The chief executive of Lisburn-based social enterprise and charity Employers For Childcare has been named UK Woman of the Year in Social Enterprise.
Marie Marin OBE received the accolade at the ‘Social Enterprise UK’ Awards in London’s Guildhall.
Marie was also awarded a prestigious honorary fellowship and was admitted to the Social Enterprise UK Hall of Fame, in recognition of her contribution to the development of the social enterprise sector.
Marie commented: “I am so humbled to accept this award and to have been recognised by my peers from across the social enterprise industry in the UK.
“2019 has been a challenging year for me personally, but has seen Employers For Childcare reach new heights with the opening of our brand new, £2.5 million indoor adventure centre, High Rise, which we have developed to meet the needs of families, particularly those with special and additional needs.
“High Rise is our newest social enterprise business, and 100% of the profits will be invested in our charity, so every time a family or group enjoys a visit to the centre, they will know they are helping parents locally and across the UK.
“Being presented with this award is the pinnacle of what has been a hugely successful 20th year for Employers For Childcare, having been recognised as Social Enterprise of the Year in Northern Ireland and following the opening of High Rise. I’d like to thank everyone who has supported us, and particularly our staff, who are as passionate about social enterprise as I am.”
Michael Stevenson, chair of Employers For Childcare, said: “On behalf of everyone at Employers For Childcare I’d like to congratulate Marie on being recognised as the UK’s leading Woman in Social Enterprise, as well as on her Fellowship.
“Marie’s contribution to the social enterprise sector has been immense and this recognition is thoroughly deserved.
“Over the past 20 years, under her leadership, Employers For Childcare has identified £66m in financial support for parents, having helped almost 100,000 people – this is money back in parents’ pockets and in the wider economy across the UK.”