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Loughborough based Charity beat NASA to an internationally recognised award

Local Homeless charity The Bridge East Midlands, in collaboration with Loughborough University, Citizens Advice Charnwood and Charnwood Borough Council won first prize in the International Knowledge Management and Intellectual Capital Awards (7th-8th September).

The new way of thinking being a Joined up Approach of advice and advocacy services across the Borough of Charnwood beat NASA and the European Patent Office to first place.

The project which received £346,000 in National Lottery funding through the Big Lottery Advice Services Transition Fund took two years to develop, is called "Charnwood Connect"

It is a community resource for local people seeking help with issues such as welfare rights, benefits, housing, homelessness, domestic violence, immigration, discrimination and debt.

Behind the scenes all partners are working together sharing knowledge to prevent any impending risk by offering advice, information and support on social welfare law with a "One Front Door" policy.

The need for such a service was triggered by the forward thinking partner agencies who recognised a joined up advice offer to local residents would have a demonstrable effect in improving the lives of vulnerable people in the area.

Nicky Morgan, MP for Loughborough, said "My warmest congratulations go to The Bridge East Midlands and their partners Loughborough University and Citizens Advice Charnwood on receipt of their prestigious award; in beating such highly regarded organisations to first prize, they certainly are keeping rarefied company"

"Awards are wonderful and well deserved but the very best part of this story is that the innovative working practices that have been recognised means directly better help and advice services to some of the most vulnerable people in Charnwood. It's a great success story"