Revealed: Responsible businesses invest over £10 million into the capital’s communities, helping half a million Londoners

Nearly 500,000 Londoners have benefitted because of the charitable and voluntary work of some of London’s companies. They were honoured at last night's Lord Mayor’s Dragon Awards, hosted by the Lord Mayor of the City of London.

The annual Awards, run by the City of London Corporation, revealed that this year’s applicants supported nearly 500,000 Londoners, creating over 14,500 jobs and investing over £10 million in their communities and local enterprises.

This year’s applicants mobilised 21,528 business volunteers who contributed over 110,000 hours to community groups, disadvantaged Londoners and schools.

The Lord Mayor’s Dragon Awards recognise responsible businesses of all sizes and sectors which go above and beyond their normal work to help regenerate communities in London.

The winners:

  • Lord Mayor’s Award for Long Standing Achievement: Dentons, for its 10 year commitment to the Poplaw Legal Advice Clinic which it runs in Tower Hamlets. Since opening, Poplaw has provided over 10,000 hours of free legal advice to those usually unable to access these services. The estimated saving to the local community is £4.8 million in legal fees.
  • Heart of the City Award for Best New Community Programme: Penguin Random House UK, for launching a new Creative Responsibility strategy which commits to supporting 7,500 young people through a partnership with Ministry of Stories, 500 children through a reading programme and increasing the company’s inclusivity by removing the requirement for a university degree from all its jobs.
  • A second Heart of the City Award for Best New Community Programme: SME Winner Assael Architecture, for a its Giving Something Back programme. The programme has an impressive 95% staff participation rate, with employees donating 1,560 hours to mentoring architecture students and young people, reviving a derelict playground and reducing isolation for 28 local elderly and vulnerable individuals.
  • The Future Proofing Charities Award: Oliver Wyman, for its Social Impact Programme which delivers free consulting for not-for-profit firms and charities who want to achieve greater social impact. 90% of the charities the company supported stated that it has helped them to achieve long-term impact.
  • The Education and Lifelong Learning Award: Liberum Capital, for its partnership with School Home Support. The partnership aims to help local disadvantaged children and young people to improve their literacy skills, confidence and aspirations, working not only with pupils but with their parents to provide a rounded approach. 50 pupils benefit from this programme ever year - many of whom face homelessness, domestic violence and extreme poverty.
  • The Enterprise and Employment Award: Transport for London, for its Supplier Skills scheme, which has made it a requirement for suppliers to create skills and employment opportunities for disadvantaged Londoners as a condition of doing business with TfL. The company has supported their suppliers to create over 4,500 apprenticeships and bring over 5,000 workless Londoners into employment.
  • Community Partners Award: Tower Hamlets Education Business Partnership, for its founding partnership with Lloyd's of London, which now includes 54 companies from across the Lloyd’s market, all of whom volunteer through the programme to support young people to prepare for the world of work.

Jeffrey Mountevans, Lord Mayor of the City of London, said:

“Responsible business are stronger, more sustainable and more relevant to society, giving them a competitive edge over their rivals.

“The best and the brightest want to work for responsible businesses. For many young talented young people the most important factor when it comes to searching for a job isn’t the pay or the lifestyle, but their prospective employer’s community work.

“These firms are an example of how the private sector can make a tremendous difference. They provide vital support, including free legal advice where provision has been cut, support for school children and their parents where educational attainment has been low, and help for small businesses to grow, creating new jobs for Londoners.

“These initiatives are an important investment in the businesses’ workforce, London’s communities and the collective future of both London, and the entire UK.”

The Lord Mayor’s Dragon Awards, now in its 29th year, is among the most established and distinguished business-community engagement awards in the UK.

Since it was founded in 1987, it has attracted high quality applications from a variety of organisations throughout London, setting the bar for excellence in business engagement in communities.

The Lord Mayor’s Dragon Awards form one part of the City of London Corporation’s commitment to supporting businesses to have a positive social impact on their communities.

As part of this drive, the Corporation also delivers City Action - a flagship employee volunteering matchmaking service for City-based businesses - and, along with the City Bridge Trust - the City of London Corporation’s charitable funder - funds Heart of the City - a charity offering support for companies in London that are interested in Corporate Social Responsibility.