Initiative generates over £70,000 in social value

EMCOR UK has partnered with Access Community Trust (ACT) to create employment opportunities and enhance mental wellbeing at work and in the local community. 

The partnership, led by Steve Thomson, account director for EMCOR UK at its British Sugar contract, was developed to: 

  • Create local employment opportunities for users of ACT’s Steam Café in King’s Lynn, which provides holistic assistance for adults experiencing mental health issues. 
  • Ensure fairness and equity for those who experience barriers to work.
  • Create a safe place in the community by refurbishing the Steam Café in King’s Lynn.
  • Provide mental health support in the workplace and community. 
  • Reduce absenteeism at work caused by mental health issues; EMCOR UK data revealed that in 2022 mental health was the number two reason for absenteeism at British Sugar. 

EMCOR UK worked closely with ACT and British Sugar to refurbish the Steam Café, and the company’s supply chain partners donated over £15,000 to support the refurbishment. 


EMCOR UK is proud to report that the successful partnership has resulted in: 

  • The employment of two people by EMCOR UK through links with ACT. 
  • The refurbishment of the Steam Café in Kings Lynn including replacement of floors, decoration of the café, new signage and donation of IT and other equipment. This created a safe space where residents can access personalised support to help build back their lives.
  • A 50% reduction in the number of working days lost, by EMCOR UK colleagues working at British Sugar, due to mental health issues.
  • The provision of mental health training for a fifth of EMCOR UK employees and a two-day mental health awareness training for eight employees as part of a reciprocal arrangement with ACT.  
  • The development of a City & Guilds cleaning qualification with 100% pass rate achieved by the first cohort. 
  • Sharing of EMCOR UK Apprenticeship Levy with ACT to support two apprenticeships. 

EMCOR UK’s mission is to create a better world at work and through its membership with the Social Value Portal, EMCOR UK can measure its social value impact. This initiative with ACT has so far generated over £70,000 in social value achieved through volunteering hours, donations, employment of two individuals, provision of mental health training and the sharing of the Apprenticeship Levy. 

Steve Thomson, account director at EMCOR UK, said: “It has been amazing to see the positive impact that our partnership with ACT has had on the local community and on our colleagues who work at the British Sugar contract. Collaboration is key to how we operate at British Sugar and this success couldn’t have been achieved without the support of our colleagues, customers and supply chain partners. What we have achieved so far is only the beginning and we plan to recruit more people through this partnership and to carry out a second stage of refurbishment of the Steam Café in September.”

Lewis Tyrrell, service manager, youth, employment and volunteer services at ACT, said: “The partnership with EMCOR UK has evolved to benefit both ACT and EMCOR UK. We support candidates who are furthest away from employment and EMCOR UK has provided a sustainable route to lasting change and has been instrumental in providing not only a levy to upskill the long term unemployed but also a direct recruitment pathway. The relationship has been pioneering and represents the true social value of EMCOR UK. We have come together to form a partnership which is viewed with envy across both sectors.”

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