Henderson Group and SPAR NI have been recognised by Business in the Community for their dedication and investment in our local communities.

As part of Business in the Community’s annual Responsible Business Awards, Henderson Group was named winner of the Investing in Your Community Award for the SPAR NI brand.

The Award recognises an organisation that best demonstrated a positive impact on communities through going beyond its core business to invest time, resources and expertise to tackle disadvantage.

In 2020, SPAR NI was one of the first local companies to respond to community needs during the pandemic, and immediately launched a series of community initiatives to be there for local communities’ health and wellbeing, their vulnerable and their charities and community groups – with an objective to raise £230,000.

Actions included partnerships with Healthy Kidz to develop virtual sports days while schools were shut, installing even more public access defibrillators outside their stores and establishing a new partnership with Action Mental Health.

SPAR NI launched the Community Cashback Grant, which saw 16 local groups and organisations receive a share of a £20,000 grant, while fundraising for Marie Curie continued as the charity felt the impact of events being cancelled, with SPAR dedicating their 60th anniversary in Northern Ireland to fundraising for their charity partners.

Over £783,000 was raised – smashing through their targets, and bringing the total amount raised by SPAR, EUROSPAR and ViVO stores and shoppers to over £7 million.

Bronagh Luke, Head of Corporate Marketing at Henderson Group added; “We are incredibly proud of what we and our teams give to our local communities across Northern Ireland, and in particular how each and every member of our teams from headquarters to store had a part in being there for their communities during the most challenging two years.

“Each store is at the heart of their local communities, and we have over 300 SPAR stores in Northern Ireland. We are delighted to pick up this award which recognises all that we as a local, family-run business, and all that our local retailers do for their communities.”

Winners in all ten responsible business categories at the Awards, were announced at a gala event held at ICC Belfast, hosted by BBC presenter, Holly Hamilton.

Organised by responsible business network Business in the Community, the Awards take place annually and in 2022 the event was run in partnership with key sponsor Henry Brothers, event partner JP Corry, media partners Ulster Business and U105, and community partner Department for Communities.

The ten 2022 winners were:

  • NI Responsible Company of the Year, sponsored by Henry Brothers – Encirc
  • Diversity and Inclusion Award, sponsored by Ulster University – Northern Ireland Water
  • Education Partnership Award, sponsored by Allen & Overy – ABP
  • Climate Action Award, sponsored by Heron Bros – Translink
  • Fair Chance for All Award, sponsored by Belfast Harbour Northern Ireland Water
  • Investing in Your Community Award, sponsored by Arthur Cox – Henderson Group/SPAR NI
  • Responsible Digital Innovation Award, sponsored by Allstate NI – Heron Brothers
  • One-to-Watch AwardFoyle Food Group
  • Responsible Product / Service Award, sponsored by Translink – Wrightbus
  • Wellbeing at Work Award, sponsored by Larne Port – Heron Brothers

Chair of Business in the Community Northern Ireland and Group Chief Executive of Translink, Chris Conway, said: “The Awards bring the great work of Northern Ireland’s responsible businesses into the spotlight and celebrate inspirational and impactful organisations going beyond profit to make NI a better place to work and live.

“The gala event is always inspirational and gives guests the opportunity to learn about what others are doing across a range of responsible business themes. Everything from health and wellbeing to environment, volunteering, inspiring and engaging young people, and more.

“Congratulations to the ten companies who went home with an Award on the night – a commendable achievement.”

Entertainment on the night included an opening performance from Peter Corry Productions and an impressive aerial show from Irish circus performance company Fidget Feet, both on the theme of community, connection and kindness.

Author of gripping biography ‘Young Offender’ Michael Maisey, the keynote speaker, called on businesses to see beyond first impressions and give those with barriers to employment a fairer chance at gaining work.

For more information on each of the winners and the event, visit www.bitcni.org.uk/awards.