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Responsible small business of the year award nomination

Ipswich Building Society is celebrating after being nominated for a national award in recognition of its commitment to the local community. The Society has been shortlisted as a finalist in the 'Santander Responsible Small Business of the Year' category at the Business in the Community (BITC) Responsible Business Awards 2013.

The national award recognises small and medium sized organisations who demonstrate a responsible and sustainable approach to their communities, markets and workforce. Ipswich Building Society was shortlisted for the award as a result of receiving a 'Big Tick' accolade from BITC. The 'Big Tick' honours the achievements of those organisations who have successfully demonstrated the positive impact of responsible business.

Paul Winter, Chief Executive, Ipswich Building Society, said: "We're delighted to have been nominated as a finalist in the BITC Responsible Business Awards. It's a tremendous recognition for the business and our staff. We pride ourselves on being a responsible business and that means looking after our members, local communities and employees."

Ipswich Building Society has developed a strong corporate responsibility programme which includes support of local initiatives, regular branch fundraising events and an intensive financial education programme to help local school children understand the importance of money matters.

The Society has also worked hard to secure long term job opportunities for young people thanks to the introduction of an apprenticeship scheme, allowing apprentices to combine full time work with a national qualification.

Employees are also fully supported at Ipswich Building Society, and a year-long healthy workplace programme has been developed to support all staff, whether they are looking to eat healthier, become more active or reduce stress levels. Staff can also benefit from an internal volunteering programme, which allows them to take half a day per month to volunteer for local charities and other organisations.

Paul concluded: "We believe that as a mutual organisation, we are here for the benefit of our local communities. In a time where trust in financial services has never been lower, I hope this award will show that not every financial services business is the same."

Ipswich Building Society will compete against three other organisations (Lakehouse, Memset and SiteVisibility) to determine who will be named the 'Santander Responsible Small Business of the Year'. The results will be announced at the National Gala Awards Dinner, which will be co-hosted by Joanna Lumley and James Corden at the Royal Albert Hall on Tuesday 2nd July 2013.

Ipswich Building Society has previously been recognised by BITC for their community work. In 2012, the Society won the regional Staying Healthy at Work award from Business in the Community, whilst Chief Executive Paul Winter was named by HRH The Prince of Wales as the Prince's Ambassador for Responsible Business in the East of England.

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