AF Dominating North West Awards Scene Advocacy Focus has been shortlisted for three awards at the 2018 E3 Business Awards. The awards shortlisting comes after a monumental year that marks our 20th anniversary. We've been shortlisted for Charity of the Year, Employer of the Year and the Skills, Education and Training Award, beating 100s of high calibre entries from across the North-West. The exciting news comes just after our CEO, Justine Hodgkinson, was shortlisted for the Excellence in Engagement Award at the North West Employee Engagement Awards 2018, and after volunteer, Farmeen Ahktar, was shortlisted for Volunteer of the Year at the Selnet Enterprise in Society Awards 2018. CEO, Justine Hodgkinson, says: "We are very excited to be shortlisted for such prestigious awards, to be finalised out of hundreds of entries is testament to the hard work of all our team.2017 was a great year for Advocacy Focus, we supported over 3,000 individuals across Lancashire, helping them to take control of their lives. "We implemented a new volunteer strategy that saw us increase the number of volunteers by over 85% and expanded our charity significantly, and more than doubled our team in size. We kick-started our expansion plan, which saw us win contracts with Bradford Council and Trafford Council, and we even provided advocacy support as far afield as Gateshead and Hertfordshire via spot purchasing. "Not only this, but we also completed our first ever Employee Health and Wellbeing survey and implemented a range of new employee initiatives that really put our employees at the heart of our operations. As a result of these initiatives, over 90% of our staff have said that their overall wellbeing has improved since working at Advocacy Focus." Mubarak Chati, Managing Director of 1 Events Media which hosts the E3 Awards said: "We had almost three hundred nominations this year. The Awards are now in their sixth year and, every year since we've started, the number and calibre of entrants has grown. "This year, we've seen such a strong turn-out that we've taken the unusual step of expanding the number of finalists in most of the key categories. We have seen a particularly impressive response in the Employer of the Year, Family Business of the Year, the High Growth category and the New Business Start-up. All of those have seen a genuinely staggering number of entrants.” "It's also been really good to see that we have finalists from every county of the North West, from Cumbria to Cheshire. The E3 Business Awards are all about inclusivity, so to see such a healthy mix of mainstream and rural businesses, women and young entrepreneurs, social enterprises and so on - that's fantastic, and just what we want to see. "Given that we've had our best ever influx of nominations, anyone who has made it to the shortlist stage has done so against the very fiercest competition. As one of our 2018 finalists, Advocacy Focus should feel very proud indeed." The E3 Business Awards 2018 will be held at the Macron Stadium in Bolton on Thursday 12th July. More information about the E3 Business Awards can be found at www. e3businessawards.co.uk.