Hertfordshire Community Meals wins National Business Award

Press release: 12/11/2014

From: Hertfordshire Community Meals



*Meals on wheels service honoured with prestigious Social Enterprise of the Year Award*

*Winners across all categories revealed at gala dinner ceremony last night*

*Ceremony hosted by Sky News' Dermot Murnaghan, with keynote speech from Sir Ben Ainslie*

*Award received during National Community Meals Week 2014*


Hertfordshire Community Meals was named Social Enterprise of the Year at the 2014 National Business Awards gala dinner ceremony, held at the Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane last night. Hosted by Sky News' Dermot Murnaghan, the Awards welcomed Olympic sailing champion Sir Ben Ainslie as keynote speaker, and featured an opening address from Prime Minister David Cameron.


Hertfordshire Community Meals (HCM) is a not-for-profit, charitable, Social Enterprise that has bucked the trend in a declining meals on wheels market every year since its inception in 2007. The organisation delivers 500,000 meals and welfare checks every year and is continuously developing new services to help improve the lives and support the independence of thousands of elderly, frail, or disabled people.


At a glittering awards ceremony in London, HCM went up against nine other organisations to compete for the prestigious Social Enterprise of the Year award. Celebrating the organisations that exist to address a social or environmental need, reinvesting profit or surplus from trade to achieve its social mission, this award recognises those achieving the greatest impact while demonstrating excellence in all aspects of enterprise - from innovation, staff engagement and customer focus to growth, leadership and financial performance.


The National Business Awards judges said: "Bucking the trend with meals on wheels to deliver more with less, Hertfordshire Community Meals is an exemplar for social enterprise and how you can trade with trust. Demonstrating a very strong culture and values, it proves the impact small businesses can have on the community and wider economy."


Katy Jones, Director of Financial Advisory & Capital at ClearlySo, who was a shortlist judge for the category and presented the award said: "Hertfordshire Community Meals provides valuable, and valued, support to its customers; creates opportunities for the 'hard to employ'; and embodies its social purpose in all aspects of its operations."


Upon receiving the Award, Sarah Wren MBE, Chief Executive at Hertfordshire Community Meals said: "We are absolutely delighted to be named the winners of the Social Enterprise of the Year Award, particularly during National Community Meals Week 2014. It is a great honour to have the hard work of our fantastic and committed team recognised, and it's wonderful to be able to tell the world that social business really does matter and can make a huge difference."


Colette Wyatt-Lowe, Cabinet Member for Adult Care and Health at Hertfordshire County Council, which commissions the core service of Hertfordshire Community Meals, said: "Congratulations to Hertfordshire Community Meals, they really have gone from strength to strength since we helped to establish them in 2007 and are deserving of this award. As well as providing tasty and nourishing meals, the service really helps people maintain their independence and reduce their isolation."


For many older or disabled people, the ability to receive regular meals can make the difference between being able to live in their own home and having to move into   residential care. Hertfordshire Community Meals are committed to helping vulnerable adults lead better, more fulfilling lives as valued members of our community. Sarah Wren and her team are working hard to make this dream a reality. "We always say we want to change the world", explains Sarah, "and we're starting with Hertfordshire."