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Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society.

Counting down to the Families Included Prize winner announcement

This week, the panel of 10 judges for the Families Included Prize gathered in Chelmsford, Essex to decide which of the 10 finalists would be awarded the £10,000 prize to further develop their project. The judges used finalists’ business plans and presentations to decide who had best run the gauntlet thrown down by the prize.

The winner of the £10,000 Families Included Prize has now been selected. And you can join us at the award event on 8 February in Chelmsford to find out who it is. If you would like to attend the award event please email: [email protected].

Essex’s first challenge prize

Since 2015, Nesta has been supporting Essex County Council to pilot the use of challenges prizes, working with the team to design and deliver Essex’s first challenge prize – the Families Included Prize.

The prize looked for great ideas, projects and solutions from Essex that involved local families with young children (0-5 years) in life enriching opportunities. Ideas could relate to any aspect of life including personal, professional and social experiences.

By July 2016, the prize had received 50 great ideas from Essex. The judging panel shortlisted 10 finalists in August 2016 who then spent four months developing their ideas, testing them with local families and writing up their business cases. Read the finalists’ blogs to find out more about their journey.

Judging day

At the start of this year, finalist teams sent their business cases, outlining how their project met the prize’s judging criteria, followed by the opportunity to present their cases in person to the judges and answer their questions. Every presentation was engaging and the judges were impressed by the journey the finalists had gone on in such a short period in time.

It was amazing to see the passion coming from the finalists, many of whom had experienced social isolation first hand

The afternoon saw a lively discussion to decide who would be awarded the prize of £10,000 and it was encouraging to see how the finalists had used the available support to take their ideas to the next level.

It has been a great experience supporting Essex County Council in delivering the Families Included Prize and we’re now looking forward to the official announcement of the winner at the award ceremony on 8 February 2017.

The award event will be held in Chelmsford, 4pm-7pm. It will be a great opportunity to meet all the finalists and see what community innovation looks like in Essex. The day will kick off with a marketplace where finalists will have stalls for their ideas. Then, the official announcement of the winner will be made following a drinks reception in the evening. If you would like to attend, email: [email protected].


Zofia Jackiewicz

Zofia Jackiewicz

Zofia Jackiewicz

Assistant Programme Manager

Zofia's work in Nesta Challenges focused on development and delivery of various projects including the European Social Innovation Competition.

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