Marks & Spencer is a double winner at Third Sector's Business Charity Awards

The retailer scoops prizes for Overseas Project and Employment Scheme at the black-tie awards ceremony in London

Marks & Spencer and the Prince's Trust receive one of their awards from Justin Webb
Marks & Spencer and the Prince's Trust receive one of their awards from Justin Webb

The retailer Marks & Spencer was a double winner at Third Sector’s Business Charity Awards last night, picking up awards for Overseas Project and Employment Scheme for its work with, respectively, Unicef, the children’s charity, and the Prince’s Trust, the youth charity.

The company’s hanger recycling project, in which customers are invited to hand back coat hangers at tills instead of taking them away, has saved more than £1.8m to support Unicef’s work in the Bangladeshi slums; and its employment scheme with the Prince’s Trust has provided training and work placements for almost 1,500 young people.  

A total of 19 awards were presented on Tuesday night at a black-tie awards ceremony at the Grosvenor House hotel on Park Lane, London, hosted by the BBC journalist Justin Webb, one of the presenters of Radio 4’s Today programme.

The other double winner on the night was the company Camden Town Unlimited, which won the categories of Charity Partnership – Small Businesses and Community Impact – Local for its work in converting disused retail and offices spaces into pop-up shops and hot offices for use by the local community in the north London borough.

The awards also recognised the contribution individuals have made to the charity sector. Cristy Cunnick, managing director of the telephone fundraising company Ethicall, won Business Charity Champion for introducing a range of policies aimed at encouraging staff to give to charitable causes. Matthew Fitch, a civil engineer at Laing O’Rourke, picked up Outstanding Employee award for his work supporting a variety of causes, including the disaster relief charity RedR UK.

The coveted award of Business of the Year went to the grocery retailer Asda for its Community Life programme, which supports voluntary sector organisations and other good causes in the immediate vicinity of its stores.

Stephen Cook, editor of Third Sector, said: "Once again, the Business Charity Awards have highlighted some imaginative and unusual partnerships that illustrate how UK companies are increasingly interested in giving something back to the communities in which they operate."

The winners

Affinity Marketing

Central England Co-operative and Saffron Lane Neighbourhood Council

Cause-Related Marketing

Paddy Power with Stonewall UK

Challenge event

Morgan Lovell with Down's Syndrome Association

CSR team

ISS Facility Services

Local Community Impact

Camden Town Unlimited with CTU Community Project

National Community Impact

Lloyds Banking Group, Alzheimer's Society with Alzheimer Scotland

Best Employment Scheme

Marks & Spencer with The Prince's Trust

Overseas Project

Marks & Spencer with Unicef

Corporate Foundation

The Nationwide Foundation

Employee Engagement

KPMG with Restless Development, Fairtrade Foundation and Child Helpline

Best Single Project

National Grid with Special Olympics Great Britain

Charity Partnership: Financial & Professional

The Co-operative Legal Services with Remember a Charity

Charity Partnership: Retail & Leisure

Jo Malone with Thrive

Charity Partnership: Small Business

Camden Town Unlimited with CTU Community Project

Charity partnership: Short Term

The Co-operative with Carers Trust

Charity Partnership

Cisco with Comic Relief

Outstanding Employee

Matthew Fitch, Laing O'Rourke

Business Charity Champion

Cristy Cunnick, Ethicall

Business of the Year

Asda

Andy Hillier

Andy Hillier recommends

Unicef

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