SOG Group won the ‘Commitment to the Community’ Award at the 2022 Halton Business Awards in recognition of Eat@TheHeath’s initiative programme which combats loneliness among the over 50s.

Eat@TheHeath is a weekly club run by SOG staff and Runcorn Police Community Support Officers which supports elderly and vulnerable people including many who live alone. Originally launched as a one-off event in August last year, it was so well received that the SOG team immediately turned it into a weekly gathering which regularly attracts more than 70 people while around 170 people attend monthly luncheon and music events.

Eileen Miller (pictured fourth from the left), The Heath’s Site Charter and Community Manager, says: “Eat@TheHeath is sponsored by SOG and has become a platform where local people who feel lonely or isolated can meet up on a weekly basis for a cup of tea and a chat, play bingo and attend our music sessions, community forums and monthly luncheons. We regularly put on different speakers who have given talks on a wide range of subjects including art and photography. We even had a guest speaker who brought along ‘Birds of Prey’ to demonstrate how engaging with animals can help people suffering from dementia and stress.  The gatherings are also an opportunity to engage with the local PCSOs, who have an office at The Heath, where we discuss things like security in the home and avoiding scams.”

The Halton Business Awards, organised by Halton Chamber of Commerce, were held on Friday night at Widnes Stadium. Announcing SOG as the Commitment to the Community winner, the audience was told: “The judges felt there was a business that clearly evidenced how seriously they take their social responsibility, it’s embedded across a breadth of activities, demonstrating true compassion and genuine passion to give back and support others.”      

Following the event Rachael Owen, CEO of Halton Chamber of Commerce, said: “We had a record number of award entries this year with more people than ever attending the awards evening.  The Commitment to the Community Award is hotly contested and I know the judges had difficulty in whittling the entries down to a short-list of four, but SOG knocked it out of the ballpark.  Congratulations to all the SOG team.”

SOG Group’s owner and Managing Director John Lewis MBE said he was immensely proud of the efforts of his community team who work so hard to combat loneliness among local residents who live near to the business park.

The award win followed Eat@TheHeath’s biggest event so far on June 1st when staging a community party for 200 Halton residents to celebrate The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.  SOG filmed the occasion in a mini documentary that followed the Eat@TheHeath team through the planning of the big day to highlight the immense efforts that go on behind the scenes.

The film can be viewed here: SOG Jubilee event video on Vimeo

SOG Group is currently raising investment to transform The Heath Business and Technical Park in Runcorn into Heath Park, a 21st century Net Zero version of Port Sunlight to meet the challenges of Climate Change.

Community sits at the heart of the vision for the future of the site. The Heath Park concept revolves around retaining buildings on the Brownfield site through an innovative scheme to repurpose existing buildings alongside new developments to create a Net Zero environment powered by renewable energy. The vision is the culmination of more than two years of methodical research and effort validated by experts, including leading academics from Liverpool and Lancaster Universities. Among a number of innovations is a world-leading Vertical Farm powered entirely by renewable energy.

About SOG Group

SOG Group is one of the UK’s top independent operators of business and science parks and are renowned site regeneration specialists. SOG own The Heath Business and Technical Park in Runcorn, Cheshire, which is home to over 120 individual businesses that between them support the employment of around 2,000 people. Using The Heath business model, SOG created a consultancy operation under the name of ‘Fusion’. SOG’s Fusion team spearheaded the regeneration of a massive site in east London, formerly home to a global pharmaceutical company, where it created Londoneast-uk Business and Technical Park.  Until February 2019, SOG operated Londoneast-uk as a sister Park to The Heath before selling it to a company owned by the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham. Through its Fusion concept, SOG helped to generate over £2 billion of inward investment to the Dagenham site regeneration programme.

SOG’s Runcorn operation is a unique example of how a successful science and technology park should operate. Many of the organisations located in the facilities are at the very cutting-edge of scientific R&D, with firms specialising from nanotechnology to carbon emissions research and from pioneering work on hip and knee joint replacements to water and waste-water treatment technology.  As The Heath site has reached full capacity, SOG has embarked on a new build-programme which allows existing fast-growing resident businesses to move out of multi-occupancy units into their own exclusive bespoke buildings, designed and built by SOG’s team. SOG is currently working on the vision to transform The Heath into a Net Zero carbon environment over the next decade through the creation of Heath Park. 

Media contact: Paul Smith Associates (PSA) +44 (0) 7771 623 007