Belfast based socialenterprise Bryson Recycling has been named the UK’s Social Enterprise of the Year, at the Private Business Awards ceremony in London.
Sponsored by PwC, the event celebrates the best private businesses in the UK, recognises commitment to communities and support for the economy.
The award comes just ahead of the retirement of group CEO John McMullan who received the accolade with a call for a greater role for social enterprises across the community.
Based at Mallusk outside Belfast, the business is part of the wider Bryson Group and was created 25 years ago.
Initially it began collecting aluminium cans, but now, working with a range of local councils, is responsible for recycling materials from 60% of the homes in the province as well as running eight recycling centres in Donegal and Wales.
“I am so proud of the team who have worked with me to achieve this success,” said Mr McMullan.
“Together we have fundamentally changed behaviours regarding recycling.
“It is an absolute delight to see social enterprises recognised in this way, and my ambition is to see support for this to build, particularly in the public sector.
“In Northern Ireland which has such a high percentage of economically inactive people, Bryson Recycling has been able to create as many as 800 jobs at entry-level which delivers meaningful rewards not just for the local communities but also the local economy.”
Janette Jones, PwC Northern Ireland partner and private business leader said:
“For over 10 years, social enterprise has been a key part of our community strategy at PwC and it’s an honour to be able to celebrate the organisations who do so much for Northern Ireland. This is a richly deserved award for John and his team, and will boost the value of social enterprises here in the future. Though John is retiring, he leaves the company in a strong position.”