Social Atelier

Excellence in Cities Winner: Social Atelier

The Social Atelier was established through an ongoing successful collaboration between the City of Osijek and DKolektiv – organisation for social development. This community centre provides a platform fostering dialogue and empowering disadvantaged, underrepresented and vulnerable groups, enabling professionals from different disciplines to work more closely together.

Discover the transformative journey of the City of Osijek, Croatia, as they share their remarkable story of innovation and community impact through their award-winning project, Social Atelier.

What does winning an European Social Services Award mean for your organisation? How do you feel about this recognition and experience?

Winning the European Social Services Award is a tremendous honour for The Social Atelier and City of Osijek. It signifies the acknowledgment of our dedicated efforts in fostering dialogue, empowering marginalized groups or underrepresented individuals, and promoting community development. This recognition not only boosts morale but also brings a sense of pride and accomplishment to our organization. It reaffirms our commitment to positive social change and motivates us to continue our mission with even greater enthusiasm.

Why did you choose to apply for the 2022 European Social Services Awards?

We chose to apply for the 2023 European Social Services Awards because we believe in the power of sharing successful practices and learning from other organizations across Europe. Being part of this experience provides an opportunity to showcase our work on an international stage, allowing us to contribute to the broader discourse on social development. We saw it as a chance to exchange ideas, gain insights, and inspire others while also learning from the experiences of fellow social service providers.

What is the added value of being part of a European Network for your organisation? Why is it important to share practice and projects with other actors across Europe?

The added value of being part of a European network is immense for our organization. It facilitates the exchange of best practices, innovative approaches, and successful projects among diverse actors in the social services sector. This collaborative environment enables us to broaden our perspective, enhance our strategies, and adapt proven methods to our local context. By sharing our experiences and learning from others, we contribute to a collective effort aimed at addressing societal challenges more effectively. This interconnectedness strengthens the social fabric across Europe and promotes a unified approach to creating inclusive societies.

How does your winning project support person-centred care?

Our project champions person-centred care by prioritizing individuals’ voices and needs. Through dialogue and empowering marginalized groups, we collaboratively design activities, encouraging active community participation. This inclusive approach not only tailors services to unique circumstances but also empowers individuals to actively shape their own futures. Our emphasis on long-term empowerment involves community members taking the lead in addressing challenges, fostering a resilient and self-sufficient community over time.

What were the key reasons for the success of your project?

The key reasons for the success of our project lie in our commitment to fostering dialogue, empowering marginalized groups or underrepresented individuals, and promoting interdisciplinary problem-solving. Our community-centered approach actively involves individuals in over 300 activities, leading to more than 4,000 visits to the community centre. The success is rooted in the genuine partnerships formed between the City of Osijek and DKolektiv, as well as the active engagement of the community, with over 700 individuals participating. Additionally, our evidence-based community work ensures that our initiatives are impactful and address the real needs of the community.

Why should an organisation enter the Awards in 2024?

Organizations should consider entering the Awards in 2024 to gain recognition on a European stage, fostering collaboration and learning from peers across the continent. The Awards provide a platform to showcase successful initiatives, share valuable experiences, and contribute to the collective effort of advancing social services. The opportunity to be part of a prestigious network allows organizations to amplify their impact, learn from diverse approaches, and inspire others. Entering the Awards in 2024 is a chance to not only celebrate achievements but also to actively contribute to the ongoing dialogue shaping the future of social services in Europe.