Sponsors of the Dorset Business Awards, in association with the Daily Echo and Dorset Echo, are calling on the best examples of responsible business in the county to enter this year’s Business Engagement with the Community Award, sponsored by J.P. Morgan.

With judges looking to identify finalists that can show they are leading on corporate social responsibility within the Dorset community, firms building positive links with the community should consider putting themselves forward for this category.

The winner of this category will be able to provide details of community initiatives, particularly those that involve employee engagement, and illustrate the impact these have had on the local community, employees, customers and suppliers.

In 2012, the Norfolk Royale Hotel (now the Norfolk Hotel) in Bournemouth was acknowledged for its support to the not-for-profit specialist housing and social care provider BCHA. The hotel implemented a project to allow staff and guests to suggest ways they could help the charity with its aim to help homeless and vulnerable people access housing, health, learning and work opportunities. Initiatives introduced included the donation of crockery, toiletries and food, work placement opportunities for BCHA clients followed by full-time employment at the hotel as well as a donation of £1 from guests for each hotel reservation.

Commenting on winning, newly appointed general manager Rachel Painter Scott said: “We were delighted to win this award category and be acknowledged for the work the hotel team undertake. The previous general manager, Simon Scarborough, instigated our work with the local community and selected the charity BCHA to support.  Since winning we continue support BCHA and have recently started to back its football team.”

Rachael added: “To be recognised with a Dorset Business Award is a fantastic achievement and really boosts staff morale. This award category offers businesses addressing social responsibility an opportunity to highlight it publicly.  I would recommend that businesses which really do go the extra mile, ‘putting something back’ into the local community, enter this year.”

Business Engagement with the Community Award checklist

Entrants should include details of the following:

  • Evidence of initiatives or projects undertaken that impact on the local community. For example community projects, social causes, education, employee volunteer schemes, environment and recycling schemes
  • Background details to these initiatives or projects, how they were developed, implemented and the length of time that they have been operating as well as employee involvement
  • A summary on the impact that these initiatives or projects have had on the organisation

Dorcas William, vice president, communications, at J.P. Morgan, says: “There are many examples of fantastic responsible businesses across the county that remain unrecognised and this award category is an important way of highlighting these successes.

“Our award category is about celebrating business at its best and making it clear that business can be a powerful force for good in society.  Each year we acknowledge truly inspiring examples of companies across Dorset making a significant difference by transforming their local community.”

The Awards are also backed by the south’s leading radio station Wave 105 and are free to enter.  Entrants can submit an entry via www.dorsetbusinessawards.co.uk or print off an entry form and submit a paper-based entry. The closing date for entry is Tuesday September 10. Entrants do not need to be a member of Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

For further information about the Awards, sponsorship opportunities or to reserve  tickets for the Gala Dinner which will take place at the Lighthouse, Poole, on Thursday November 28 please contact Shirley Ewart on 01202 714812.