Kilwaughter Minerals secures top award for Larne social enterprise partnership

Larne-based Kilwaughter Minerals Limited was honoured as ‘Stakeholder of the Year’ at the Social Enterprise NI Awards.

Thursday, 21st October 2021, 12:52 pm

The coveted accolade, which is awarded to an organisation demonstrating excellence in social responsibility, was announced during a virtual ceremony attended by more than 200 guests from social enterprise, private, public, and educational sectors, and hosted by Social Enterprise NI Ambassador, Cate Conway.

For almost 20 years, the quarry and mineral processor has enjoyed a business and social partnership with Access Employment Limited (AEL), which supports those with disabilities, health conditions, and social disadvantage into meaningful employment.

Over this timeframe, the partnership has enabled almost 300 additional-needs adults in Larne and surrounding areas to gain a beneficial insight into working within construction and manufacturing, learn new skills, boost their self-confidence and explore options for further career and educational opportunities.

Kilwaughter Minerals picks up Stakeholder of the Year at Social Enterprise NI Awards.

Fiona Byrne, head of organisational development at Kilwaughter Minerals, said: “Here at Kilwaughter, we believe that our local communities should benefit from our presence. Commitment to social value is in our DNA and our business strategy has been built around inclusion of the social enterprise sector so it is wonderful news that our partnership with AEL has been recognised this year and it is an honour to be named ‘Stakeholder of the Year’.”

Explaining how AEL is an integral link in the Kilwaughter supply chain, Fiona continued: “AEL is now responsible for manufacturing and distributing more than 50% of our K Rend sample tiles which are often the very first touchpoint we have with potential customers.

“As a trusted partner, we know we rely on AEL to produce products to the highest possible standard and specification that enable customers to make an informed decision about their product needs and ultimately help them chose Kilwaughter as their provider of choice.”

Initially focused on the manufacturing of samples for Kilwaughter’s K Rend brand, the remit of AEL has grown simultaneously with Kilwaughter’s growth over the last decade and now supports other segments, K Systems and Kilwaughter Lime.

David Hunter, CEO of AEL.

David Hunter, chief Executive at Access Employment Limited, who was honoured as the ‘Social Leader of the Year 2021’ at the Social Enterprise NI Awards, said: “Kilwaughter Minerals should be applauded for its progressive approach to business as it has been championing social impact since social enterprises were in their infancy in Northern Ireland and long before social value was deemed a measurable component of a company’s success.

“What started as an outsourcing of one function all those years ago has evolved into a multi-faceted partnership where one organisation is almost synonymous with the other in our local community.”

David, who has been at the helm of AEL for the past decade, continued:“There is no other organisation in the County Antrim area who is delivering the social impact, empowering the social sector, or enhancing the lives of local residents quite like Kilwaughter Minerals, and no other company more deserving of the ‘Stakeholder of the Year’ award.”

For more information on operations at Kilwaughter Minerals, visit www.kilwaughter.com.

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Click here to read: Kilwaughter Minerals grows R&D team as part of multi-million investment

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