innovation of the Year award in the UK Employee Ownership Awards.

These are the UK’s annual celebration of employee-owned businesses run by the Employee Ownership Association.

Here provides community care to residents in Brighton and Hove and employs more than 150 people.

It made radical changes to its services for those with memory problems in Brighton and Hove which it runs in partnership with Sussex Partnership Foundation Trust, Alzheimer’s Society and the Carers’ Centre.

Its service, which was measured by speed of diagnosis, was redesigned to deliver better outcomes after finding that for 70 per cent of its clients, the first priority was the need for support and not diagnosis.

Using its co-owned membership structure open to all employees, Here quickly set up a working group to set about redesigning the service.

It invested £73,000 in funding memory support workers to have meaningful conversations with people at the point of referral.

This was immediately backed up by a befriending service and peer support groups to help address the loneliness and isolation that people with memory problems, including their families and their carers, experience ahead of their diagnosis.

By turning the process around, much needed support is now received much earlier to those affected, with 94 per cent of service users saying that the redesigned service has delivered benefit to them.

Matthew Riley from Here said: “This will really lift the organisation as it is great to get the recognition for something that was truly a team effort.

“It now seems unimaginable to not involve everybody in the organisation as we develop and continue to deliver positive change.

“Our team made a real difference to the way our service was delivered which has made a huge impact to those who receive our services.”

Deb Oxley, from the Employee Ownership Awards, said: “Congratulations to Here in innovating this service improvement.

“The awards recognise the productivity, innovation and excellence driven by teams and individuals in employee owned businesses, which demonstrate how employees having a stake in the business teamed with a robust culture of transparency and employee engagement result in outstanding performance in growth and resilience.”

The Employee Ownership Awards celebrate the significant contribution employee-owned businesses make to the UK economy.

The Employee Owned Innovation of the Year award celebrates an employee-owned organisation with a compelling example of innovation that is currently enhancing the services and/or products of the business.

The awards were held at the EOA gala dinner on November 27 at the Hilton Metropole Hotel in Birmingham.