How we help each other matters. Some help - what we call ‘good help’ - supports people to feel hopeful, identify their own purpose and confidently take action. Other help - which we call ‘bad help’ - does the opposite, undermining people's confidence, sense of purpose and independence.
Whether people want to improve their health, find work, or get the most out of education, ‘good help’ involves understanding what matters to each person and supporting them to build the confidence they need to take action.
‘Good help’ is core to many organisations trying to help people take action and improve their lives. Yet despite decades of research and good practice, ‘good help’ remains absent from many mainstream services and social programmes. Too many people receive ‘bad help’.
‘Bad help’ can have acute and obvious consequences, such as homelessness or addiction, but also chronic and subtle effects which make activities, such as parenting and healthy eating, much harder, and sometimes impossible.
The Good Help Award is one way that we hope to find out more about ‘good help’ and how it helps people take action. We want to find out who is providing ‘good help’ and to celebrate and share the vital work they are doing.
To find out more about how we define ‘good help’ and to see examples, see the ‘Good and bad help’ publication at https://www.nesta.org.uk/project/good-help
The Good Help Award will reward an organisation or team that demonstrates they are helping people transform their lives by helping them develop their sense of purpose and confidence to take action.
There are three awards available - one £15,000 winner, and two £5,000 runners up. The winners of these awards will be asked to spend the money on activities that support their ‘good help’ work.
The award is open to anyone offering ‘good help’ in the UK through an established project, programme or service. Applicants must meet all four of the following criteria:
Although we have defined ‘good help’ in our publication, we will continue to learn and refine our definition of ‘good help’. At this stage we would welcome applications from anyone who thinks they are offering ‘good help’. We look forward to finding out about your approach and how it helps people take action.
We will shortlist up to ten of the most promising examples of ‘good help’, based on the criteria outlined above. Shortlisting will be undertaken by the team from Nesta’s Health Lab and Osca.