Revealed: the firms tackling social problems and investing over £30m in London’s communitie

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Firms boosting UK social mobility and helping LGBT+ refugees build a better future are among this year’s winners of the Lord Mayor’s Dragon Awards – the capital’s top responsible business gongs.

They were honoured at last night’s Awards dinner at The Mansion House, in the heart of the City, where the winners received a prestigious ‘Dragon’ from Peter Estlin, the Lord Mayor of the City of London.

The scheme, run by the City of London Corporation, celebrates firms of all sizes and from all sectors who are tackling social problems in London and the UK.

This year’s applicants supported over 2.5m people across the UK, helping communities, charities and local enterprises and investing £32m.

They mobilised 55,000 business volunteers who contributed over 194,000 hours to community groups, schools and individuals across the UK.

This year has seen a huge variety of winners, from global investment businesses to legal firms, and from charities to architecture companies.

The winners were:

The Innovation Award : Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLPfor its ‘Micro Rainbow’ scheme.The legal firm has teamed up with Micro Rainbow to open the UK’s first ever safe-house for LGBT+ refugees and asylum seekers. The initiative runs on volunteer work, financial support and pro-bono legal advice. Since 2017, the partnership has supported 37 homeless LGBT+ asylum seekers into safe housing.

 

Boosting Social Impact Award : Mace Group for its ‘Volunteering for Better Communities’ initiative. Mace works with its supply chain and volunteers to create group community projects in the built environment. Each partner offers a part of the work as pro-bono, or makes material donations. Projects include the refurbishment of a children’s charity café, mock interview and CV writing classes across London and running the Mace Science Club, an after-school STEM club managed by Mace staff.

Lord Mayor’s Award for Leadership in Digital Skills : Nominet plc & Livity for its ‘Nominet Digital Neighbourhood’ scheme.The programme works with 18-25 year-olds across the UK. Participants take part in training days with a qualified expert in digital skills including marketing, website build, social media analytics, and Google Adwords. Participants are then matched with local SMEs in a paid placement.

Regional Impact Award : Standard Life Aberdeen, for its ‘Investing in Better Futures’ programme.The scheme supports youth employment and social mobility, helping people from all backgrounds to progress to a better future through meaningful jobs . Its inclusive employment programmes include – Get Hired!, partnership with the Prince’s Trust, a direct school leaver employment programme and a national partnership with Career Ready UK.

 

The Inclusive Employment Award : K&M McLoughlin Decorating Ltd for its ‘Skills for Jobs’ initiative.The programme is a four-week pre-employment course helping people to get jobs in the construction industry. Developing individual employment skills, the firm has created a network of London companies in the industry who want to take on apprentices and older workers. They also work with two local schools running short courses as an introduction to construction.

Community Partners Award : IntoUniversity for its partnership with UBS. The partnership helps young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to attain university places. UBS has supported IntoUniversity though funding, fundraising, volunteering, strategic support, and sponsoring events.

Heart of the City Award : Formation Architects for its ‘Formation Community’ outreach programme. Its CSR scheme has 22 volunteers who have dedicated over 3,000 hours to fundraising and pro-bono activity since it began in 2017. The firm has supported the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust through fundraising events, running the Big Vitality Half Marathon, encouraged payroll giving, and by providing work placements and workshops as part of its “Building Futures” programme.

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