The success of a scheme to encourage local companies to boost and promote their corporate social responsibility actions has been celebrated at an inaugural awards event.
More than 30 companies supported the Raising the Bar initiative started in 2013 by West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by Provident Financial to help businesses receive accreditation and official recognition for supporting the local economy and the district’s priorities for improvement.
Carolyn Coleman, the Chamber business services manager, said: “Firms that have entered the awards have shown the level and the quality of their commitment to the region. We have seen just how far firms are willing to go – far beyond the extra mile when it comes to helping people in our communities, our schools and also minimising their environmental impact.”
- sixteen firms have between them raised more than £500,000 for local good causes
- 954 staff at 11 firms helped local projects, between them donating more than 10,000 volunteer hours
- six firms give staff time out of work to be volunteer mentors, helping young people in education or mentoring on enterprise challenges, totalling 1,700 volunteer hours
- more than £300,000 has been given to charities and voluntary groups and firms have donated about £17,000 of products, materials, furniture and other resources to local projects
- 14 firms hosted more than 1,200 pupils, either on work placements or company visits.
Saltaire-based architects firm Rance Booth Smith was named overall winner in recognition of its pro bono work for projects to promote and advance carbon reduction, sustainable green spaces and flood risk management. The firm has supported the Saltaire Neighbourhood forum, Sustainable Saltaire and the Taste of Saltaire community growing scheme and also taught students in local schools and colleges about sustainable architecture.
Naylor Wintersgill Accountants won the community award for its staff’s efforts to raise funds for a range of good causes.
Chemical firm BASF was named education winner after hosting more than 34 schools visits this year run by staff volunteers along with its Kids Lab, careers events and science and engineering activities for girls.
Candelisa People employment agency won the economy category for giving hundreds of staff hours to support Positive Bradford Day, co-founded by its boss Jane Vincent, as well as supporting ex-offenders, young people and disabled people through mentoring and advocacy.
The environment award went to HC Slingsby for donating redundant but working IT equipment to the Chrysalis Youth Project which refurbishes the equipment for re-sale or donation to local good causes. Slingsby has also started initiatives to reduce its overall carbon footprint and has given time and expertise to local education initiatives.