Thriving Communities Stronger Together Awards
Orbit Supply Chain Partner of the year

Team Ethical Stationery being surprised by Sam and Paul from Orbit.

Everyone at Ethstat Ethical Stationery CIC is incredibly proud and honoured to receive this award from Orbit Housing.  It is especially poignant for us to win an award from an organisation that is as deeply rooted in its communities as Orbit because for us community is everything.  We are moved that this award is titled “Thriving Communities – Stronger Together” because that is exactly what we aspire to create and support. 

As a Community Interest Cooperative, we are deeply embedded within our community; through our trading, we seek to support the homeless and rootless and those families touched by dementia. We do this from our own experiences of homelessness and caring for family members with dementia. Our relationship with Orbit began with the supply of PPE for frontline workers during the current pandemic.  During this period, homelessness has silently grown, and demand for services that we provide or support has increased by at least 40%.  At the same time, the elderly in care homes have been isolated from their families and reliant on care workers for emotional support on top of the personal care afforded to them.

So while we may have won this award for our work, we are not the heroes in our own story. We pay tribute and give thanks to the front line workers who have been delivering the care. We cannot express our gratitude deeply enough to the cleaners, road workers, shop assistants, delivery drivers, waste collectors, water treatment teams and all the other people that formed the real front line.  We pay homage whilst noting that these front line workers are disproportionately those on Zero hour contracts, disproportionately those living in the most cramped housing, disproportionately those that come from BAME communities, and disproportionately they have paid the heaviest price of all: mental illness, sickness and death.

Yasmin and Bruce with Ellie, one of the extraordinary young people we have helped this year.

Our job has to been to protect these heroes.  It is one we take seriously and one that will not end when we go back to “the real world”. We are a company made of the same people. When we say ‘Black Lives Matter’, and we do say it, we don’t just mean the right to breathe but the right to equal opportunity, the right to live rich, fulfilled valued lives.  

We feel that all our communities, regardless of background, can only thrive and  can only be strong when we are together.  We thank Orbit for the recognition this award brings, and we promise that this is just the beginning; we truly are “Stronger Together”.