Celebrating Success

Tom Elkins
Earlier this week, I was lucky enough to attend the 2011 Compact Awards, held at the Treasury and jointly organised by the team here at Compact Voice and the Office for Civil Society. So much of the hard work was expertly arranged by Elaine, Kelly, Sarah and Gina, and my thanks to them for ensuring that everything ran smoothly.
The awards celebrated some of the best that the Compact can bring about, and it was a genuine pleasure to spend an evening in the company of people who I could effusively congratulate for their achievements. 
Many of the award winners complemented the theme of Compact Week this year; that local knowledge is local power. Often, the examples which received such deserving praise came about because of greater understanding, greater knowledge, greater openness.
Simon Blake OBE, chair of Compact Voice, closed proceedings with a call to arms to those in attendance; that we now need to spread these examples, to share how knowledge can bring such positive benefits to communities. Nick Hurd, the Minister for Civil Society, had opened with a similar sentiment; the Compact remains not only relevant, but vital. 
But more than an inspiring event, the awards ceremony was a lot of fun, something which has often been missing for the sector in recent months. Being able to celebrate made a welcome change, and it was great to catch up with colleagues working on the Compact across England, meet others for the first time, and put a face to a familiar name. 
Feedback from those at the event suggested that we all had a good time, even if the setting was slightly odd. Security at the Treasury meant we had to be escorted everywhere (even to the toilet!), and as we left, the road outside had been cordoned off by police, with only a few important looking vehicles being allowed through.
There are now some more places which will hopefully be making space on desks or shelves for their awards, and who stand out as being an inspiration to others about how the Compact can (and arguably should) work. The award winners without doubt deserve the accolade, and on behalf of all of us at Compact Voice thank you to all involved who made the event such a success.
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