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Social benefits of leisure centres recognised

Friday, 28th May 2010.

Abbeycroft Leisure, which runs Haverhill Leisure Centre, has been awarded the Social Enterprise Mark, which identifies the company as trading for social and environmental purposes.

The company, which also manages Bury St Edmunds Leisure Centres, is only the second organisation in Suffolk to receive the Social Enterprise Mark and one of only six leisure trusts in the UK.

The Social Enterprise Mark is the brand for social enterprises and was launched this year. The mark identifies businesses which meet defined criteria for social enterprise, and consumers will recognise that businesses displaying the mark are trading to benefit people and planet.

Recent research found that social enterprises are twice as confident of growth compared to typical small to medium enterprises (SMEs), with 48 per cent of social enterprises saying they are positive about the future as opposed to just 24 per cent of SMEs (The Social Enterprise Coalition’s State of Social Enterprise Survey 2009).

The Social Enterprise Mark aims to raise awareness of what social enterprises do in order to get more people to buy from, engage with, start up and work for social enterprises.

Warren Smyth, Abbeycroft Leisure’s chief executive, said: “We are really pleased to have been awarded the Social Enterprise Mark. The facilities and activities at our Leisure Centres bring the whole community together as well as helping them to keep fit and active.”

Lucy Findlay champion from the Social Enterprise Mark Company (manager of the mark) said: “We are delighted to award the prestigious Social Enterprise Mark to Abbeycroft Leisure. As the distinctive and exciting brand for social enterprise, the mark identifies businesses which meet defined criteria, enabling consumers to recognise those that are trading to benefit people and planet.

“It also helps those businesses promote their business ethics and values. We hope that the Social Enterprise Mark will do for social enterprise what the Fair Trade Mark did for fair trade.”

Haverhill Online News

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