SuperValu’s ambition is to build more inclusive communities across Ireland using their unique position in the heart of Irish towns to make positive changes across the entire community. 2018 saw the launch of a project that represented another major step in creating communities that are better places to live in and visit.
SuperValu was on a nationwide journey to support the 50,000+ families living with Autism by raising understanding and awareness of autism among its customers and staff across its entire store network. In 2018, SuperValu, alongside local retailers Scally’s SuperValu, Clonakilty and AsIAm, raised the level of commitment with an ambition to create Ireland’s first Autism Friendly Town, in Clonakilty, a first for Ireland and a major step towards raising understanding and awareness of autism in communities across the country.
In order to establish a leadership position in driving change for the Autism community, SuperValu needed to create a programme that was robust, evidence based and would answer the needs of the community. The process or model needed to be adaptable to ensure other towns or communities could follow suit and needed to be have a team of experts managing every step of the process.
The communications strategy played an important role in securing the buy-in from the community driving maximum awareness driven throughout the town to drive sign ups as well as deliver the recognition the town deserved for the hard work completed.
In September 2018 Clonakilty officially became Ireland’s First Autism Friendly Town. Driven by a focused steering group and town committee in Clonakilty, the accreditation process was rolled out in 91 organisations across the town including the GAA club, Rugby club, Tidy Towns committee, local hotels and bars, schools and healthcare providers.
The campaign won an AIM Award for Corporate Social Responsibility in 2019.