Sunday Times Best Company Awards 2012

Best Companies 2012 Group Photo

P3 charge into second place at the Sunday Times Best Companies to Work for 2012

P3, based in Ilkeston, Derbyshire, came second this year in the awards. We seized the mid-sized Best Companies title in 2010 and in 2007 topped the small companies list. Each week P3's staff help more than 3,000 vulnerable people who may be young, mentally ill or homeless, encouraging them to reach their full potential, in 32 areas of the East and West Midlands, London and the southeast.

We turn a conventional CV on its head to seek out those who are often disadvantaged in the job market by having been mentally ill or homeless. More than 30% of our 251 employees here have such experience and many are former users of P3's own services.

With such a bank of "expertise through experience", our staff feel they can make a valuable contribution to P3's success with an 87% positive score, in second place for mid-sized entrants. All their skills are harnessed (71%) and staff believe they have a positive future here (78%, both second).

"We harness the commitment, drive and enthusiasm, building on people's life experiences as well as professional skills, to get a real passion out of people for the job," says P3.

"Seeing the impact and outcomes of our work helps people stay motivated."

P3 wants its staff to realise their potential too. Those who take NVQ and ILM management qualifications are rewarded with vouchers at the annual conference. Staff say they have the support they need to provide a great service (84%) and unlimited scope to learn and grow (73%, both second).

While giving something back to society is their day job, P3's staff also do so in their own time. About 60 of them slept rough for a night, raising £31,000 for a furniture recycling scheme for people moving on from temporary accommodation. Benefits include private health and up to 32 days' holiday. Staff have confidence in their senior managers (85%, second).