CalMac’s contribution to the communities it serves has been recognised this week with the award of a ‘quality mark’ for their social care programme.

The company announced on Wednesday (13 January) that it had become the first Scottish company to be awarded a level two social value quality mark for initiatives such as the CalMac community fund.

Recent research showed that every pound spent by CalMac generated a social return of £5.14 for the communities it serves. 

Last year CalMac’s community fund supported 76 different projects that benefited the lives of children and young people, including the Stornoway-based Western Isles Foyer delivering positive outcomes for 57 vulnerable young people.

With support from the fund, Barra Children's Centre has promoted increased participation in water sports for 45 young people and Fèis Bharraigh has been able to deliver lessons in piping, drumming, fiddle and accordion.

CalMac's community programmes were recently praised in a motion lodged in the Scottish Parliament by Donald Cameron, MSP for the Highlands and Islands, which received cross-party support.

Gordon McKillop, corporate social responsibility manager for CalMac, said: "Our Community Fund is much more than corporate giving. The Community Fund was created to make a difference and we are beginning to see those results.”

Richard Dickins, MD of Social Value Quality Mark, said: "Today's consumers increasingly make their decisions based on how companies treat their staff, the environment and the society in which they operate.

"This award recognises CalMac's outstanding commitment to create, report and embed social value within the fabric of their organisation.”

Pictures show Barra children who received fiddle and accordion lessons with support from CalMac’s community fund (Fèis Bharraigh).