SPAR store manager receives British Empire Medal in The Queen’s New Year Honours

January 5, 2021 IN THE CATEGORY: Awards and prizes, COVID-19, People

  • Store manager Linda Carrington, who manages SPAR Laceby Lodge in Grimsby

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SPAR UK store manager Linda Carrington has received a British Empire Medal (BEM) in The Queen’s New Year Honours for 2021. The British Empire Medal is awarded for ‘hands-on’ service to the local community. Linda, who manages SPAR UK partner A.F. Blakemore’s Laceby Lodge forecourt convenience store in Grimsby, has been deservedly recognised for her exceptional services to the community during COVID-19.

Linda commented: “I am truly honoured to receive this award. When I first found out about it, I couldn’t believe it – in fact, I actually deleted the Honours email as I didn’t think it was real!” 

“I couldn’t have achieved this recognition without the hard work of my SPAR team. I see it as an honour for all my colleagues who have worked tirelessly throughout the year to keep essential services going for the community. It’s fantastic to know that we’re really making a difference.” 

Role model
During the pandemic, Linda has been a role model for store managers across Blakemore Retail and the wider country. In March 2020, she was an early adopter of social distancing and hand sanitation and led daily briefings for colleagues. In September, she led her store to be crowned Best Multiple Managed Convenience Store at the national Convenience Awards. 

Throughout the year, Linda has shown outstanding commitment to supporting vulnerable members of her local community. She continues to go above and beyond with her store colleagues to deliver essential goods to people’s homes. 

Charitable efforts
Linda also works closely with A.F. Blakemore’s charitable trust, the Blakemore Foundation, to support local good causes, and tirelessly volunteers to help homeless charities in Grimsby. All year round, including Christmas Day, she hands out hot snacks to the homeless community. Linda is the Charity Champion for Blakemore Retail’s Hull and Humberside region, coordinating the fundraising efforts of 15 SPAR stores in the area. 

Blakemore Retail Operations Director Chris Bacon commented: “This award recognises Linda’s immense dedication, kindness, and talent for bringing her store closer to its community. In the words of one of her close colleagues, she is truly unique.” 

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.

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