Willmott Dixon's community success recognised with King's Award
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It is the fourth time the prestigious business prize, now known as The King’s Award for Enterprise, has been awarded to the contractor as its continued social value-based activities have engaged more than 70,000 people in different opportunities – with 88% confirming it had a beneficial impact on them.
Four out of five people within the contractor’s 2,000 plus workforce have delivered a social value-based activity, including mentoring, supporting people with interview training, careers advice and enhancing a local community asset for people to use. This totalled 48,000 hours of volunteering across the business.
The company’s Lincolnshire-based team has spearheaded the launch of the first Midlands-based Building Lives Drylining Academy at HMP Lincoln. Willmott Dixon established and partially funded the academy and the programme offers groups of eight prisoners, nearing the end of their term, a six-week in-house training course, providing inmates with best practice drylining skills and a Construction Skills Certification Scheme card upon their release.
Rick Willmott, group chief executive, said: “This sense of purpose to help the communities where we work is in the very DNA of our company. From offering opportunities and employability skills for those facing major barriers to employment, to improving buildings so they encourage better community cohesion – our social value projects are an important reason people want to work for us and their impact is something our customers and communities value hugely.
“I want to express my deep appreciation to everyone whose work has made a difference. This award belongs to us all, and it reflects the passion and dedication we share for helping others.”
With offices across the Midlands, last year the Willmott Dixon team created and delivered more than 600 community programmes. More than 200 people facing major barriers to work gained employment due to the company’s intervention and around £2.5m was spent with social businesses last year to help drive social mobility among the most vulnerable and less fortunate.
Willmott Dixon shares the coveted King’s Award 2023 with only nine other companies and has achieved this honour in 2014, 2018 and 2019 when the prize was previously known as The Queen’s Award for Enterprise.