A partnership between the trade body for outdoor media companies and the charity Missing People that led to 34 people being found was among the winners at Third Sector’s Business Charity Awards last night.
Outdoor Media Centre won the Cause-Related Marketing award for securing more than £10m-worth of free digital billboard space to help the charity track down missing people.
A total of 19 awards were presented at the black-tie event, supported by headline sponsor the Charities Aid Foundation and hosted by the BBC TV news presenter Huw Edwards, at the Grosvenor House hotel on Park Lane, London. The Minister for Civil Society, Nick Hurd, gave an opening speech.
Three prizes went to the Co-operative Group – Community Impact, Overseas Project and Outstanding Employee. The last of these awards was won by Janet Cleverley, a mortgages operations manager at the Co-operative Bank, who inspired more than 200 of her colleagues to become involved in charity projects last year.
The coveted prize of Business of the Year went to British Gas for its work with a range of charity partners, including the housing and homelessness charity Shelter and the Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Michael Tobin, chief executive of the TelecityGroup, won Business Charity Champion. Tobin’s company runs secure IT and telecoms data centres and he has introduced policies that encourage its employees to give in-kind and financial support to local charities. He has also been instrumental in raising significant sums for charities including the Loomba Trust, a charity that supports widows and orphaned children.
Hurd told the 400 guests that in difficult economic times charities needed the help of the business community more than ever before, but charities could also help businesses overcome the reputational problems they face.
"We have to recognise that our business leaders have a huge challenge around trust," he said. "Increasingly people are beginning to choose where they shop or work based on an organisation’s values, how they behave and what they put back.
"More business leaders are getting this, which makes it incredibly exciting because when partnerships between charities and companies work really well, the magic and the value flow both ways - and we should celebrate that as a country and as a society."
- See our gallery of photographs from the evening
Business Charity Champion: Michael Tobin
Business of the Year: British Gas
Charity Partnership: BSkyB with WWF
Charity Partnership – Retail and Leisure: B&Q with the Scout Association
Charity Partnership – Financial and Professional: LV= with SOS Kit Aid
Charity Partnership – Short Term: Thomson Reuters Elite with St Mungo's
Charity Partnership – Small Businesses: Belu Water with WaterAid
Affinity Marketing: RSA with Motability
Cause-Related Marketing: Outdoor Media Centre with Missing People
Corporate Foundation: Wates Giving
Challenge Event: Lloyds Banking Group with Save the Children
Challenge Event – Small Businesses: PMW Communications with the Dame Vera Lynn Trust
Employee Engagement: Morrisons
Employment Scheme: Plumbing Trade Supplies with Leicestershire Cares
Outstanding Employee: Janet Cleverley
CSR Team: NFU Mutual
Single Project: RWE npower with Macmillan Cancer Support
Community Impact: The Co-operative Enterprise Hub
Overseas Project: The Co-operative with Unicef