Recycling Lives wins Queen's Award for Promoting Opportunity

Recycling Lives has won its most significant accolade to date.

Our unique recycling business has earned a fourth Queen’s Award; fittingly, for Promoting Opportunity for Social Mobility.

The award recognises our work supporting, training and employing ex-offenders, providing skilled, sustainable jobs via our associated social programmes in order to reduce reoffending rates.

We are one of just six organisations to win a Queen’s Award for Promoting Opportunity in 2019, and one of 201 winners nationally across four categories.

Recycling Lives Ltd works in partnership with Recycling Lives Social Enterprises and the Recycling Lives UK charity to deliver the UK’s leading offender rehabilitation programme and a unique residential programme.

The social enterprise supports up to 300 men and women at a time in 12 prison-based workshops, HMP Academies, and up to 10 men at a time in the residential facility. The HMP Academies train offenders in recycling or fabrication, skilling them for work on release. The charity’s residential programme supports men to undertake training and work placements to move into meaningful work and their own homes.

The programmes deliver unrivalled success, reducing reoffending rates to less than 5% and supporting more than 70% into employment immediately upon release from prison.

Every year dozens of graduates of these programmes move into work with our fast-growing business as we have tripled turnover and expanded across England and Scotland in recent years. A large number of our 400-strong team have come through one of the programmes while many more work for partner businesses including United Utilities, Galliford Try and Kier.

Chief Executive William Fletcher said: “We are incredibly proud of our unique model and how it is changing lives. 
“Winning a Queen’s Award for Promoting Opportunity is the ultimate testament to our impact. It recognises the symbiotic relationship of our organisation; how our business is integral to the success of the social enterprise and charity and vice versa.”

This is our fourth Queen’s Award win, following two for Sustainable Development in 2010 and 2014 and one for International Trade in 2018.

The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are the most prestigious business awards in the UK, celebrating pioneering products and services, impressive social mobility programmes or sustainable development.