Like Selnet, we believe that training is a crucial element of many Social Enterprises and this category recognises organisations that strive to ensure their staff or volunteers receive a high standard of training.


What judges looked for:


– Scale and relevance of training provision

– The improvement or difference this makes to participants

– Recognised quality of provision

Why we won:

Advocacy Focus prides itself on having high skilled and dedicated staff. We invest in our team as a whole including our Advocacy Managers and our Independent Advocates. It was our Volunteer training that particularly caught the eye of the judges for this award.

Our Volunteer Manager recruits, trains and mentors volunteers across Lancashire to add extra added value to our service, allowing us to provide additional support to those with ill mental health, who lack capacity or have learning or sensory disabilities.

The  judges were impressed with the personal approach that Lauren takes for every volunteer to ensure that they achieve personal goals, as well as contributing to the organisation of the charity as a whole as our volunteer team includes our Peer Advocates who have experience of ill mental health themselves.

Lauren spends time individually mentoring each volunteer, alongside training them in a group setting. Each volunteer receives an Individual Learning Plan so that our Volunteer Manager can support them to achieve their goals such as gaining interview and employability skill and building confidence and self-esteem.

In addition, the comprehensive and rolling programme of training that our volunteers receive was also mentioned as a key reason for the award win and includes:

  • A Foundation Course in Advocacy
  • Self-Advocacy Training
  • How to make a Health and Social Care Complaint
  • Training around the Mental Health Act, Mental Capacity Act and Care Act in order to enable them to support members of the community.

Justine Hodgkinson, CEO of Advocacy Focus said, “Our nomination focused on the excellent work that Lauren has developed in her role and the strong induction, training and mentoring the volunteers receive as part of our team. It is phenomenal to receive this recognition for Lauren, the volunteers, our team and Advocacy Focus as a whole and it really demonstrates the important role that volunteers play here at Advocacy Focus.”

To read more about the Selnet awards and winners of each category, visit