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Social impact and a sustainable business model: we catch up with 2015 Social Entrepreneur Award winners Sunflowers Care

The countdown to the Cambridge News Business Excellence Awards 2016 submissions is under way and as sponsors of the Allia award for Social Entrepreneurship we’re once again looking for the ventures in Cambridge which pack the biggest social impact.

This week we wanted to take a look back to last year’s winner, Sunflowers Care, to explain what made them stand out as the winning entry, and find out how things have progressed for them since winning the prestigious award.

2015 Social Entrepreneurship Award Winner – Sunflowers Care Ltd

Sunflowers Care takes children from a long term hospital bed to a small unit that is more like a home, transforming the quality of care that can be offered and saving the NHS money in the process.

The two nurse founders Lucy Andrews and Karen Higgins have used their experience to design a better care path for these children, converting a building and operating a sustainable business that is not dependent on grants or charity, but at the same time reduces the cost to the NHS.

We asked founders Lucy and Karen how life at Sunflowers Care has progressed since winning this prestigious award:

 “Things are going extremely well since winning the Allia Social Entrepreneurship Award 2015 , Sunflowers Care are going from strength to strength. We have employed more staff and supported many more children and families and we are currently putting together our next business plan to move things forward in 2016, watch this space!”


Allia chose Sunflowers Care for the Social Entrepreneurship Award 2015 partly because of the level of social impact they have already delivered with the first unit, but also because they see it as a pilot that can be rolled out across the country to support many more children. These two nurses have put their heart and soul into the well-being of young children who need nothing more than a loving home where they can manage their illness.

To find out more about what makes Sunflowers Care such a great social enterprise, take a look at their website

If you think your business or venture has, or will have a big social impact and would like to be considered, you will need to submit your application by 22 January 2016.

If you have an idea for a social venture come and talk to our dedicated business advisers about how to get started, your first hour is free.