NatWest, Dentons and Penguin Random House UK among organisations shortlisted for London’s top responsible business awards

A global law firm, a leading national bank, and a world-renowned publishing house are just some of the organisations shortlisted for this year’s Lord Mayor’s Dragon Awards – the capital’s top responsible business awards.

The City of London Corporation, which runs the Awards, has announced the shortlist* for the 2018 Lord Mayor’s Dragon Awards for responsible business, with 16 businesses of all sizes and sectors making the cut and demonstrating how they are tackling social problems in London.

Shortlisted applicants include international law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP which has provided almost 500 hours of free legal advice to the Royal Society for Blind Children to support Wayfindr, an app for people with visual impairments that provides audio directions for users in London Underground stations. The programme has so far supported 150 people across London.

Applicant Penguin Random House UK has been shortlisted for WriteNow, a campaign which aims to inform, inspire and ultimately publish writers from under-represented backgrounds. The scheme includes workshops offering advice and information for unpublished writers, and a year-long mentoring programme for the most talented and promising new voices. The initiative has so far supported 300 people across the UK.

City based Allen & Overy LLP has been chosen for its annual employability programme for the over-50s tackling long-term unemployment and obstacles to re-entering the workforce - through training sessions, supporting with job applications and one to one mentoring. One year after completing the programme, 84% of the 25 participants are in employment, most of which are full-time roles.

The Lord Mayor’s Dragon Awards also recognises the work of SME’s. This year SME’s David Miller Architects and patent and trade mark attorneys Beck Greener have been shortlisted for the awards.

Over the last 30 years, businesses which have applied to the Awards have helped over 10 million people, mobilising 200,000 business volunteers and giving nearly £250 million in donations and in-kind support to London’s communities.

Applicants for this year’s Awards have supported nearly 1,794,552 people across the UK, helped create over 5022 work opportunities and provided over £15,386,558 in support their local communities and local enterprises.

They mobilised 11,922 business volunteers who contributed over 43189 hours to community groups, schools and individuals across the UK.

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

This year the City Corporation also launched the Lord Mayor’s Award – Business of Trust Champion, focussed on trust in business, the Lord Mayor’s theme for the year. This award, open to all businesses across the UK, celebrates businesses which are championing responsible business practices to create a lasting legacy of better business trusted by society. The award is open for applications until July 30.

Charles Bowman, the Lord Mayor of the City of London, said:

“These awards are London’s top responsible business awards, celebrating firms that have really gone above and beyond to tackle society’s problems.

“It’s fantastic to see that such a diverse range of organisations have applied this year. Firms of all sizes and all sectors have made the shortlist - all of them really making a difference.

“The immense, invaluable contribution of business in tackling social issues often goes unnoticed. In today’s challenging economic climate we need their intervention more than ever.”

Maria Stimpson, Allen & Overy Partner and ReStart champion, added:

“We are thrilled that our employability programme for the over 50s, ReStart, has been shortlisted for a Lord Mayor’s Dragon Award. We recognise that older employees bring an immense amount of experience and maturity to the workplace and wanted to expand the support we already provide to young people starting out on their careers to those looking to get back into employment. ReStart participants tell us that our programme has given them hope and 100% would recommend it to someone else in their position.”.

Dan Bodle, CSR partner at Dentons, said:

"We are pleased to be working in collaboration with The Royal Bank of Scotland Group to support and protect victims of domestic violence through the National Centre for Domestic Violence. The pro bono support we provide jointly with RBS Legal has enabled us to involve substantially more volunteers and help even more vulnerable people.”

All applicants will be invited to The Mansion House in September where the winners will receive a prestigious ‘Dragon’ from the City’s Lord Mayor, Charles Bowman.

Since they were founded in 1987, the Awards have attracted high quality applications from a variety of organisations across London- from SMEs to big City firms.

The Lord Mayor’s Dragon Awards for celebrate business impact in society, from increasing the diversity of their workforce to volunteering in the community to helping social enterprises to grow.

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 London’s SMEs to start their own responsible business programmes.

It also sponsors the City of London Business Traineeship Programme, which places state school pupils into paid internships at top City firms, giving young people the skills needed for a successful career in the Square Mile.

The City Corporation boosts young people’s employability through partnerships with City firms through apprenticeships, mentoring and paid work placements schemes.

Last year, in partnership with the Social Mobility Commission and the Social Mobility Foundation, it 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 has pledged to employ 100 apprentices by the end of 2017/18.

Its charitable arm, City Bridge Trust, gives £20m every year to charitable and community organisations across London.

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.


To find out more about the Awards, follow us via @Dragon_Awards and #DragonAwards or email to be added to the mailing list.

Notes to editors:

*Firms shortlisted for this year’s Lord Mayor’s Dragon Awards:

Heart of the City Award

Beck Greener for STEM: Branching Out

FTI Consulting for its Boom Bust & Crunch volunteer programme, in association with The Citizenship Foundation

Accelerator Award

Macquarie for support of Leadership Through Sport and Business ‘more than an apprenticeship programme’

London College of Communication for creative community engagement from London College of communication

Inclusive Employment Award

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP for its networked Scholarship Scheme

David Miller Architects for work-placement opportunities to increase diversity

Innovation Award

Allen & Overy LLP for ReStart -employability for the over-50’s

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP for Wayfindr – indoor navigation for people with vision impairments

Hogan Lovells for London Terrorist Attacks- pro bono representation

Dentons for Dentons in collaboration with Royal Bank of Scotland Group – support for National Centre for Domestic Violence

Regional Impact Award

Natwest for NatWest MoneySense

Penguin Random House UK for WriteNow

Community Partners Award

Thames 21 for its partnership with Tideway – Thames River Watch

Pilotlight for its partnership with Barclays – Creating Change Together, Strategic Review Programme

ThinkForward for its partnership with ICG Specialist Asset Management – supporting London East Alternative Provision School

The Brokerage for its partnership with Lloyds Community Programme - IntoWork

Kristina Drake| Media Officer, Public Services

City of London Corporation

M: 07710860884

D: 020 7332 1125