Skip to main content

Promoting inclusion in the community is increasingly recognised as essential for social cohesion and community vitality. In line with this, the upcoming 2024 European Social Services Awards will set out to acknowledge outstanding achievements in fostering inclusive communities. Now in its sixth year, the Awards will continue its tradition of honouring exemplary initiatives and innovative practices in social services across Europe and beyond. 

With applications for the 2024 edition of the Awards set to open in the coming days, this article will give you a taste of what’s to come! 

Promoting Inclusive Communities: The Heart of the 2024 Awards

The theme ‘Promoting Inclusive Communities’ will acknowledge communities that are built on principles of engagement, diversity, and accessibility, ensuring that every individual feels valued and empowered within their space and activities.

The Awards underscore the pivotal role of social services in shaping inclusive communities. By addressing the unique needs of vulnerable populations and fostering collaboration across sectors, social services play a central role in promoting social well-being, enhancing quality of life, and addressing issues such as poverty, inequality, and social exclusion.

Recognising Excellence: The 2024 ESSA Categories

Organisations that wish to apply for the 2024 Awards can do so in several categories, each spotlighting different facets of inclusive community-building and social services provision:

-  Service Delivery: This category will honour programmes that foster social inclusion in communities, ensuring that vulnerable populations are supported and fully included. The Award winners will showcase innovative approaches such as community social inclusion programmes, targeted initiatives for vulnerable populations, and integrated community care models.

Workforce Support: Recognising the importance of a skilled and empowered workforce, this category will celebrate organisations that positively impact their staff and empower neighbourhood networks. This Award will honour inclusive leadership, innovative training programmes, and strategies for recruitment and retention.

Collaborative Practice: Highlighting the importance of collaboration, this category will acknowledge initiatives that bring together diverse stakeholders to co-create inclusive solutions in local communities across Europe. The Award will recognise partnerships, community engagement programmes, and integrated case management approaches.

Research and Evaluation: Acknowledging the role of research in evidence-based practice, this Award will honour studies that contribute to the development of inclusive community services. This category’s focus is directed at research on various topics, including social planning, intergenerational approaches, and community-led programmes.

Digital Transformation: Recognising the potential of technology, this category will celebrate advancements in digital tools that promote inclusion in communities. The shortlisted projects will showcase initiatives such as online platforms for accessing social services, digital literacy programmes, and innovative technology for community-based care. 

Excellence in Communities Award: This headline Award will recognise municipalities, regions and organisations that excel in crafting inclusive and resilient neighbourhoods. Shortlisted projects will demonstrate integrated frameworks that support diverse communities and promote residents' rights, choices, and autonomy.

Inspiring Change: Impact and Future Directions

The 2024 European Social Services Awards not only celebrate past achievements but also inspire future action. By showcasing innovative practices and collaborative approaches, ESN hopes to encourage stakeholders to continue prioritising inclusive community-building and social services delivery.

Keep an eye out on the ESN communication channels for the launch of the 2024 Awards, so you can apply to have your project awarded at European level, and to contribute to building a more inclusive society for all.

Shortlisted Projects of the 2024 European Social Services Awards will be celebrated at an Awards Ceremony in Lisbon in November of this year.