Impact in Your Community Award 2023
Community Resilience

Impact in your Community Award 2023

Norbrook Laboratories is one of the world's largest privately-owned veterinary pharmaceutical companies.


Norbrook Laboratories is one of the world’s largest privately-owned veterinary pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Newry with a global presence, Norbrook has been developing, manufacturing, and distributing generic veterinary pharmaceuticals worldwide since 1969. Ranked among the top 20 companies in the global animal health market, Norbrook is dedicated to making a positive difference in the world and is a significant employer in Northern Ireland.

What Norbrook Laboratories did

Over the past eight years, Norbrook and its employees have focused on giving back to the community through various programmes. In 2017, it initiated the WeCare@Christmas programme, initially aimed at employee engagement but with a key component of giving back to the community. The programme started as the ‘12 Days of Christmas,’ encouraging employees to donate food and toys to local charities during the holiday season. As the programme gained momentum, it expanded to include more activities and support for families in need in the Newry area.

Outcomes and Impacts

The WeCare@Christmas programme has experienced significant growth and has had a positive impact on the community. Some key statistics and outcomes include:

  • Christmas 2022: More than 1,700 hampers were distributed in the Newry area, and 2,100 individual hot meals were prepared for local people in need. Additionally, more than 200 elderly Newry residents were treated to a festive afternoon, hosted and catered for by Norbrook staff.

Covid-19 pandemic: During the pandemic, the programme played a crucial role in raising spirits and supporting employees who were shielding. Employees volunteered to prepare ‘WeCare’ hampers filled with food, magazines, books, and activities for colleagues who were at home. The programme also worked in partnership with Newry, Mourne & Down Council to reach families in need in the region during the holiday season.

  • Employee involvement: The programme has seen a substantial increase in employee engagement, with the number of volunteers growing from 180 in 2020 to 450 in 2022, a 2.5-fold increase.
  • Community benefits: The program’mes expansion has enabled support for various charities and areas in the region, including Women’s Aid, St. Vincent De Paul, Larder, Bolster, Homestart, Simon Community, Kilkeel Development Association, Surestart Newry, Surestart South Armagh, and specific areas in Newry.
  • Collaboration: Through partnerships with external charities and the local council, Norbrook ensured that its efforts had the most significant impact on those in need, maximising the benefits for the community.
  • Employee testimonials: The success of the programme is evident through employee testimonials, expressing pride in being part of a company that gives back to the community and recognition for the hard work and care shown.
  • Employer branding: The WeCare@Christmas programme has become a key element of Norbrook’s employer brand, positively influencing prospective candidates and new hires.
  • Media exposure: Norbrook actively promoted the programme on external social media platforms, showcasingits community involvement publicly and inspiring other companies to follow suit.
  • Business Benefits: The WeCare@Christmas programme has had various business benefits, including fostering a positive work environment, creating cross-functional relationships, and promoting a One Team mindset. Employee engagement and involvement have increased significantly, and the programme has become a unique selling point in Norbrook’s employer branding. The initiative aligns with the company’s strategic initiative on Culture and helps to motivate and retain employees.
  • Community Society Benefits: The programme has had a profound impact on the community, especially during challenging times like the Covid-19 pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis. Hundreds of families have benefitted from food and toy donations, and Norbrook’s partnerships with local charities have amplified the support provided. Positive feedback from recipients and community members has reinforced the programme’s value, and the impact has been publicly shared through media campaigns, inspiring other companies to participate in community initiatives.

In conclusion, Norbrook Laboratories’ WeCare@Christmas programme has exemplified the organisation’s commitment to community involvement and responsible business. Through employee engagement, collaboration with external partners, and continuous innovation, the programme has positively impacted the lives of many individuals and families in need. The success of the initiative has made it a flagship programme for the company, contributing to its positive employer brand and reinforcing its role as a caring and socially responsible business.

What the Judges said

“The judges were impressed with the level of employee-led engagement, focused on engaging those most in need and doing this in partnership with local community organisations. The high volume of staff committed and engaged in activities was notable.”

Highly commended in this category: ABP