AN Ealing charity is celebrating this week after being handed a national award for the work it does providing a transport lifeline.

Ealing Community Transport has been named as the NatWest Social Enterprise 100 Impact Champion for 2019.

Judges praised ECT for its dedication and professionalism in helping thousands who struggle with accessing mainstream public transport.

Chief Executive Anna Whitty told an audience of nearly 300 charity and social enterprise leaders in London that, for too long, community transport had been an unsung hero.

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Yet the services it provided made a huge difference to people’s everyday lives – whether it involved a simple trip to the shops, taking them for a health check-up, or a day out with a group of friends.

ECT was given particular praise for developing a pioneering toolkit that it uses to measure and demonstrate the social value it provides through its services.

Run by Pioneers Post magazine in partnership with NatWest bank, the annual awards programme recognised the top 100 social enterprises in the UK and, among them, seven award winners across a range of categories.