Who is in the team?
The community team at the independent cooperative Southern Co-op comprises three dedicated people who are passionate about driving the responsible business agenda. Gemma Lacey, director of sustainability and communications, Jessica Hughes, community investment manager, and Holly Bramble, community coordinator, work to embed a culture of sustainability and corporate responsibility into day-to-day operations across 270 locations.
What did the team do?
The community team set the business the challenging target of reaching a million people by 2020 through its Love Your Neighbourhood programme. Designed in collaboration with colleagues and members, the scheme focuses on four key themes for building strong, connected communities: Greener, Safer, Healthier and More Inclusive Neighbourhoods. The programme has been designed to empower colleagues to take ownership of their local relationships and funding decisions.
Why did it win?
In 2018, the team's engagement work meant that more than 758,000 people were reached, achieving 155 per cent of the original target. During the same year Southern Co-op contributed more than £526,000 in goods and donations and £150,000 of funds were raised through Love Your Neighbourhood, supporting more than 2,600 organisations in local communities across the south of England.
What did the judges say?
"This is a thoughtful CSR programme aimed at embedding a sense of community-minded behaviour in employees, with the objective of creating long-lasting behaviour change," commented John Thompson, director of social purpose at the fundraising and management consultancy Changing Business.
Leeds Building Society