We are delighted to announce that our CSR team, Formation Community, won the Heart of the City, Lord Mayor’s Dragon Award at the Mansion House on 24th September. The Dragon Awards celebrate businesses that are achieving excellence in social impact in Greater London and, for us, the Heart of the City Award reflects the impact that Formation Architects are making within our local community.
In 2015 we became 100% employee owned and wanted to find a meaningful way to engage staff. We joined Heart of the City in 2016 and, with their help and support, we established a CSR programme. It was important to us to find a meaningful way to use our skills as architects to support our local community in Lambeth and we began reaching out to local community groups and charities. Our employee owners’ enthusiasm and passion to be involved in the group grew rapidly, and today over 20% of the practice are regularly engaged in our community programme, which comprises four main strands: –
• Fundraising – whereby we collectively choose a charity of the year. In 2019 we are supporting the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust
• Community Outreach and pro-bono activity – we are currently working with local social enterprise, the Café van Gogh
• Sustainability
• Wellbeing
The motivation and main objective of the group is to engage and invest in our local community, however as a business we are seeing a huge unexpected impact. We are immensely proud of the culture of true employee ownership and engagement, which the Community team are creating.
We organise fun fundraising events throughout the year and staff donate a small portion of their monthly pre-tax salary through payroll giving, which has resulted in two Diamond Trust Awards from the Charities Trust in recognition of the unusually high proportion of staff who contribute. We have also recently featured in the GivX Awards – GivX was established 3 years ago to help UK organisations ‘benchmark’ their level of community engagement and charitable support against other businesses of similar size and within similar sectors. We were delighted to be placed second in the top 10 highest ranking SMEs; first in the Architecture and Construction sector; first among all Heart of the City members; and first for ‘Skilled’ Volunteering.