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SEQOL wins top award for Employee Ownership

Swindon-based care provider SEQOL has won a major award that celebrates the most impressive group of employees to have spun out of the public sector into an employee-led mutual organisation.

The Philip Baxendale Award, which is endorsed by the Cabinet Office, are the UK’s major awards for recognising excellence in organisations that are owned by their employees.

Employee ownership is at the heart of how SEQOL – which provide quality care and support for adults in Swindon and the surrounding area – operates and employees are encouraged and supported to influence service improvement ideas, and to shape the way they work.

This year’s award is not the first time that SEQOL has come to the notice of the judges. In recent years SEQOL has been highly commended in the Employee Innovation category and was winner of the Employee Ownership Rising Star award.

Heather Mitchell, chief executive of SEQOL, said, “I am absolutely delighted that SEQOL has won this award. The judges shortlisted the mutuals with some of the most imaginative and trail-blazing employees in the country, and it’s very gratifying to see SEQOL colleagues recognised among them.”

Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude said: “Right across the country, public sector staff are taking control of the services they know best – with 100 public service mutuals now providing £1.5 billion of services a year across England.

“As part of this government’s long-term plan for a stronger economy we are determined to drive up public sector productivity, which flatlined for the 13 years before the 2010 general election.

“We need innovative new ways of delivering better services for less money, so we are helping public sector workers spin out to form mutuals.

“I visited SEQOL myself, as well as many other impressive mutuals, and know their success lies in encouraging an entrepreneurial and commercially-rigorous spirit whilst retaining the public sector ethos of sharing good practice for the greater good.”

SEQOL received their award at the Employee Ownership National Conference at the East Midlands Conference Centre on November 17 2014.