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October 3 2012.

Seaford based Wave Leisure Trust Ltd has been awarded the Social Enterprise Mark, which proves it is in business to help society and protect the environment.

The Social Enterprise Mark Company is the only authority which certifies genuine social enterprises, having society and the environment at the heart of the business. The Social Enterprise Mark will establish social enterprise as the business of choice for everyone, acting as a guarantee that a business is trading for people and planet.

Wave Leisure joins other ethical businesses that have been recognised by being awarded the Mark, such as the Age UK Enterprises, Eden Project, Big Issue, the Phone Co-op and Inspire Leisure.

Government data estimates that there are 62,000 social enterprises across the UK, contributing £24 billion to the economy and employing around 800,000 people.

According to "Fightback Britain" (2011), a report from Social Enterprise UK and the Co-operative Bank, 82 per cent of social enterprises reinvest their profits locally, in the communities where they work. Compared with private companies, 58 per cent grew last year (28 per cent) and 39 per cent are working in the most deprived communities (13 per cent).

Social enterprises plough the majority of their profits back into activities that benefit people and the planet, rather than just lining shareholders pockets. Social enterprises are working to make a difference across the UK and beyond, but not enough people know what they are or how they work. The Social Enterprise Mark aims to raise awareness of what social enterprises do in order to get more people to buy from, engage with, start up and work for social enterprises.

Wave Leisure Trust Ltd. was formed in 2006 as a registered charitable company limited by guarantee. The trust manages eight facilities on behalf of Lewes District Council, East Sussex County Council, and in partnership with Seaford Head School, Ringmer Community College, Priory School and Newhaven Town Council.

The award was presented by the Chair of Lewes District Council, Cllr. Tony Nicholson who commented: "The award of the Social Enterprise Mark is a reward for and reflection of the work of Wave Leisure in the community. Wave Leisure is to be congratulated on its achievement."

Peter Crowley, managing director of Wave Leisure Trust said: "We are really proud to have been awarded the Social Enterprise Mark. Wave Leisure is absolutely committed to supporting sustainable businesses and consequently helping local communities to thrive and prosper, whilst following our purpose of inspiring active lifestyles."

Lucy Findlay, managing director, Social Enterprise Mark Company, added: "We are delighted to award the prestigious Social Enterprise Mark to Wave Leisure Trust. Social enterprises come in all shapes and forms, so it is great to see a vital, local leisure trust understanding the importance of being part of the wider social enterprise movement."