Nisa Retail and The Midcounties Co-operative have been shortlisted in the same category of the Better Society 2017 Awards.

They appear alongside organisations including Aviva, Lloyds Banking Group and Nationwide Building Society in the National Commitment to the Community Award category.

Better Society Network hosts the awards to showcase excellence in the efforts companies make to create a better society.

Nisa launched the Making a Difference Locally charity in 2008 which allows independent retailers to support their local communities.

This has seen about £7m given to date - £1.4m of this last year alone to almost 2,000 community causes across the UK, ranging from schools and sports clubs to hospices.

Nisa employees can also give money to community causes they personally care about, engaging employees both with the charity and with their local community, and gave £58,500 to 195 community causes that were close to their hears last year.

Nisa’s Charity Champion of the Year competition, another initiative, celebrates staff who make a positive impact on their local community.

Katie Collins, HR director at Nisa, said: “As a business we are committed to ensure that Nisa, our colleagues and members keep making a significant positive impact within the communities we serve, to truly make a difference locally.”

Tarra Simmons, general manager co-operative social responsibility at The Midcounties Co-op, said: “We strive to create a better, fairer world and at the heart of this is building strong local communities.

“We pledged 22,000 volunteer hours last year and engaged with 8,000 young people, and it’s thanks to the efforts of our colleagues and members that we’re able to make an impact in our communities.”

The shortlisting in the Better Society Award spurred it on to keep making a difference locally and supporting community projects and campaigns, Simmons added.

The winner of the National Commitment to the Community Award will be determined by an independent judging panel and announced on 11 May 2017 at London Marriott Hotel, Grosvenor Square.

  • Tesco and Cancer Research UK were shortlisted in the Best Scheme to Encourage Staff Fundraising (long-term partners) category.