Prosper4 and Bridge of Hope Careers are delighted, thrilled, chuffed and all-round cock-of-the-walk to have been Highly Commended for Social Mobility Initiative of the Year by the inaugural British Diversity Awards.
The awards promote the values of equality, diversity and inclusion by rewarding those individuals, organisations and unsung heroes who help to make the world and the workplace a better place for others. They're sponsored by Burberry and supported by leading businesses including GSK and Veolia.
We were grateful to be nominated by our friends at Ruebik, another organisation dedicated to creating new opportunities for untapped talent. They recognised our dedication to levelling the playing field for candidates who often find themselves overlooked because something about their identity or history - including economic disadvantage and long-term unemployment - is getting in the way.
Last night's ceremony was held at London's Grand Connaught Rooms and hosted by TV Presenter and diversity champion June Sarpong OBE. Bridge of Hope Careers Co-founder James Fellowes attended, accompanied by Partner Support Manager Chance Bleu-Mongomery (see picture, top) and they found themselves amid starry company.
Little Mix singer Leigh-Anne Pinnock was there for her campaigning work against racism, receiving the Media Champion award for her documentary 'Race, Pop and Power' . Westlife's Mark Feehily collected the Global Recognition Award for his vocal campaigning for surrogacy rights for LGBT+ families. And Sky Sports presenter and former England defender, Jamie Carragher, won an award for his work with a number of social mobility charities, including Football For Change. Other big-name winners on the night included Boots, NatWest, ITV and Scope.
In our category, we were up against stiff competition from the likes of KPMG, News UK and the NHS's Birmingham Fairness taskforce among others. In the end, we were just pipped to the post by worthy winners Browne Jacobson, who are working hard to promote equality of recruitment and progression in the legal industry.
British Diversity Awards founder, Linda Riley (pictured above speaking at the ceremony) said: “I'd like to congratulate all of the deserving winners at this year's Burberry British Diversity Awards.
“The awards shine a light on the individuals, organisations, charities and unsung heroes who help to make the world and workplaces a better place for others across all strands of diversity. In a world where hate and division are being sown in some quarters, we believe that by continuing to celebrate Equality, Diversity and Inclusion we can help make the UK and indeed the universe a better place to live and work for everyone.”
The award ceremony came in the same week that we launched a new and improved version of our website on a revised tech platform that will allow us to serve the needs of both our candidates and our progressive employer clients more effectively. So it's been quite a week!
Bridge of Hope co-founder James Fellowes said "It was a remarkable and inspiring evening, and a room packed full of extraordinary nominees doing great things, so we were honoured to be shortlisted and beyond excited to have been highly commended.
"This couldn't have happened without the amazing work of the Bridge of Hope team at Prosper4, and I want to thank them and all of our wider mission and employer partners who are making this work possible. We must also thank Christina Brooks at Ruebik for generously nominating us for this, our first award. As we keep working to make all recruitment inclusive, we hope it will be the first of many!"
Picture courtesy of the British Diversity Awards