Sainsbury’s and Asda support riot-hit communities

Asda, Sainsbury’s and Greggs are among businesses that have signed up to a charity initiative to support communities affected by last month’s riots.

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Staff from the retailers and Everything Everywhere, BT and Royal Mail will help communities like London’s Tottenham and Lambeth to tackle issues around “enterprise, employability and education”.

The retailers will send 20 members of staff, such as senior store managers and project directors to the affected areas to use their skills and training to tackle issues such as unemployment, educational underachievement and a weak local enterprise culture.

The project is run by Business in the Community (BITC), which is backed by the government’s Office of Civil Society.

Stephen Howard, chief executive of Business in the Community, says: “Businesses have a unique ability to transform communities and our experience over the past 30 years has shown us that the most effective way to develop long-term sustainable partnerships is by putting a person on the ground to match needs with resource.”

BITC has also launched BITCConnect, a social network to support those involved in the initiative. The site will help match local need to resources and offers of support.

A report by research firm Local Data Company said that 48,404 businesses were affected by the riots, which have cost the retail sector millions in damage and lost sales.

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