British port wins ESPO Award 2019

Port of Dover with the award The Port of Dover won the ESPO Award 2019 for its ‘Transparen-SEA (Socially Engaged Accountability) project. Image: ESPO

A British port has been awarded the ESPO Award 2019 in recognition of its successful strategy to reach out to the local community and to directly communicate with the port citizens.

The Port of Dover was chosen by judges of the awards for its project, ‘Transparen-SEA (Socially Engaged Accountability)’, which aims to create a comprehensive and meaningful programme of consultative and social community engagement events alongside the cultivation of an internal network of port ambassadors whose advocacy ultimately permeates back into the local community where many live. This was all supported with a social media overlay that connects directly with the community and reinforces the aims of the project.

Chairman of the Jury, Dimitrios Theologitis, said: “The Jury was impressed by Port of Dover’s strategy which is centred around campaigns on all media, electronic and others, leaflets, consultations, forums, workshops, sports events. But the most important ingredient of this successful strategy is giving back to the community, be it financial participation in charities and community groups, making the installations available to the public for events, or foreseeing spaces and buildings open to the public.”

"Wholesale immersion"

The project has not just been focused on one particular aspect of engagement, it has been a "wholesale immersion" in the community and the community in the port, said ESPO.

It stressed that what is equally important is that the social media has not just been a faceless arm’s length engagement tool, but has been used to create the end result of much more face to face engagement. This has enabled members of the port community and members of the local community to recognise each other, and do so as part of the same overall community, importantly all buying in to the same shared vision and giving everyone a sense of ownership of that process.

The ESPO Award 2019 saw four projects from Port of Dover, Dublin Port Company, Ports of Stockholm and Union des Ports de France (UPF) compete for the prize.

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