Double delight as The Co-operative scores twice in “Third Sector” business charity awards
The Co-operative scored twice in a national award ceremony designed to emphasise effective partnerships between charities and business.
The “Third Sector” Business Charity Awards recognised the impact of The Co-operative’s Charity of the year partnership with Mencap and, sister charity ENABLE Scotland.
During 2011, The Co-operative’s staff, members and customers raised a record £7m to benefit over 25,000 young people with a learning disability through the “Inspire Me” programme. Every penny raised will provide activities and training to offer the chances to learn new skills and gain access to employment and volunteering opportunities in local communities.
In addition, Truth about Youth, The Co-operative Foundation’s programme to challenge and change the negative perceptions of young people in seven UK cities - London, Bristol, Birmingham, Cardiff, Manchester, Newcastle and Glasgow – and run in partnership with seven charity partners, was recognised in the Corporate Foundation category, with the judges commenting that the award recognised a “philanthropic foundation giving outstanding support to charity.”
Michael Fairclough, The Co-operative’s Head of Community and Co-operative Investment, said: “We are delighted to have received such external recognition for our pioneering work in this area which is opening up new ways for young people to change their world for the better. Our partnerships are helping us to bring about a cultural shift in the way young people are viewed and treated in this country - a key objective of our commitment to inspiring young people.”
The Co-operative’s work with StreetGames – a volunteering programme for young people from some of the UK’s most disadvantaged areas – was also highly commended.
John Low, chief executive of the Charities Aid Foundation, said: “The Business Charity Awards uniquely place a strong emphasis on effective, mutually beneficial relationships that develop over time and deliver positive social impact in our communities. I congratulate everyone involved in setting such inspiring examples.”
The Co-operative Group is the UK’s largest mutual business, owned not by private shareholders but by over seven million consumers. It is the UK’s fifth biggest food retailer and a major financial services provider, operating The Co-operative Bank and The Co-operative Insurance. Among its other businesses are the number one funeral services provider, the third largest pharmacy chain and one of Britain’s largest farming operations. As well as having clear financial and operational objectives, the Group has also set out its social and sustainability goals in its groundbreaking Ethical Plan, which specifies over 50 commitments in these areas. The Group operates 4,800 retail trading outlets, employs more than 100,000 people and has an annual turnover of more than £13bn. Further information is available at www.co-operative.coop
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