Call for London’s firms to enter capital’s top responsible business awards

Businesses tackling London’s social problems are today [18 February] being called on to enter the capital’s top responsible business gongs.

The City of London Corporation, which runs the Lord Mayor’s Dragon Awards, wants to hear from firms of all sizes and sectors.

From firms championing diversity to companies running volunteering and social mobility schemes, the Dragon Awards celebrate businesses going the extra mile to make a difference to society.

And for the first time this year, the Lord Mayor’s Dragon Awards will have an award solely celebrating digital skills initiatives.

Over the last 32 years, Dragon Awards applicants have reached over 11 million people, mobilising 200,000 business volunteers and providing a quarter billion pounds in donations and pro-bono support.

The awards up for grabs are:

1. Lord Mayor’s Award for Leadership in Digital Skills: Digital skills are critical to the UK’s competitiveness and to building an inclusive society. And this special award celebrates businesses, from across the UK, that are investing in the UK’s digital future

2. Heart of the City Award: celebrates companies that have only recently begun to have a strategic approach to social impact in Greater London.

3. Boosting Social Impact Award: will go to a firm that is boosting its social impact in Greater London through its own schemes

4. Inclusive Employment Award: celebrates companies removing barriers to employment and progression for disadvantaged, underrepresented or minority groups

5. Innovation Award: will be awarded to a business developing new ways to benefit London’s communities

6. Regional Impact Award: celebrates businesses with a London presence that are strengthening regional communities beyond the capital

7. Community Partners Award: will go to a community organisation that is working with firms to achieve excellence in social impact. It recognises good practice and innovation in building and maintaining effective cross-sector partnerships that benefit Greater London.

The awards will be open for applications until 16 April 2019.

All applicants will be invited to The Mansion House in September where the winners will receive a prestigious ‘Dragon’ from Peter Estlin, the Lord Mayor of the City of London.

Lord Mayor Peter Estlin, said:

“These awards are a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the great work firms are doing to tackle social problems across the capital, and the wider UK.

“I’m very excited that this year we have an award focused on digital skills. It is now more important than ever that we bring communities together to build, develop and nurture the pipeline of digitally-skilled and innovative talent.

“Digital transformation offers us an opportunity to improve community cohesion, widen social mobility and build the UK’s competitiveness through skills development. It is an opportunity that together we must seize.

“I am calling on businesses of all sectors and sizes to come forward and show us what they are doing to benefit society.”

Tim Campbell, Founder of the Bright Ideas Trust and compère of this year’s Lord Mayor’s Dragon Awards, said:

“I’m extremely excited to host these special awards for the second year running.

“There is some truly amazing work being done by businesses to help local communities tackle society’s most pressing problems.

“The range of employment initiatives supporting diversity in the workplace, helping under-represented communities and reaching people from disadvantaged backgrounds is something I really commend.

“These are life changing programmes paving the way for successful careers based on merit and hard work.

“We need more programmes like this and we want to encourage other firms to take up similar initiatives and play their part in creating a society we are all proud to celebrate.”

Since it was founded in 1987, the Dragon Awards has attracted high-quality applications from a variety of organisations across London and the UK.

Previous winners reported winning new contracts, improved internal relationships, stronger reputations and increased PR as a result of taking part in the scheme.

The Awards form one part of the City of London Corporation’s commitment to working in partnership with businesses, charities and neighbouring boroughs to create a more responsible, inclusive and competitive London.

As part of this drive, the City Corporation funds Heart of the City, a charity supporting a network of London companies to run their own responsible business programmes. And the City Corporation boosts young people’s employability through partnerships with City firms on apprenticeships, mentoring and paid work placements schemes.

In partnership with the Social Mobility Commission and the Social Mobility Foundation, the City Corporation launched the world’s first Social Mobility Employer Index. It ranks the top 50 UK employers who have taken the most action to improve social mobility in the workplace, incentivising firms to improve access to top quality jobs for candidates from all backgrounds.

The City Corporation itself pledged to employ and sustain 100 apprentices and in 2017 and 2018, the Sutton Trust named the City Corporation as the best UK academy sponsor for its work supporting pupils from low-income families to achieve top grades.

Its charitable arm, City Bridge Trust, gives £20m every year to charitable and community organisations across London. And it works closely with the Lord Mayor’s Appeal, which runs City Giving Day, a celebration of the City of London’s philanthropic and responsible business activities.

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Kristina Drake| Media Officer, Public Services

City of London Corporation

M: 07710860884

D: 020 7332 1125