Leading Lives Crowned Public Service Mutual of the Year

A strong mission and employees driving innovation for community benefit has seen Leading Lives take the title of Public Service Mutual of the Year.

Leading Lives, which is an employee owned co-operative trading as a social enterprise, was chosen for the UK Employee Ownership Award – which is endorsed by the Department for Media, Culture and Sport –  after amazing judges with the ways they use their culture to drive great impact for vulnerable people and their carers.

Based in Suffolk and surrounding areas, Leading Lives has a mission to help the people who need support leading the life they choose. They offer support to people with learning difficulties, physical or multiple complex needs, in their own homes, through community hubs and through providing both routine and emergency short breaks to them and their carers.

The business, which became employee owned 7 years ago, has 495 employee owners who are represented by a board which is made up of 100% employee elected directors.

Devolved decision making has supported employee-led innovation, which has seen surpluses invested into projects such as a youth club, skills academy and community café to help deliver additional impact to help those they support.

Their innovation has also seen diversification in the business in order to help financially during difficult times, including sub-letting part of their office.

The focus on employees having a meaningful say via the board and the council has seen a decrease in turnover, has seen 53 people developed into more senior roles and elicited a 90% score for being proud to work for Leading Lives.

Not only that, there has been a great impact for those who use their services with a 97% family carer satisfaction rate.

They have been commercially successful too, increasing Leading Lives’ surplus by 400%, winning 4 new contracts and 7 new frameworks.

Judges note: “With Leading Lives we have a mission driven organization with great business acumen driving great employee empowerment who in turn are driving more and better impacts that align with their values of support vulnerable people to live the life they choose.”