Chain HR, based in Larne, has been awarded the accolade of best Rural Social Enterprise of the Year at the Social Enterprise Northern Ireland Awards.
The awards highlight and promote excellence in the social economy sector across Northern Ireland.
The enterprises which make up the sector are businesses with primarily social objectives and their surpluses are put back into the business or into the community, rather than to maximise profit for shareholders and owners.
Chain HR aim to be recognised as a centre of excellence for human resources services and training, and are a catalyst for local economic development. They have established links and partnerships to support rural businesses.
The Minister for Social Development, Nelson McCausland, attended the awards and said: “These awards highlight the importance of the social economy sector in Northern Ireland. They are also a recognition of this sector’s significant contribution to the Programme for Government’s key priority to ‘Grow a Sustainable Economy and Invest in the Future’.”
He continued: “My department will continue to support and invest in social enterprise growth, with a focus on community benefit rather than private profit. The social enterprise model can bring innovation and make a real difference to community regeneration and improved delivery of public services. I want to pass on my personal congratulations to all the award winners.”
Liam Kelly, from Chain HR, said: “Our professional team in Chain enable us to work our rural base to assist organisations throughout NI.
“I am truly delighted to accept this award on behalf of Chain HR team. I would like to take this chance to thank everyone who has supported us and helped us develop our work.”
Audrey Murray, Chair of the Social Enterprise Awards (NI), said: “Selecting tonight’s winners was incredibly difficult, all of the entries were of a high standard.
“We are delighted and amazed at the breadth of organisations represented and the diversity of the work they are doing. Some of tonight’s winners will go on to represent Northern Ireland in the Social Enterprise Awards in London and we wish them every success.”
She continued: “The Awards were made possible through the pledge of support and sponsorship from the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, Invest Northern Ireland, the Department for Social Development, the Department for Rural Development, the Charity Bank, UCIT and PWC, and we would like to thank them for all their support.”