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The six winners of the 2020 edition of the European Social Services Awards were announced at an online ceremony on 4 December.

The European Social Services Awards (ESSA) are a central initiative through which we celebrate excellence and best practice in social care and social services. The 2020 edition took place under the theme ‘Transforming Community Care’.

Great line-up of projects

We were delighted to have received so many outstanding entries and such great level of interest, with 25,000 people voting for the Awards over the three weeks that the public vote was open.  

The 2020 Awards Ceremony was the opportunity to showcase projects, teams and organisations as well as the extraordinary commitment of social services to support the most vulnerable in their communities. This is especially the case in the current difficult times, where the continuity of care has been endangered significantly by the Covid-19 pandemic.

ESN had the honour of welcoming Nicholas Schmit, European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights and MEP Dragoș Pîslaru as keynote speakers at the ceremony, while the winners were announced by ESN partners IBM, Edenred and SAP.

A panel of 9 experts selected the shortlisted 30 candidates from more than 80 entrants. As highlighted by Commissioner Schmit, “the shortlisted projects contribute directly to the principles of the European Pillar of Social Rights, helping improve living conditions, health and inclusion of individuals and families from all ages and backgrounds.”

Congratulations to the shortlisted projects and the ESSA 2020 winners:

Cultural Association la Kalle for the Social Innovation Award with the project ‘Fablabteka, digital fabrication laboratory for young people’.

Northern Ireland Social Care Council for the Outstanding Team Award with the project ‘Digital Resources to Support the Social Care Workforce During Covid-19’.

Foundation Cepaim, for the Collaborative Practice Award with the project ‘Housing Solidarity Network’.

Vice-presidency and Department of Inclusive Policies and Equality, Valencian Institute of Social Services and University of Valencia for the Research Project Award with the project ‘Rethinking Social Services: the Social Services Laboratories’.

Hoplr for the Technology Tool Award with the project ‘Social network for community service and care’.

Simon Community Scotland for the Excellence Award with the project ‘Ending rough sleeping during lockdown’.


More on Community Care transformation in 2021

All the applicants made a huge difference to improve the lives of those in need. As MEP Dragoș Pîslaru underlined at the ceremony, “you are the real heroes of our society”.

The transformation of community care -more topical than ever in the context of the current pandemic, will be further addressed at the 28th edition of the European Social Services Conference on 30 June-2 July 2021.