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EDP Business Awards: Inspirational businesses with community at heart

PUBLISHED: 14:10 12 June 2013 | UPDATED: 14:13 12 June 2013

EDP Business Awards 2012 at the Holiday Inn, Norwich North. Winners of the Community Impact Award Anne and Simon Beckett-Allen of Rosedale Funeral Home with sponsors Debbi Christophers (R) and Tony Williams (L) of Business In The Community and Norse Group.

EDP Business Awards 2012 at the Holiday Inn, Norwich North. Winners of the Community Impact Award Anne and Simon Beckett-Allen of Rosedale Funeral Home with sponsors Debbi Christophers (R) and Tony Williams (L) of Business In The Community and Norse Group.

Angela Sharpe

Many of the businesses entering the EDP Business Awards have inspiring stories to tell.

But the Community Impact award, which is sponsored by Business in the Community (BITC) and Norse Group, celebrates those inspirational businesses who are making a real difference in the communities they serve.

One of the most moving moments of last year’s awards ceremony came when winners Rosedale Funeral Homes explained how the business helped children cope with bereavement.

The family-run business, with six funeral homes across south Norfolk and north Suffolk, had community engagement embedded throughout its operation.

Debbi Christophers, head of community impact at BITC, said: “Key to success in this category is the ability of companies to clearly demonstrate the impact they are having on the community through their actions and likewise the impact that is having on them as a business.

“We’ll be looking for initiatives that are sustainable, but are relative and relevant to the size and sector of the business.

“It’s also important to emphasise that this is not about charitable donations, but about the giving of time, skills and expertise to the community – whether that be businesses working with schools to support literacy or business planning; architects contributing pro bono work to build a village hall or a company providing work placements for those furthest from the employment market.”

Peter Weavers, asset management director at Norse-owned NPS Group, added: “The quid pro quo is that the business should benefit too. So, for example, businesses might face a challenge in recruiting skilled people into their industry.

“Rather than recruiting elsewhere which can be expensive and time consuming, we would hope that businesses would look to the long-term by offering opportunities for young people to gain experience within the business, or considering offering apprenticeships or recruiting from vulnerable groups such as the homeless or ex-offenders.

“These options bring benefits to both the business by enabling to grow their own skilled pipeline and to the community by creating jobs for local people.”

Find out more about this category and all the categories in this year’s business awards at the dedicated website – www.edpbusinessawards.co.uk.

You can also get updates via our Twitter feed @EDPBusiness or follow #edpBiz Awards.

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