Despite the many challenges Covid-19 has presented to their widespread support network, the last twelve months have seen a tremendous increase in demand for the services provided by regional charity Access Community Trust, including mental health and wellbeing care, supported housing and its expanding essential food provision service PINK Orange.

With lockdown restrictions slowly beginning to ease, the Trust is now looking to the future, after receiving a world-renowned employer award. The prestigious ‘World Class – Triple Star’ accolade for workplace engagement was provided by Best Companies.

Over the last year, the charity has increased its workforce to a team of over 160 individuals that continue to deliver services to those most vulnerable in our communities.

Judged against an all-encompassing 8-factor model, the triple star achievement marks the highest possible standard of workplace engagement, representing organisations that truly excel. With this award, the Lowestoft born charity has achieved a higher rating than many multinational giants and stands out as a Top100 organisation to work for in the UK including a Top30 charity.

Emma Ratzer MBE, CEO of Access Community Trust explains what this award means to the charity and it’s team going forward,

“This recognition is remarkable. Our team has been challenged continually over the past year, taking pride in their work, while adapting to the many obstacles thrown their way. It is a testament to how brilliant they all are. I think it is important to see that we are not just excelling in the support services we offer to our clients, but we are championing our internal company culture, support and engagement amongst our valued workforce.

 As a charity, we operate to support communities socially isolated in a variety of ways, and this mindfully enables our team to support each other, whenever needed. It’s that culture of kindness and understanding that I believe more organisations should be embracing, especially in times as uncertain as now”.

Following the announcement Jonathan Austin, Founder and CEO of Best Companies remarked,

“Access Community Trust should be very proud of their achievement, demonstrating ‘world class’ levels of engagement. This accreditation is recognition of all they have done to be a best company to work for, and always putting their people first.”

The trust has recently completed its Easter holidays campaign, which saw over 21,000 children and their households supported across Norfolk and Suffolk, through it’s ‘PINK orange’ meal kits project, by providing nearing 200 tonnes of ingredients to assist with the cooking of around 500,000 wholesome meals.

Later this month, the organisation will further enhance its wellbeing offering, by adapting two vacant high street shops in Gorleston and Kings Lynn and transforming them into walk in mental health cafes, which will offer crisis support to anyone locally that needs assistance. Called STEAM House, the welcoming cafés will open 7 days a week, until late into the evening.