Breathe named UK Social Enterprise Awards Finalist! - Breathe

Breathe named UK Social Enterprise Awards Finalist!

Tue 24 Aug

Breathe Arts Health Research has been named a finalist in the 2021 UK Social Enterprise Awards, recognising businesses which are transforming society.

We’re delighted that Breathe’s Founder and Managing Director, Yvonne Farquharson, is a finalist in the ‘Women In Social Enterprise Award’.

The UK Social Enterprise Awards are the biggest awards in our sector, and we are incredibly proud of Yvonne, who couldn’t be more deserving of this nomination. Since founding Breathe, Yvonne has led through adversity, when others questioned her role as a woman in leadership, her vision, and innovative ways of working, this didn’t deter her. Yvonne continued her pioneering work to improve individual health outcomes and sector-wide transformation. This includes leading Breathe to being named as a ‘New Radical’ by Nesta, winning NHS England’s ‘Innovation Challenge’ Award and Action for Children’s Arts ‘Outstanding Contribution’ award.

One of the criteria for the nomination was to demonstrate a commitment to diversity, Yvonne’s is committed to diversity and inclusion, she is the LGBTQ+ staff champion at Breathe and ensures everyone is treated fairly, regardless of protected characteristics. This ethos is reflected into every team member at Breathe and in our policies, processes and organisational values.

As with many other organisations, the pandemic, caused significant disruption to finances, programmes and operations. Yvonne successfully navigated us through this incredibly challenging period, redesigning all our programmes, creating new Covid-response work and re-writing our business and fundraising plans. Thanks to Yvonne’s determination, entrepreneurial spirit and drive, we have not only survived Covid-19 but emerged stronger and more relevant than ever.

As a team, we wanted to nominate Yvonne personally, for her exceptional contribution to the sector and to show our appreciation for the positive and inspirational impact she has on all of us, every single day.

I feel honoured and humbled to have been selected as a Finalist in the acclaimed UK Social Enterprise Awards 2021 in the Women In Social Enterprise category.
Yvonne Farquharson, Founder & Managing Director

“I feel honoured and humbled to have been selected as a Finalist in the acclaimed UK Social Enterprise Awards 2021 in the Women In Social Enterprise category. As a female leader I am aware of the many obstacles that can appear on our career journeys and I feel passionately about smashing down those obstacles not just for the women in our team and those we work with every day – but for the generations of strong and pioneering female leaders to come.

I am proud to be an employer of a predominantly female workforce and an entirely female Senior Management Team. The talent, creativity and ambition of every woman I work alongside, is a daily reminder of the importance of creating opportunities for all women, at all stages of their life, to excel in the workplace.”

Yvonne Farquharson, Founder & Managing Director of Breathe

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.
Peter Holbrook, Chief Executive of Social Enterprise

“The UK Social Enterprise Awards are back, bigger and better than ever before. 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.”

Chief Executive of Social Enterprise UK Peter Holbrook

Social enterprises are businesses which trade for a social or environmental purpose. There are 100,000 social enterprises in the UK contributing £60bn to the UK economy, each one being set up to tackle some of the biggest challenges we face from homelessness to the climate emergency. Breathe are proud to be a social enterprise, supporting a wide range of communities with our evidence-based creative healthcare programmes.

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

Read the full Press Release here.