The Manchester Beacon's Recognition Awards are for community-university partnerships which aim to make a difference to Greater Manchester. The aim of the awards was to encourage the on-going relationships that had been stimulated from the Beacon, and to inspire new community-university partnerships.
A thorough process helped to identify and put forward the partnerships that would have the greatest impact and ensure sustainable relationships. The awards recognised existing, emerging and new partnerships.
A workshop was held before the launch of the Recognition Awards to enable people to discuss and share information about the value, successes and challenges of community-university partnerships and also to promote networking between participants. Partnership projects submitted an application form to provide detail on the joint collaboration between the community and the university partner. A total of 27 applications were submitted.
An independent panel (made up of university and community representatives and representatives from independent organisations such as the Manchester Commission for New Economy, Manchester Digital Development Agency and the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement) scored each application against the following criteria: shows evidence of leadership in response to a community need; demonstrates mutual benefit for a) community b) university partner c) target audience; demonstrates co-production and co-attribution (i.e. joint governance, co-creation of knowledge, co-design and co-delivery of activity); demonstrates ongoing impact locally in key target areas in Greater Manchester; proposed development activities are relevant to build capacity and enhance longer term sustainability of the partnership; and commitment to contribute and share knowledge to wider networks.
Applications were shortlisted based on judges’ recommendations and a meeting of the panel was held to finalise decision making. The Awards were made at a ceremony held as part of the Manchester Beacon Annual Summit in November 2011. All applicants received a certificate in recognition of their activities, whilst award winners received small financial rewards of upto £1500 to support their future sustainability.
The Beacon team acknowledges the support of the panel and specifically The University of Brighton Community University Partnership Programme (CUPP) in acting as a critical friend in the development of the Recognition Awards.