Build-it a five-time winner at Corporate Engagement Awards

Wednesday 29th October 2014

BI - Pilot mentor shot (3)

The Build-it programme, enabling young people to learn building and construction skills whilst refurbishing empty homes and social housing within their local communities, has won four Gold awards and the Grand Prix at this year’s Corporate Engagement Awards, announced yesterday.

Build-it was judged ‘best in class’ in four categories - Best Combined Programme, Best Community Involvement, Best Educational Programme and Most Innovative Collaboration – and was also ultimately awarded the Grand Prix as ‘best of the best’ drawn from among all of the category winners.

The Corporate Engagement Awards were established in 2011 by Communicate magazine, the UK’s leading magazine for corporate communications and stakeholder relations, to celebrate and benchmark excellence in corporate partnerships and sponsorship with mutually beneficial outcomes. The awards point to the future of corporate engagement as winners demonstrate a true benefit to both the company’s brand and its partners’ values.

Launched in Brixton in April 2013, Build-it was co-created by Cospa in partnership with London Youth and the two organisations have since worked together to deliver and expand the programme across the London Borough of Lambeth, reaching and benefitting 1,500 young people over an initial two-year period.

Build-it is supported by two key corporate partners, building contractors Keepmoat and Mears, plus a number of other cross-sector organisations: The Big Lottery Fund, Lambeth Council, Lambeth College and housing associations Lambeth Living, Metropolitan and Hyde Housing.

Build-it works with 16-25 year olds who are disengaged from education and the labour market, enabling them to learn vocational trade and building skills on the job whilst working alongside older mentors drawn from the local community. Build-it graduates are then given access to employment and further training opportunities via Keepmoat, Mears and the other project partners.

Heather Bryant, Customer & Community Care Manager at Mears, comments: “We are incredibly honoured to have won these awards in partnership with Build-it and Cospa. We’re delighted to be part of such a fantastic initiative and look forward to developing our partnership going forward.”

Julian Sanz, Community Investment Manager at Keepmoat, adds: “This amazing initiative fits with Keepmoat’s own values of improving people’s lives and leaving a lasting legacy in the communities where we work. The strong relationship we’ve developed with Build-it through Cospa and the housing clients involved has enabled us to develop local young people’s skills which has been extremely rewarding for everyone involved.”

According to Tim Reading, Director at Cospa: “It’s tremendous to see Build-it recognised for the impact it’s having in helping young people to learn valuable new vocational skills and access employment opportunities whilst improving social housing in local communities. At the same time, I’m really pleased that the awards have highlighted the collaborative, cross-sector partnership approach that underpins and drives the programme. All of the partners involved both contribute something unique and essential to help make the programme happen, but also gain demonstrable business and organisational benefits from their involvement.”

Brittany Golob, editor of Communicate magazine, concludes: “Corporate engagement is no longer a philanthropic activity that leaves strategic partnership down to chance. Savvy companies now integrate their partnerships and sponsorships into their overall communications strategies. In that way, both the charity, community or organisation and the business itself benefit. The winners’ successes go beyond the confines of the business and become successes for the local community, region or world. It’s our honour to recognise these partnerships, sponsorships and campaigns every year.”