Marie Marin OBE, Chief Executive of Lisburn-based Social Enterprise and charity Employers For Childcare, has been named UK Woman of the Year in Social Enterprise at this year’s ‘Social Enterprise UK’ Awards. The Award was bestowed on Marie, in front of her peers and industry leaders from the Social Enterprise sector across the UK, at a dazzling awards ceremony held in London’s Guildhall this week (Wednesday 4 December). Marie was also awarded a prestigious Honorary Fellowship on the night and was admitted to the Social Enterprise UK Hall of Fame, in recognition of her contribution to the development of the Social Enterprise sector.
This year sees Employers For Childcare celebrate its milestone 20th year under Marie’s leadership. She founded the organisation as a small community project and has grown it to be a self-financing Social Enterprise, which has invested £6.7 million into its charity to help parents to get into, and stay in, work.
Speaking after the ceremony, 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!”
In praising her fellow nominees Marie continued; “It is an honour to have been recognised alongside such inspirational women who have done so much to generate positive social change around the UK.”
Adding his congratulations 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 £66 million 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.”