Business Charity Awards: Charity Partnership, Professional Services – Urban with Blueprint for All

For an outstanding partnership between a company in the professional services sector and a UK charity

What is the partnership?

The lengthy and costly process of becoming an architect results in more than 70 per cent of BAME students dropping out. Blueprint for All (formerly the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust) was established by Baroness Lawrence following the murder of her son Stephen, an aspiring architect. The charity prepares young people from under-represented backgrounds for a career in architecture. 

Architecture recruitment specialist Urban partnered Blueprint for All to create #BeMoreInclusive, which aims to support young people during their studies, raise awareness and funds, and ensure that young people from under-represented backgrounds receive equal opportunities. 

What did the company do?  

When Urban places a graduate from Blueprint's Building Futures programme, it asks the firm that hires the candidate to make a donation to the charity, rather than charging a fee.

When the company makes a successful placement with one of Blueprint’s partnering architecture practices, it donates £1,000 to the charity.  

Urban is also involved in educating architecture professionals to understand their own unconscious bias. It provides CV and portfolio advice to Blueprint alumni, along with interview coaching and advice on how best to use social media and market themselves.

What has it achieved? 

Urban has placed eight individuals from the Building Futures programme and raised £10,600 through an initiative to fund the next intake of trust graduates.

Over the past three years it has raised a total of £23,625, including through fundraising events such as walking 75 miles between Urban and Blueprint’s offices. 

What did the judges say? 

Judges found the partnership “inspiring” and “thoughtful”, “a fantastic example of a truly strategic partnership”.

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