SPAR UK Partner receives Responsible Business Award

July 22, 2019 IN THE CATEGORY: Awards and prizes

At this year’s Responsible Business Awards, SPAR UK Partner, A.F. Blakemore and Son Ltd, was among the winners, receiving the Education Partnerships Award. The company was recognised for its Branching Out programme, which inspires unemployed youth into the world of work while developing talent for the business.

The prestigious annual event, organised by Business in the Community, celebrates companies that demonstrate the very best in responsible business, shining a spotlight on innovative stories at the heart of local communities.

The Branching Out programme helps to improve the skills of young people, whilst supporting the recruitment and development of future talent with enterprise events, practice interviews, CV writing workshops, study tours and mentoring sessions.

Since the programme was established in January 2017, 693 employee volunteers have donated almost 4,000 hours, engaging with 3,312 students across 63 primary and secondary schools.  Over the last few years, some 183 young people have gained employment with A.F. Blakemore via activity related to Branching Out.

Commenting on the award, HR Business Partner at A.F. Blakemore & Son, Elizabeth Blakemore, said: “We are overjoyed to have won this award and to be recognised in this arena is a phenomenal achievement.

“Transforming the lives of young people and providing them with the skills to prepare them for the world of work is why Branching Out exists, however, none of this could have been achieved without the continuous support and passion of our colleagues who have worked tirelessly to bring the programme to life.”

Business in the Community Chief Executive, Amanda Mackenzie, added: “Huge congratulations to A.F. Blakemore & Son on their success at this year’s Responsible Business Awards. They have shown determination and ambition to keep pushing the responsible business agenda through real, tangible action.

Source: SPAR UK 

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The UK became a member of SPAR in 1956 when a group of independent wholesalers was granted the SPAR licence by SPAR International. There are five regional partners in the UK with strategically placed Distribution Centres in each region. A central office, located in London, provides national marketing and buying services for the group and supports the development of the brand.

SPAR has led the convenience market in the UK for many years but has faced increasing competition. Always innovative, the five regional partners have continued to grow the brand. Throughout the UK, a combination of independently-owned licensed retailers and company-owned stores can be found, spanning forecourts, airports, train stations, city centres, and local neighbourhoods.