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Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress giving award to Lifehouse
A charity dedicated to supporting people in need and targeting issues of homelessness and addiction was announced as the winner of the first Imagine Portsmouth community award at the Shaping Portsmouth conference today (Friday 27 January).

The community award was created by the partner board of 13 organisations and networks from across Portsmouth that have committed to work together to help make the Imagine Portsmouth city vision for 2040 a reality. The vision was created with contributions from more than 2,500 local people and organisations and launched in 2020.

The new award is designed to recognise community organisations that embody the values that underpin the city vision: community, collaboration, equality, respect, and innovation. Reflecting the current economic situation, for the inaugural award the judges were also looking for community organisations and projects making a difference to people struggling with the impacts of the rising cost of living.

The six nominees for the first Imagine Portsmouth community award were put forward by members of the city vision partner board, and the winning organisation selected by a panel of judges from Hive Portsmouth, Shaping Portsmouth, and Portsmouth City Council. The judges unanimously selected LifeHouse as the winner, citing the difference the organisation makes to some of the most marginalised groups in the city.

The other nominees were, the British Red Cross for their Support at Home Service, Citizens Advice Portsmouth for their Specialist Immigration service, the Moving on Project Portsmouth, Pamodzi Creatives for their Inspirational Women of Portsmouth project and Portsmouth Foodbank at Kings Church.

Cllr Steve Pitt, Portsmouth City Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Economic Development, said: “I am honoured to present the first Imagine Portsmouth community award to LifeHouse on behalf of the city vision partner board. Having seen the work the team at LifeHouse do over many years, I know what a huge difference they make to some of those who are most in need in our community and so how very much they deserve the recognition from this award.

“It is great to be able to recognise and raise awareness of the extremely valuable work done by voluntary and community organisations in the city as part of the Shaping Portsmouth conference, and I hope even more businesses will see ways they can help.

Mike Morell, manager at LifeHouse, said: “We have been delighted and humbled to receive the first Imagine Portsmouth community award for our work in the city. We know lots of people are struggling with the rising cost of living and we are working to support as many people in need as we can, providing around 300 to 400 food parcels a month. We already know what we do makes a big difference to the people we help, but when the work done by LifeHouse is recognised more widely through something like this award it makes such a big difference to us, and to our excellent team of volunteers, and it spurs us on to do even more.

“If people would like to help us with our work, we’d love to hear from anyone who would like to join our dedicated team of volunteers, and we always need donations of fresh and non-perishable food. We regularly put lists of what we need on social media so give us a follow on Facebook and Instagram and see whether you can help.”

For more information about Lifehouse, including ways to support their work and lists of the food items they need, visit www.lifehouse.org.uk

For more information on the shared vision for Portsmouth in 2040, visit www.imagineportsmouth.co.uk.