Award win for helping homeless
THE director of a homeless charity has scooped a top business award for using corporate strategies to bring success to his organisation.
Des Ryan, who has been director of Edinburgh-based homeless charity Edinburgh Cyrenians for 17 years, was last night presented with the Marks & Spencer Sieff Award at the Scottish Business in the Community Awards by Prince Charles, the Duke of Rothesay.
Mr Ryan was praised by the Prince - who is president of the SBC - for his business acumen and drive in working with the private sector to deliver training and employment programmes to help the city's homeless.
The award, which is given to the company director who best recognises that corporate social responsibility is an essential part of business success, was presented at the SBC's Silver Jubilee dinner at Prestonfield House Hotel.
Edinburgh Cyrenians has worked closely in partnership with Standard Life's community investment department to analyse details of initiatives such as the Capital's Fare Share franchise, where 43 homelessness hostels in Edinburgh and West Lothian benefit from free surplus food from retailers including Marks & Spencer, Aldi and Sainsbury's.
Mr Ryan said: "Our charity's very practical partnerships with the business sector make a vital and lasting impact. Business partnerships, as well as charitable support, bring help to hundreds of people a year who were homeless, in poverty and simply surviving on the margins of our society.
"Businesses and charities work very well together. We are both instinctively entrepreneurial, pragmatic and committed to seeing results, and both want to operate in a healthy, cohesive and thriving community. We have a lot more business to do together."
A further three companies received Company of the Year Awards, with ScottishPower voted Large Company of the Year, Macphie of Glenbervie SME of the Year and Foyer Enterprise voted Social Enterprise of the Year.
To celebrate SBC's 25th anniversary, two Jubilee Awards were handed to companies who have delivered a long-term positive impact on communities. ScottishPower collected one for its Learning initiative, with Cunninghame Housing Association in Ayrshire picking up the other.
Sandy Crombie, Standard Life's chief executive, was announced as a new Prince's Ambassador, replacing Sir Robert Smith, chairman of the Weir Group.
Aileen Deas from Standard Life said: "I nominated Des because he is the most inspirational and motivational leader I have met in my career to date. I have supreme confidence that his collaboration with Standard Life will go from strength to strength."
The charity has established three social enterprises - an organic farm in West Lothian, a property maintenance company and a food waste composting service - providing employment and training for vulnerable adults.
The UK Awards for Excellence are produced in Scotland by SBC supported by Communities Scotland and Scottish Enterprise.
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