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13/01/2021

CalMac commitment to communities is rewarded

The UK's largest ferry operator CalMac has earned a top award for its commitment to generating social value for its local communities.

CalMac has become the first Scottish company to be awarded a Level 2 Social Value Quality Mark for initiatives such as the CalMac Community Fund.

Recent research has forecasted that for every pound spent by CalMac, communities across the network benefit from a social return of ¬£5.14. Last year, the CalMac Community Fund supported 76 different projects that benefited the lives of children and young people living in west coast communities. It is expected to deliver¬£676,391 of value over three years.

To gain the Quality Mark, projects supported by the Community Fund demonstrated tangible outcomes including health and wellbeing; social and community; education and skills and employment and volunteering.

Projects included: the Western Isles Foyer who engaged with and delivered positive outcomes for 57 vulnerable young people; Barra Children's Centre developed and promoted awareness of water safety and increased participation in water sports for 45 young people; Staffin Youth Club created a safe and fun environment for 35 young people living in the Trotterish peninsula to meet on Friday evenings; North Argyll Carers Centre developed communication and social skills of 5 young carers through their 'We Care' photography project; Islay Archers now have greater capacity to engage an increased number of young people ensuring the on-going sustainability of the sport on Islay; and Achievement Bute developed a highly valued youth club for 31 young people living on the island and created opportunities for young people with disabilities who in many cases did not have such a peer group previously.

CalMac's community programmes were recently praised in a motion lodged in the Scottish Parliament by Donald Cameron, MSP for the Highlands and Islands, and which received cross-party support.

Gordon McKillop, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager for CalMac, said: "Our Community Fund is much more than corporate giving. The Community Fund was created to make a difference and we are beginning to see those results. We hope to build on the funds early success and sustain its impact for years to come by tackling the material issues affecting our communities."

This year we will support projects tackling mental health, loneliness, social isolation and or poverty and will announce the successful projects in the coming weeks.

Richard Dickins, MD of Social Value Quality Mark, said: "Today's consumers increasingly make their decisions based on how companies treat their staff, the environment and the society in which they operate. Through the Quality Mark we cultivate and recognise the highest known standards in values-led business.

"This award recognises CalMac's outstanding commitment to create, report and embed social value within the fabric of their organisation.  We are delighted to remain their social value partner as they move through up through the levels."

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