Leslie Francis, independent SPAR retailer, receives British Empire Medal

January 6, 2023 IN THE CATEGORY: Awards and prizes, People

SPAR UK retailer Leslie Francis, previously called out as an unsung hero in the Enham Alamein community, has been recognised in the New Year’s Honours list with a British Empire Medal. The New Year Honours List, published by order of King Charles III, marks the incredible public service of individuals from across the United Kingdom.

Community support

Together with her husband, Tim, Leslie runs a SPAR store which meets customers’ needs in Enham Alamein, Hampshire. Speaking about this recognition, Leslie said “I was so surprised and honoured to receive this medal. I got a phone call advising me of the listing and had tears of joy running down my face but I couldn’t tell anyone about it.”

Leslie was recognised in the New Years Honours List for the range of services she provides to her local community. The SPAR store is a hub in Enham Alamein, serving the community, neighbouring villages, and passers-by. One change was to widen the aisles to make it easier for customers in wheelchairs or using walking sticks and frames to shop.

Rod Tucker, Group Sales Director for the regional distribution company for SPAR stores in the southwest of the United Kingdom, Appleby Westward, said: “We are delighted for Leslie.  She and Tim are model SPAR retailers who never hesitate to go that extra mile for everyone in their community.”

Leslie and Tim moved over to SPAR four years ago, having run the 100-year-old village store since 2004. “We have always set high standards here and believe in moving with the times so we moved the business under the SPAR fascia to give the store a real uplift for the future and we haven’t looked back,” said Leslie.

Source: Appleby Westward

Read more about SPAR UK.


The UK became a SPAR member in 1956 when SPAR International granted the SPAR licence to a group of independent wholesalers. As a result, there are now five regional partners in the UK. A central office in London provides national marketing and buying services for the group.

SPAR has led the highly competitive convenience market in the UK for many years. Always innovative, the five regional partners continue to grow the brand. SPAR UK comprises independently owned licensed retailers and company-owned stores. These include forecourts, airports, train stations, city centres, and local neighbourhood stores.

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