Six Westminster-based firms have been celebrated for their efforts to make Westminster a better place to live, work and visit.
Capital Arches Group, Grosvenor Britain and Ireland, Willmott Dixon, Baker Street Quarter Partnership, Odelay Films and David Miller Architects were presented with Westminster Lion awards by Lord Mayor of Westminster Lindsey Hall and Deputy Leader Cllr David Harvey at a ceremony at King’s College London last night (31 October).
The Westminster Lion awards were created by Westminster City Council in 2017 to recognise businesses, educational or non-profit organisations that practice outstanding local corporate social responsibility, making a demonstrable impact on communities and the environment in the city.
Councillor David Harvey, Deputy Leader at Westminster City Council, said: “Success and social responsibility should be natural allies, and I want Westminster to be city where ambitious businesses invest in their local communities as a matter of course. These awards showcase the way ahead for the employers and entrepreneurs of the future.”
Awards were presented in six categories from a shortlist of fifteen companies.
Capital Arches Group won the Opportunities Award, celebrating a business that has shown an outstanding commitment to reducing and removing barriers to employment and career progression. Capital Arches Group, a franchisee of the fast food chain McDonalds, has helped 26 unemployed Westminster residents, including people with disabilities, single parents and those experiencing homelessness, to secure jobs.
Property Group Grosvenor Britain and Ireland won the Great Neighbourhoods Award celebrating a business that has helped make Westminster’s communities more resilient through its Living Communities Fund. Through an endowment fund worth over £1 million, it has given grants totalling £50,000 a year to grassroots organisations in South Westminster. The Caxton Youth Organisation has been on benefactor running a project for young people with disabilities, helping 41 young people aged 13-25 to develop better communications and life skills.
Construction firm Willmott Dixon won the Environment Award for itsdedication to protecting and improving the environment, putting sustainability at every point of its projects, from start to finish. As the first company in its sector to have a formal biodiversity strategy, Willmott Dixon’s current project to construct the mixed-used development Dudley House in Westminster includes a dedicated Biodiversity Champion tasked with making the best of green spaces and creating a thriving habitat.
Odelay Films, a film production company based in Soho, claimed the Small Business Award. It has created a free training initiative to help disadvantaged young people in the borough to pursue a career in the film and advertising industries. ‘The Production Trust’, developed with the backing of the Advertising Producers’ Association (APA) and the Prince’s Trust, aims to arm the participants with the production skills, confidence and knowledge of the sector they require to be effective in a production company. The company has signed up 50 young people to the programme so far, and plans to add further 100 this year.
Baker Street Quarter Partnership won the Impact Award, which celebrates businesses that create social impact in Westminster by helping other businesses and organisations to thrive responsibly. Its “Smarter Recycling” programme is helping businesses in the area get greener, as well as improve their corporate social responsibility performance. Since 2013, this scheme has reduced waste vehicle trips in the Baker Street and Marylebone area by 46% and seen a 4,680 kg reduction in CO2 emissions to date.
David Miller Architects won the Excellence Award for showing overall performance in corporate social responsibility. As well as making sure all its buildings are designed to minimise energy use, the Fitzrovia-based architects firm undertakes a number of activities to boost the life chances of people in the local community. It works with schools and local authorities to provide around 15 week-long work placements every year, and provides pro-bono support to help social enterprises that support personal development. The firm delivered support worth £26,000 to help Maida Hill Place to set up a community café providing food and nutrition training, and provided start up support to residents and businesses in the Harrow Road area.
Westminster’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Education and Community Cllr David Harvey, Head of the Westminster Employment Service Thomas Harding, and local democracy reporter at Reach PLC Talia Shadwell chose the winners from a shortlist of eighteen business, educational and non-profit organisations.
31 organisations have received the Lion accreditation crest to date; these can be displayed on their business materials, identifying them as responsible Westminster businesses. The award winners attain a ‘Golden’ crest signifying exceptional performance in social responsibility. The full list of accredited businesses for 2018/19 can be found here: https://businesswestminster.com/business-enterprise/csr/.
Notes to editors
The full shortlist:
• Capital Arches Group
• David Miller Architects
• Land Securities
• Laing O’Rourke
Great Neighbourhoods Award
• Grosvenor Britain and Ireland
• University of Westminster
• John Lewis
• The Portman Estate
• Willmott Dixon
Small Business Award
• Odelay Films
• Community Fibre
• Simone de Gale Architects
• Baker Street Quarter Partnership
• John Lewis
• David Miller Architects
• The Paddington Partnership