2012 Dragon Awards finalists

12 July 2012

The Lord Mayor of the City of London announced a 23-strong shortlist for the 25th Lord Mayor’s Dragon Awards, recognising the contribution of businesses in their communities.

Combined, the shortlist has contributed over 50,000 volunteering hours, which has a monetary value of over £800,000[1], through engaging with community partners in aspiration-raising education and employment projects. This Corporate Community Involvement (CCI) provides community groups with vital resources and expertise to maintain and expand their work.

With a continued squeeze on the public and third sector services, the social contribution from the private sector to community groups is more valuable than ever, bringing marginalised members of society into the workforce.  This year’s shortlist showcases sophisticated projects where staff at all levels, in businesses of all sizes, work with community groups and hard to reach groups, including people who are homeless, HIV positive and long-term unemployed. 

Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alderman David Wootton says:  “The Lord Mayor’s Dragon Awards are designed to ‘shine a light’ on exemplary engagement between businesses and their communities.  This year is the 25th anniversary of the Awards, and the broad range of companies shortlisted demonstrates the increasing importance placed on responsible social investment – across all sectors.  We have received 67 applications from 22 boroughs – from law firms to hotels, from IT firms to construction companies.

Lord Mayor Wootton continues: “In this tough economic climate, corporate-community engagement is more important than ever.  Business has the resource, skills and innovation necessary to support the vital work of community organizations, and create jobs and growth.  The Lord Mayor’s Dragon Awards recognize and reward projects which are making a real difference to our communities, and building a strong, successful and sustainable city.” 

The Andaz Liverpool Street Hotel’s Catering Trainee Programme, shortlisted for the Heart of the City award, has supported the work of the Providence Row homeless charity by leading workshops with homeless trainees.

The workshops involve a seven week placement for trainees in healthy eating, catering, hospitality and food hygiene, and are held in the Providence Row kitchen, led by Andaz staff. Upon completion, trainees can receive accredited Food Hygiene and Health and Safety qualifications, and basic employability training is provided. Any underlying reasons that trigger homelessness amongst the trainees are also sought to be addressed as part of the programme, through specialist support (e.g. for bereavement or alcohol dependency).  

Since the programme started in April 2011, 32 trainees have benefited from the programme, eight of whom have progressed into paid employment and six are now in further training.  When Majdop Sadiq, came to Providence Row in early 2010 he was seriously ill with tuberculosis. He had been homeless for over a year after fleeing torture and persecution in Darfur, Oman. After completing the trainee scheme, he volunteered at Providence Row, supervising the kitchen while the catering manager was away, and has since begun a formal work placement at the Andaz Hotel. 

Majdop says: “I love cooking and on my placement at Andaz Hotel I was working in a professional kitchen. It was a great opportunity - I learned so much from the professional chefs about cooking and preparing food. I am also going to be volunteering at the Olympics too and using my language skills as an interpreter.”

Body & Soul, shortlisted for the Community Partners Award, is a pioneering UK charity providing support for young people and families affected by HIV. Having never had the resources to implement a communications department, Body & Soul partnered with Red Door Communications (RDC) in 2008 to lead the charity’s communications strategy.  RDC trained volunteers at the charity to help raise the media profile by delivering a series of media training for young people aged between 16-24 living with or closely affected by HIV. They also trained Body & Soul volunteers to raise the profile of the charity in the media. 

Since the pairing began, ten young people have reported increased communications skills and confidence through taking part in media training. As a result, three have spoken publicly at City Hall, four are starring in films, four have been interviewed for press articles and one is taking part in a Channel 4 documentary.

Amy[2], 24 and HIV positive, took part in the RDC’s media training after being physically attacked and forced out of her home when her HIV status was revealed to residents in her community. RDC provided Amy, with a series of media training sessions to equip her with the skills to effectively communicate her story in the way she wants, and to ensure any unwanted media spin on her experience was avoided.

Amy had never spoken in public before, let alone about HIV. With the support of volunteers from RDC, she developed the confidence to speak in front of over 200 guests, including Annie Lennox and the deputy mayor of London at Body & Soul’s World Aids Day Event at City Hall in December 2011.

Amy says: “When Body & Soul first asked me about speaking in public I was torn. On the one hand I really wanted to tell my experiences of HIV to raise awareness and educate others but the hate and fear I have faced throughout my life made it hard to say yes. RDC were incredibly supportive and through their guidance I have grown in confidence. I never thought I would talk publically about HIV but on World Aids Day I did it. This training has opened up so many new opportunities for me, I have delivered talks in schools, turned my story into a short film and I feel much more able to cope with my health and HIV.”

Winners will be announced at the Lord Mayor’s Dragon Awards gala ceremony at Mansion House in the City of London on 3 October 2012.

The Lord Mayor’s Dragon Awards were established by the then Lord Mayor Sir David Rowe-Ham in 1987 and are named after the guardians of the City of London, seen at the entrances to the Square Mile financial district.


Notes to Editors


Frances Madden at Rain Communications

T: 020 7828 0118

E: firstname.surname@raincommunications.co.uk

The 2012 Categories

  1. Education

For companies working with educational establishments. Examples of work could include:

  • Mentoring
  • Learning Partnerships
  • CV workshops
  • Work Experience

The Shortlist

Pearson for their Booktime programme

Coca Cola Enterprises for their Education Centres

Hogan Lovells for Debate It

UBS for Bridge Academy Work Related Learning


  1. Economic Regeneration

For companies that are contributing to the economic regeneration of an area. Examples could include:

  • Local procurement of goods and services
  • Helping local people to become more employable e.g. through mentoring, CV advice, offering work experience
  • Providing professional skills and expertise to local micro-businesses, SMEs, social enterprises or community organisations through employee volunteering

The Shortlist

KPMG for the KPMG Risk Consulting STAR Programme

Clyde & Co. LLP for the Clyde & Community Art Project

MITIE for Real Apprentice

Mulalley & Co Ltd for the Phoenix Incentivised Apprenticeship Scheme

  1. Social Inclusion

For companies working on projects that aim to decrease social exclusion and/or help improve the quality of life for socially excluded groups of people. Examples could include working with:

  • Young people in transition
  • Homeless people
  • Substance misusers
  • Older people
  • Young offenders
  • Lone parents
  • People on low income

The Shortlist

Olswang LLP for The Olswang Art Award

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP for Ready for Work at Freshfields

Reed Smith LLP for Create/U-Turn

Lloyd’s for the Lloyd’s Community Programme: Sporting Chances


  1. The Community Partners Award

For community organisations (charities, schools or community groups) in London that play a critical role in the delivery of corporate social responsibility objectives. The Community Partners award recognises good practice and innovation by community based organisations in working with businesses and facilitating their involvement in the community.

The Shortlist

New Horizon Youth Centre for their partnership with Buzzacott Chartered Accountants

St Hilda’s East Community Centre for their partnership with DLA Piper UK Ltd

Body & Soul for their partnership with Red Door Communications

Guy Fox History Project Ltd for their partnership with UBS AG


  1. Heart of the City

This award is for companies who have set up an effective Corporate Community Involvement programme for the first time in the last three years. Heart of the City is a City of London Corporation initiative which provides free support for companies that are interested in Corporate Community Involvement and the wider area of Corporate Social Responsibility.

The Shortlist

Sapphire Systems

Reynolds Porter Chamberlain


Andaz Liverpool Street Hotel


  1. The Lord Mayor’s  25th Anniversary Award

For companies that have shown a long-term, sustainable commitment to a wide-ranging programme of community engagement in London, characterised by outstanding levels of staff involvement at all levels of the organisation and a strong evidence of leadership from the top and a commitment to the integration of community involvement into organisational life.

The Shortlist

UBS for 25 Years of UBS in Hackney

8build for Giving Back

Lloyd’s for Lloyd’s Community Programme


About the City of London Corporation

The City of London Corporation is a uniquely diverse organisation. It supports and promotes the City as a world leader in international finance and business services and provides local services and policing for those working in, living in and visiting the Square Mile. It also provides valued services to London and the nation. These include the Barbican Centre and the Guildhall School of Music & Drama; the Guildhall Library and Art Gallery and London Metropolitan Archive; a range of education provisions (including three City Academies); five Thames bridges (including Tower Bridge and the Millennium Bridge); the Central Criminal Court at Old Bailey; over 10,000 acres of open spaces (including Hampstead Heath and Epping Forest), and three wholesale food markets. It is also London’s Port Health Authority and runs the Animal Reception Centre at Heathrow. It works in partnership with neighbouring boroughs on the regeneration of surrounding areas, and the City Bridge Trust, which it oversees, donates more than £15m to charity annually.

[1] Figures from the ONS Labour Market Statistics, June 2012, show a standard hourly rate in London can be estimated at £17.03 based on a 40-hour week.

[2] Amy is not her real name.