North Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson has welcomed major Swindon employer WH Smith to Parliament after the company was shortlisted by the judging panel for the prestigious National responsible business champion award.
The awards are backed by the All-Party parliamentary corporate responsibility group (APCRG). The APCRG works to promote debate and understanding of corporate social responsibility within Parliament. It seeks to achieve this by promoting an exchange of views between parliamentarians and people with an active interest in corporate responsibility.
Justin nominated WH Smith for the prize, which is awarded to businesses for supporting their local community. As part of the corporate responsibility work that WH Smith does, it has invested over £1.8million invested in the local community over the last year.
Established in 1792 by Henry Walton Smith and his wife Anna in Little Grosvenor Street, London, WH Smith celebrates its 225th anniversary this year. It was the first chain store company in the world, and now has over 1,300 stores in 23 countries, totalling over 3 million square feet of selling space. Worth over £1.6bn and with 14,000 employees around the world, WH Smith is one of the UK’s leading retailers and its headquarters is in Swindon.
In his nomination, Justin highlighted WH Smith's work to support all sectors of the community; particularly highlighting the event WH Smith organised alongside Justin to say thank you to young carers.
Over 80 young carers from across Swindon were welcomed to the offices of WH Smith in Greenbridge to receive a very generous donation of several hundred books from the major retailer. WH Smith took part in the project following a meeting earlier in the year with Justin, who suggested the Young Carers as a fantastic charity to support.
The young carers were brought to the headquarters of WH Smith to receive their books by the specialist support staff in schools who provide additional support to young carers across Swindon’s schools. They were met by members of staff as well as Justin, who was on hand to thank the retailer for supporting such a worthy cause.
The books were donated to local young carers who look after someone in their family. This may be a parent, brother, sister or other family member who has an illness, physical or learning disability, a mental health problem or misuse of drugs or alcohol. A young carer usually takes on practical and emotional caring responsibilities that would normally be expected of an adult.
The North Swindon MP was joined at the awards in Parliament by Nicki Woodhead from WH Smith.
The 2018 National Responsible Business Champion awards were presented with the award by Andrew Griffiths MP, the Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Corporate Responsibility
Justin Tomlinson MP said: "I was delighted to nominate WH Smith for this prestigious award which recognises the important role businesses play in the community. We are fortunate to have so many businesses in Swindon who go the extra mile to help people across the town and this year the judges have rightly recognised the fantastic work done by WH Smith, in particular supporting young carers".