Community and Contributions News Round-Up (Issue 96)

November 22, 2007

Merrill Lynch wins coveted community award

Merrill Lynch, the investment bank, was the recipient of the Lord Mayor’s Award at the Dragon Awards 2007 ceremony held at Mansion House on October 10 for its work in schools and its focus on young people’s skills development and economic wellbeing. Through the bank’s sponsorship of global education programmes, 1,750 London secondary school students have gained enterprise and business leadership skills as well as studied world issues.

The award recognises companies that show a long-term and sustainable commitment to community involvement in London and whose programmes are characterised by staff engagement at all levels of the organisation, strong leadership from senior executives and the integration of community involvement into day-to-day operations. Other finalists in the category were property company, British Land, law firm, Herbert Smith, and financial services company, PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

Further categories and 2007 winners were:

  • Education Award: London Borough of Barking & Dagenham for its mentoriMerrng programme.
  • Economic Regeneration Award: Trowers & Hamlins for the law firm’s work experience initiative for East London residents.
  • Community and Social Inclusion Award: Lovells LLP for its pro bono work.
  • Heart of the City Award: Large firm – Denton Wilde Sapte LLP for PopLaw – its free legal advisory service in Poplar; SME – Swanke Hayden Connell Architects for its partnership with The Building Exploratory and its project to encourage school students in Hackney to be aware of their local heritage.

Contact City of London Corporation 020 7606 3030

L’Oréal launches corporate foundation

L’Oréal has launched a corporate foundation with the aim of helping vulnerable people, promoting scientific research and fostering education. The foundation was announced on October 9 with the recognition that “today, economic success must be achieved in tandem with social responsibility”.

The foundation will have a budget of 40m euros over five years and aims to engage the company’s 60,000 employees. The foundation will support a variety of campaigns and programmes including one to help female cancer sufferers come to terms with the heath effects of the illness as well as teaching HIV/Aids prevention via a network of hairdressers.

Contact L’Oréal 0033 147 564 024

Foundation funding cut

The Northern Rock Foundation, the charity arm of Northern Rock bank, has scaled back its grant-making activities temporarily due to “uncertainties about the foundation’s future level of income”. In a statement on its website, the organisation explains that its work will be reviewed to ensure maximum effectiveness in the future and it emphasises that funding that has already been granted will be honoured. It is expected that the foundation trustees will announce its grant programmes for 2008 before the end of this year.

Contact Northern Rock Foundation 0191 284 8412

Financial literacy

HSBC and financial education charity, Personal Finance Education Group, have launched a national initiative with the aim of increasing financial awareness and responsibility among children. Announced on October 22, What Money Means will provide primary schools with the information necessary to provide children with a better understanding of responsible money management.

HSBC will provide £3.4m in funding for the project and its employees will support the initiative through volunteering skills sharing. The initiative is the result of a survey commissioned by pfeg and HSBC, which found that while children as young as seven had a strong awareness of the importance of money, this does not always translate into responsible money management in later life.

Contact pfeg

Women and chocolate

Social enterprises Woman Like Us and Divine Chocolate both came out on top at this year’s Enterprise Solutions Awards. The awards were held on October 17 and are run by the Social Enterprise Coalition. Women like Us is a new venture that aims to enable mothers to find work that fits around their family commitments while helping employers find experienced part-time staff and it received the best new social enterprise award. Divine Chocolate, co-owned by Ghanaian cocoa farmers, won the overall best social enterprise award as well as a cash prize of £10,000.

Contact Social Enterprise Coalition 020 7793 2323; Women like Us 020 7281 6522; Divine Chocolate 020 7378 6550

In brief

  • On October 3, Barclays announced its first global community investment strategy. Banking on Brighter Futures will support 1,500 projects worldwide and Barclays will invest $150m over five years in the scheme, which will focus on financial education and inclusion, employment and entrepreneurship. Contact Barclays
  • Vodafone accounced on October 8 that it has committed an initial $10m to establish the Vodafone India Foundation. The move will be supported by The Vodafone Group Foundation, which has set up 23 foundations around the world over the last five years. Contact Vodafone