City Year UK volunteers open ‘the Oscars for responsible business’

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Thanks to our longstanding partnership with National Grid, City Year corps members from London, Birmingham and Manchester, took centre stage at the Responsible Business of the Year Awards at the Royal Albert Hall on 7th July, highlighting both the power of social action and potential of young people.

In his speech, National Grid Chief Executive, Steve Holliday, told the audience to look to the younger generation to find solutions for the future as well as “promise, passion, hope and ambition”.

The event, which was hosted by National Grid as last year’s winners, was opened by 75 of our young volunteers in their iconic red jackets who ‘fired up’ the audience with their City Year PT (physical training), more usually used to get primary school pupils energised and ready to learn in the morning. One of the corps commented: “It was really intimidating. You see all the lights and all the people and then you think WOW!”

Other highlights included a special interview of City Year UK alumnus Rodney Williams, now a Project Officer at National Grid, by Claudia Winkleman, while Adam Hill spoke to pupils from Whitmore Primary School about how their City Year team (sponsored by National Grid) helps them in and out of the classroom. Rodney and Whitmore Primary also featured in a film about City Year UK shown on the night and, following their performance, City Year corps members were invited to join guests for dinner.

To top off the evening, we were thrilled to get an unexpected mention from the Prime Minister in a special video message. He told the audience “What you do isn’t just responsible business, it’s good business too; helping young people to get that first job and… bringing our communities closer together by supporting programmes like City Year.”

To find out more about the Responsible Business of the Year Awards click here.

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