SPAR NI’s response towards its communities during the pandemic has picked up another award at a recent ceremony.

The Irish News Workplace & Employment Awards returned after a two-year Covid hiatus, where Henderson Group picked up the Corporate Social Responsibility award for their ‘There for You’ campaign, where the team quickly pivoted their robust CSR strategy to focus on those who needed support most in the communities in which the brand services when the pandemic hit.

It is the second award for the campaign which sought to improve brand perception of SPAR’s community credentials, address key issues facing communities as a result of the pandemic, and to support community groups and charities by raising £230,000 within nine months.

Bronagh Luke, Head of Corporate Marketing at Henderson Group which owns the SPAR brand in Northern Ireland commented; “We met our goals by developing strategic partnerships to provide virtual versions of our usual Sports Days for school children at home, we created a bank of insightful content online, while driving as much fundraising as possible for our charity partner Marie Curie who were facing a sudden halt of their usual revenue sources.

“We also launched the Community Cashback Grant where we boosted 16 community groups and organisations with £20,000, while also setting up more home delivery services to reach the vulnerable in our communities, as well as further supporting local food banks.

“We are so proud of the initiative our teams took when it came to facing the pandemic, pivoting to be there for our shoppers and retailers, and to advance campaigns and tech which were accelerated due to the sudden lockdowns and restrictions.”

Post campaign surveys showed SPAR ranking number one for community credentials, with 83% of respondents agreeing SPAR supported communities. SPAR, EUROSPAR and ViVO brands donated over £783,000 to charities in 2020, raising over three times their target and bringing their grand total fundraising figure to over £7,000,000.

Bronagh continued; “Going into 2021, our 60th year of SPAR in Northern Ireland, we made it a real celebration and drive for charitable giving. We finally celebrated the milestone with a gala ball earlier this year, with £160,000 raised in just one night for Marie Curie and Cancer Fund for Children.

“Being back amongst the great and good of the Northern Ireland business community at the Irish News Workplace & Employment Awards was a fantastic celebration of the wonderful employers here, of which we’re very proud to be one of the biggest. Congratulations to all the finalists on the night!”