Ten companies in the West Midlands have been recognised with a ‘Big Tick’ for their outstanding achievement and commitment to responsible business practice.
The prestigious honours were made at the Business in the Community’s annual Awards for Excellence at a glittering celebration event in Aston.
Among the companies receiving ‘Big Ticks’ were Blakemore Food Service in Walsall for its school partnership programme; The Midcounties Co-op for its Berrybrook and Beyond schools programme, and the Birmingham Business Action on Homelessness steering group for its collaborative work in supporting homeless people to get and keep a job.
Other awards went to Birmingham solicitors, Wragge & Co and to Wates for their environmental practices while energy company RWE npower won recognition for its Spreading Warmth programme, which aims to protect vulnerable consumers from fuel poverty.
South Staffs Water won the West Midlands Work-life Balance Award for their Best of Both Worlds programme, which saw the Walsall-based company introduce a range of family-friendly policies. ESS Training Estate, ProHelp Birmingham and The Birmingham Construction Partnership also picked up Big Tick awards.
In addition, Stuart Brown, Head Teacher of St Phillip’s Primary School in Smethwick, won the M&S Sieff Award for dramatically improving the performance of his school; achieved with the support of employee volunteers and sponsorship from Sandwell-based companies Unifix and Hadley Group.
Business in the Community president HRH Prince Charles congratulated everyone who took part in the Awards for Excellence 2008 and named Les Ratcliffe, Community Relations Manager of Jaguar Land Rover, as his Business in the Community Ambassador for the West Midlands for his commitment to community development work in Coventry.
“Les is one of those remarkable people who works tirelessly for others. His work on economic renewal has inspired others to follow Jaguar’s lead, and his involvement with the Coventry Local Strategic Partnership has made it a national exemplar. His greatest strength has been his ability to encourage other colleagues and companies to rise to the challenge.
“At a time of economic uncertainty, it requires exceptional people who can remain determined to keep responsible business behaviour at the heart of all they do.
“I am full of admiration for those leaders around the country who are using their skills, their ingenuity and their resources to make a difference for the better.”
Advantage West Midlands sponsored the annual Awards for Excellence celebration, with the support of AF Blakemore and Son.
The event took place at Mount Zion, Aston, a community church that supports local people in the area with youth and community programmes.
The theme for this year’s event was unlocking talent. Guests heard how their companies could make better use of individuals’ innate talents through education, employment and in the workplace.
They also heard from Pat Jackson from Advantage West Midlands about the new regional Skills Action Plan and how it can support their businesses.
Guests were also entertained by some of Aston’s talented young people.