Gainsborough: Free school breakfast scheme is presented with regional award

Award Catergory: Employee Volunteering Business - winner Lincolnshire Co-op with Andrew Bacon (Prince's Ambassador, left). The BITC Responsible Business Gala Dinner, at Athena, Leicester, 25 June 2015 .

Award Catergory: Employee Volunteering Business - winner Lincolnshire Co-op with Andrew Bacon (Prince's Ambassador, left). The BITC Responsible Business Gala Dinner, at Athena, Leicester, 25 June 2015 .

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A charity scheme which sees more than 460 Lincolnshire primary school pupils receive a nutritious breakfast every day has been recognised with a prestigious regional award.

The Lincolnshire Businesses for Breakfast initiative involves local firms raising and donating money to provide free food to breakfast clubs in 26 schools, 10 of which are in Gainsborough. It means the clubs can provide free or heavily subsidised meals.

At the Business in the Community Responsible Business Awards held in Leicester, the project was awarded an East Midlands Collaborative Action Award, which recognises businesses working together to make an impact on a key social or environmental issue.

Colleagues from Lincolnshire Co-op, Andrew and Co LLP solicitors and agricultural firm Cargill PLC are trustees of the charity, which provides £35,000 of funding to breakfast clubs each year.

It’s estimated that more than 6,200 children have benefitted from the scheme since 2007.

Lincolnshire Co-op’s Head of People and Performance Heather Lee said: “We’re told by the schools we support that giving these pupils a good breakfast helps them to concentrate in class.”

“It also means they achieve better results and improve their social skills. Many of the schools have seen attendance rates rise too.”

“The local employers, like ourselves, involved in this charity are delighted that the scheme has been recognised. Giving children a good start to the day is essential and we’re proud of what Lincolnshire Businesses for Breakfast has achieved.”

A number of other Lincolnshire Co-op projects were recognised at the Business in the Community Awards.

The Society’s staff volunteering programme, which resulted in 488 colleagues giving over 6,500 hours to the community last year, was awarded an Employee Volunteering Business award.

There was particular recognition for a Society project in Boultham Park in Lincoln. A team of 29 colleagues worked with representatives from other businesses and organisations, plus local residents, to transform an overgrown area of the park into a World War One memorial garden. The scheme was part of the national Centenary Apprenticeship Programme.