The winners of this year’s William Sutton Prize have been announced at an awards ceremony which took place last night [20 November] in London.
Fat Macy’s took home The William Sutton Prize for Social Innovation for their proposal to expand their supper clubs and catering events which get young Londoners off the streets and into their own homes whilst providing work experience. For every hour volunteered, trainees accumulate credit which is paid into a secure deposit fund, enabling them to save money to move into their own homes whilst developing vital skills for independent living.
The organisation is now set to open its first permanent venue in Peckham comprising a commercial kitchen, restaurant space, delicatessen and, uniquely, a ‘microhostel’ flat with space for four trainees. The £20,000 prize will be used to fund a Tenancy Support Worker to help trainees transition successfully from homelessness to rented accommodation, allowing Fat Macy’s to have a greater social impact.
Highly commended was a proposal by The Art House in Wakefield to roll out and expand their Studio of Sanctuary programme which enables artists seeking asylum to rebuild their portfolios, develop their practice and establish professional networks so that they can work in the creative industries once they receive settlement. The organisation will receive £5,000 to develop the concept further.
The winner of The William Sutton Prize for Placemaking and Affordable Housing Design was Jas Bhalla Architects’ proposal for a planning policy that encourages the transformation of nine main roads in Outer London into dense, urban streets through place-based design guidance. The aim is to use the £20,000 prize to accelerate the delivery of affordable housing by identifying underutilised brownfield land and working with city planning stakeholders to deliver a shift in policy and approach.
A proposal by Jericho Road Solutions to create a genuine urban commons on Hastings Common was highly commended and will receive £5,000 to help develop the concept further, building an ecosystem of buildings and spaces, organisations and people with shared values to inspire others.
Now in its second year, The William Sutton Prize was developed by Clarion Housing Group to celebrate William Sutton’s legacy as a 19th century innovator and philanthropist who bequeathed his fortune to improve the quality of social housing.
It encourages individuals and organisations to present a new concept, service or idea that will benefit social housing residents and communities, with a prize fund on offer to help develop the idea and maximise its impact. The funding is provided by Clarion Futures, the charitable foundation of Clarion Housing Group.
The winning entries were determined by a panel led by Clare Miller, Group Chief Executive of Clarion, and including Peter Holbrook CBE, CEO of Social Enterprise UK, as well as Michelle Reynolds, Chief Operating Officer of Clarion Housing Group.
Clare Miller, Chief Executive of Clarion Housing Group, commented: “I’m delighted that we’ll be working with these four inspirational organisations to develop their innovative projects through The William Sutton Prize, tackling some of the biggest issues facing society today. With more than 100 applications received over the summer, it was hard to choose our winners, but I’m sure they will go on to make a huge difference within their local communities and beyond.”
Meg Doherty, Founder of Fat Macy’s, said:“It feels absolutely incredible to have won The William Sutton Prize – we were nominated alongside so many amazing projects and we’re so grateful for Clarion’s support. The money will make a huge difference, enabling us to support even more young people through Fat Macy’s.”
Jas Bhalla, Founder of Jas Bhalla Architects, said:“I’m absolutely thrilled to have won The William Sutton Prize and it’s really special to see that such a big organisation is making space and time to talk about alternative ideas and look at ways of improving people’s lives. Winning will not only give us access to a lot of insight and support from Clarion, but the profile and recognition of the Prize will also help open doors to conversations with councils and the GLA.”
Outside of The William Sutton Prize, the judges were impressed by the proposal put forward by The DisOrdinary Architecture Project which aims to produce an alternative to the current technical and legal guidance on access and inclusion in design. As a result, experts from Clarion Housing Group will be working with the team to explore and develop the concept and consider its application.