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National homelessness charity, Bethany Christian Trust, has been awarded the Outstanding Organisation ‘Five Star’ Award by the European Foundation for Quality Management.

The charity was presented with the prestigious five-star Recognised by EFQM award by the Chief Executive of EFQM in Edinburgh this week, following an intensive four-day independent assessment.

A previous member of Bethany’s Expert Group was invited by Bethany’s Chief Executive to accept the award on behalf of the staff and volunteers. Bethany’s Expert Group consists of people who have participated in Bethany’s services, bringing their individual lived experience of homelessness, associated traumas, and personal routes out of homelessness to work with the leadership in shaping Bethany’s future direction and services.

Now operating over thirty services, Bethany supports around 7,000 people annually across Glasgow, Kilmarnock, Fife, West Lothian, Dundee, Aberdeen, Inverness, Stornoway, Perth, Dumfries and Edinburgh. A team of five EFQM assessors visited the charity in November to meet with people who Bethany supports, volunteers and staff members from multiple sites across Scotland. Russell Longmuir, CEO of EFQM, and Louise Myall, Head of Membership, visited Scotland this week to personally present the outcome of the assessment week.

Congratulating the charity, Russell Longmuir, CEO at EFQM, said:

“Attaining EFQM 5 Stars is a phenomenal achievement for any organisation. Our congratulations to Bethany Christian Trust on joining an elite group of outstanding organisations, across the world, that provide inspiration to their community whilst at the same time delivering the highest levels of excellence in everything they do.”

Kellie Fairburn, a previous member of Bethany’s Expert Group, who now works with the charity, accepted the award on behalf of the staff and volunteers. Kellie shared,

“Thank you so much for this award. I am tearful when I think of my gratitude for the outstanding work of Bethany and what they have done for me. It is so good to have EFQM recognise what Bethany Christian Trust do and how they do it. I stand here with my life transformed, one of many others. So thank you for recognising us and allowing me to accept this on behalf of Bethany.”

Alasdair Bennett, Chief Executive of Bethany Christian Trust, commented:

“We are humbled to have received this award, reflecting the love and service of the whole Bethany team across Scotland. We continue seeking to show Christian love in action and to aim at excellence in our service of people facing the most challenging of circumstances across Scotland.”

Recognised by EFQM is a comprehensive management review of an organisation, using the EFQM Model. It reviews the overall performance against the objectives and challenges of the organisation. The Recognised by EFQM 5 star is awarded to organisations that demonstrate high levels of performance and integrate their Strategy, Purpose, Vision and focus on Innovation.

Russell Longmuir, CEO of EFQM and Louise Myall, Head of Membership, presenting the award to Bethany Christian Trust’s Kellie Fairburn, Project Worker, Ruth Longmuir, Director of Internal Services, and Alasdair Bennett, Chief Executive.

Established in 1983, Bethany Christian Trust’s services focus on Homelessness Prevention, Crisis Intervention and Housing with Support, relieving the suffering and meeting the long term needs of homeless and vulnerable people in Scotland.