Awards Plus

Supporting Young People to Achieve

What’s in a name?  

It’s the first thing that creates identity. It’s a doorway, a hook, the readiest of reference points. For an organisation, it creates recognition and affects how it’s perceived. A name carries meaning and influence. There’s an argument that what something is called is arbitrary – ‘a rose by any other name’ – compared to its intrinsic values: ideally, a name goes hand in hand with what an organisation does, what it stands for.  

A 2022 consultation identified strong backing to move on from 25 years of ‘Friends of the Award’ whilst, crucially, staying true to its values. Why change? A singular reference to ‘the Award’ no longer represents the breadth of opportunities supported. Abbreviation to ‘FOTA’ has diluted a sense of identity. Even long-term associates are surprised that ‘FOTA’ is a charity in its own right, thinking it’s an offshoot of Duke of Edinburgh’s Award/City of Edinburgh Council/Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service (delete as appropriate).  

Contexts have changed, too. There’s a refreshed, progressive approach to nature-based youth awards promoted in Scotland; the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (and others) encourage awards interaction and integration – cross-pollination, if you will; and the direction of travel, strongly advocated by Scotland’s Awards Network and the Hayward Review, is for increasing recognition across a spectrum of youth awards. 

How did we re-brand? Selection for the prestigious ‘Brand for Growth’ programme in 2022 gave a timely consultancy and design exercise to create a new name and visual identity. Working closely with Bold Studio identified key themes to capture – Inclusive, Down to earth, Individual, Adventurous – with ‘Awards Plus’, a logo and a new look emerging from (not so) heated debate, consideration and reflection.  

A new name – Awards Plus – reflects three things: 

  • support for a range of youth awards – outdoors-focused, nature-based, adventurous. 
  • commitment to meet the needs of all young people; to provide extra, bespoke support, especially for those who benefit most from additional help that wouldn’t otherwise be available to them. 
  • an approach that identifies connections, pathways and progression between youth awards. 

In a nutshell ‘Awards Plus’ keeps youth awards at its heart. Extra help is central for young people who might need it. Awards routes and journeys are encouraged. 

There’s understandable affection for ‘Friends of the Award’, particularly from young people who have longstanding relationships with the organisation, its staff and volunteers – ‘FOTA’ is a vessel for their powerful experiences and positive memories. But there’s also recognition of the value of a refresh, excitement about the new look, and a strong commitment to explore the potential of Awards Plus. 

Take a look at the first Awards Plus-branded resources – 3 leaflets that outline its overall work, its Expeditions focus and its 1:1 Mentoring support. 

Click on each to view.

With thanks to Bold Studio staff Doug, Annie, Will, and the Brand for Growth programme, and Anna Pultar Photography. 

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