On 12 September 2018 Barkers were recognised by the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply at their Supply Management Awards, picking up the award for Best Contribution to the Reputation of the Profession.
In 2018 Barkers set an ambitious target to deliver £1million of social value. As a first step on this journey Barkers joined BiTC and Social Enterprise UK affording them the opportunity to meet a huge number of social enterprises and charities to assess where social value could best be created. The senior team committed to offering pro bono work for charities providing them with procurement and commercial advisory services which would add value to their organisation. Organisations that benefitted from this advice included Bolton at Home, Urban Outreach, Blackpool Carers and others. Barkers’ Leadership Team, Warren Kozera and Warren Ward also became members of advisory boards, providing commercial guidance to existing boards and helping them to maximise the social value of their activities. This included the Blackpool Pride of Place Board Responsibly Business Network, BiTC North West Regional Advisory Board, and the Bolton Family Board. Finally, Barkers decided to embark on their most ambitious challenge – establishing a social enterprise. LifeScape was formed, a landscaping business employing ex-offenders.
Managing Director of Barkers, Warren Kozera explains more about why LifeScape was established: “LifeScape has been a huge investment of goodwill and cash on behalf of Barkers and we’ve made it based on the genuine belief it’s the right thing to do for society, for our employees and the long-term prospects of our business. The resulting benefits to charities and social enterprise have been impressive and as Life-Scape grows, the Social Value it creates will grow with it. And for us this represents an exciting opportunity to lead the way in reshaping business ethics in the UK market.”
Warren Kozera goes on to explain why the award means so much for Barkers: “Ultimately the objectives for Barkers’ social value plan have been to play a part in the creation of a fairer, sustainable economy where the State, Business and the Third Sector work together to create a fairer and more prosperous society. In just 4 months we were delighted to have demonstrated the delivery of £1.9m in social value and are thrilled to have received this recognition from the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply.