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London, 18/10/18: The UK’s only awards dedicated to recognising the achievements of individuals and companies in promoting social mobility celebrated their second year with a fantastic gala at the London Marriott Grosvenor Square.

The winning entries of the second iteration of the UK Social Mobility Awards were announced at a dazzling awards ceremony last night. The Awards celebrated the forward-thinking organisations developing initiatives to promote social mobility, either within their own workforces, or by influencing the debate from beyond their own walls. By raising awareness and celebrating the people and organisations that are committed to bringing about change, these awards aim to advance the practical implementation of social mobility in this country.

The night began with a drinks reception and three-course meal, during which a letter of support from the Prime Minister, Theresa May, was introduced. The gala evening was hosted by TV and Radio presenter, Andrew Castle and guests were entertained by performances from students at the Notre Dame School in Southwark, before the winners were announced and presented with their awards.

The awards, which are held in association with Capita and sponsored by the RAF, received an impressive array of entries from around the UK and from a range of sectors and industries that have demonstrated excellence in their social mobility initiatives. Entries were judged by a prestigious judging panel, made up of leading figures in business, charity, politics and the public sector.

Sir Kenneth Olisa OBE, Chair of the Judging Panel for the awards, commented:

“We’ve started something here which will have a long life ahead of it. This is a systemic fix that may well take a generation to change attitudes. But In ten years people will be employed and enabled because of their talents and not because of their background. The organisations and individuals on the shortlist for these awards are being recognised for leading that systemic change.”

Tunde Banjoko OBE, Founder of The UK Social Mobility Awards, added:

“The UK Social Mobility Awards are about corporate Britain coming together to advance social mobility because it’s the right thing to do. Millions of young people never get a chance to succeed simply because of the family they are brought up in or the school they went to, and the businesses and organisations involved in this initiative want to change that. I am grateful to Hedley May for sponsoring the Awards because without them, this would not be happening. They are leading the charge.”

Winners – Organisations

Organisation of The Year

Winners: Grant Thornton
Highly Commended: PwC

Innovation of the Year – sponsored by PwC

Winner: Penguin Random House UK
Highly Commended: PA Consulting

Leadership of The Year – sponsored by BNP Paribas

Winner: Social Mobility Business Partnership
Highly Commended: PwC

Recruitment Programme of The Year – sponsored by Hedley May

Winner: Greene King

Progression Programme of The Year

Winner: Ministry of Justice

Community Programme of The Year

Winner: PwC

Winners – Individuals

Outstanding Contribution to Social Mobility

Winner: Melanie Richards, KPMG

Champion of The Year

Winner: Matthew Coats, Cabinet Office
Highly Commended: Angles Forbes, Lendlease

Mentor of The Year – sponsored by Coutts

Winner: Leila Thomas, Thomson Reuters
Highly Commended: Catherine Stewart, Deloitte

Rising Star – sponsored by Foxtons

Winner: Jonathan Andrews, Reed Smith
Highly Commended: Akama Davies, Xaxis

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