Excellent examples of innovative community projects honoured at Portsmouth's first Innovation Awards

A NEED for greater community collaboration in Portsmouth led to a charity starting – and now eight years later it has been recognised with an accolade.

Thursday, 11th November 2021, 4:55 am

Portsmouth charity URBOND was named Community Innovation of the Year at the first Innovation Awards, which took place last Thursday at the Village Hotel in Portsmouth.

The awards, organised by The News and its owner JPIMedia, saw 10 honours handed out across a range of categories including Community Innovation.

URBOND was crowned winner of its category, which was sponsored by StartUp Disruptors.

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(L-R) Ousmane Drame from URBOND with sponsor Becky Lodge from StartUp Disruptors. Picture: Sam Stephenson

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Founder Ousmane Drame was at the event to collect the honour with his team.

He said: ‘Thank you so much, we started in 2013, the reason we started was the division in the community. We have since reached over 30,000 people from 75 nationalities.

‘What we do in Portsmouth is really important. Let’s talk and see how we can make Portsmouth a better place for everyone.’

(L-R) Emily Alexander from Redundancy Support with editor of The News Mark Waldron. Picture: Sam Stephenson

The judges were impressed after hearing about URBOND’s recent work in the Republic of Guinea building a library and its other work, such as mental health workshops, community fitness activities, charity social events, women’s empowerment workshops and its expanding youth development programme.

They said that URBOND’s entry was a very strong application, focusing on diversity and inclusion.

They said: ‘The power of the mission is clear that they are going to change the world. It is incredibly strong. They are using technology such as Amazon Smile and innovation. A brilliant entry.’

Also in this category, Redundancy Support was given a Highly Commended award for its work helping people who have faced redundancy during the pandemic.

Its founder Emily Alexander said: ‘I want to say a huge thank you. It’s all down to the community of Portsmouth that this has been able to get so far.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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