Merton wins National Compact Award

Merton celebrated the enduring success of its Compact, winning a national award for the 10th year running. 

Chair of Compact Voice, Simon Blake OBE and chief executive of Grenfell Housing and Training, Lola Barret

Chair of Compact Voice, Simon Blake OBE and chief executive of Grenfell Housing and Training, Lola Barret

Merton Compact’s Lola Barret was presented the first ever Chris Frost Award at a special event held at Westminster Boating Base (5 Nov). Hosted by chair of Compact Voice, Simon Blake OBE, the event was attended by over 100 guests including Rob Wilson MP, Minister for Civil Society, Leader of Merton Council, Councillor Stephen Alambritis, Cabinet member for community safety, equalities and engagement, Councillor Edith Macauley and Merton Chief Executive, Ged Curran..

Lola, who is Chief Executive of Grenfell Housing and Training and chair of both Merton Voluntary Service Council and Merton Unity Network, was recognised as a driving force in Merton’s voluntary sector for the past decade.

The Merton Compact is a partnership of local public organisations and the voluntary sector that work together for the benefit of the community.

Leader of Merton Council, Councillor Stephen Alambritis, said: “Congratulations to Lola on being the first ever recipient of the Chris Frost award at the National Compact Awards.

“Merton is proud to be a borough that encourages partnership working between voluntary and local organisations. Through 10 years of strong relationships we have seen improved communication with the voluntary sector, improvement to the way the council allocates funding to stakeholders and used our partnership to collectively bid for funding that organisations couldn’t have accessed alone. I look forward to many more years working together to provide better services for our residents.”

Interim Chief Executive of MVSC, Ian Beever, said: Merton winning another Compact Award is a reflection of the enduring positive track record of collaborative work in the borough. All sectors really do work well together to meet the needs of borough residents.

“Our chair, Lola Barrett winning the Christ Frost Award had special meaning and resonance. The award was for her ongoing commitment and outstanding contribution to strengthening, supporting and improving partnership working between the statutory and voluntary sectors.



Notes to editors

Merton was shortlisted in four categories at the 2014 National Compact Awards:

  • Compact Advancing Equality category – Merton Community Health Champions
  • Compact Leadership category – Lola Barrett
  • Compact Engagement category – Transforming Families in Merton
  • Compact Impact category – Merton Adult Education and St Mark’s Family Centre community learning

This year’s National Compact Awards recognised the late Chris Frost by renaming their Compact Voice Chair’s Special Award the Chris Frost Award. Awarded by the Chair of Compact Voice, Simon Blake OBE, to recognise excellence in Compact working, the award commemorates the work of Chris Frost, who passed away in 2013.

The local Merton Compact celebration on 4 November recognised the impact the compact way of working has had in the borough and the value it has added both to the partnership working and outcomes for local residents. The award winners were as follows:

Wandle Valley Resource Centre – Best Project Award

Grenfell Housing and Training and the London Borough of Merton partnered on this project to ensure that an unused council building in Mitcham has been brought back into use for the benefit of the local community.

Lola Barrett, Chief Exec of Grenfell Housing and Training – The Chris Frost Award

Lola Barrett has been driving the work of the Merton Compact for the last 10 years as a CEO of Grenfell Housing and Training and Chair of Merton Unity Network and an active voluntary sector representative. She is one of the most established and recognisable leaders in the voluntary sector in Merton.

Merton Community Health Champions project – Compact Inclusion Award

Merton’s Community Health Champions project, a partnership between London Borough of Merton public health, Merton Voluntary Service Council (MVSC), local community groups and the NHS through LiveWell Merton, recruits and trains Community Health Champions from diverse backgrounds to support local community groups and their members and promote healthy lifestyles in East Merton.

Merton Healthwatch – Compact Change Award

Healthwatch Merton is the local consumer champion for the children, young people and adults of Merton and works to help them get the best out of their local health and social care services.

Merton Means Business, Mitcham Town Community Trust and Leigh Terrafranca – Special Recognition Award 

Merton Means Business is collaborative initiative between MVSC and the Merton Chamber of Commerce, linking local businesses with local activity, to mutual advantage.

Mitcham Town Community Trust is a partnership initiative offering wider community access to school facilities and a number of community programmes

Leigh Terrafanca is an active member in her local community including being a member of the Wimbledon East Hillside Residents Association.