My favourite ...

... G and T

JH (City Trader)
Who would expect it? Hidden in a narrow lane off Fleet Street in the heart of the City - wait for it - a distillery making its own gin and stocking over 200 other brands. The London Distillery is a real find for any gin soak like me - well worth a visit!
JH (City Trader)
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BBC News - London

BBC News - London

Jamie Oliver restaurant chain collapse costs 1,000 jobs

Tue, 21 May 2019 16:36:00 GMT

The UK celebrity chef says he is "devastated" as his restaurant group goes into administration.

London Bridge attack inquests: US tourist 'flatlined twice' after being stabbed

Tue, 21 May 2019 16:05:34 GMT

A tourist says doctors "did great things putting me back together" after the London Bridge attack.

Dead James Bond extra Eric Michels 'targeted on Grindr'

Tue, 21 May 2019 14:26:48 GMT

Businessman Eric Michels, who died last August, appeared in James Bond movie Skyfall.

Wrongful arrest over South Africa child rape 'a nightmare'

Tue, 21 May 2019 14:18:21 GMT

Godfrey Tshuma, 61, from Essex, was accused of attacking a six-year-old girl in South Africa.

Aron Kato: Missing Newham man seen being bundled into car

Tue, 21 May 2019 12:01:06 GMT

Aron Kato was last seen being forced into a dark-coloured BMW in east London last month.

Police arrest 586 people in county lines crackdown

Tue, 21 May 2019 10:19:39 GMT

Drugs, guns, knives and cash were seized by police across the UK in a week-long operation.

Wheelchair racer to racing driver

Tue, 21 May 2019 07:00:35 GMT

Ashley Archer was approached by a competitive racing team after he featured in a BBC news series

Academy withdraws pupils from A-level exams over poor mocks

Tue, 21 May 2019 00:48:10 GMT

The Association of School and College Leaders described it as "pretty unethical conduct".

Royal children play in Duchess of Cambridge's garden

Mon, 20 May 2019 06:29:51 GMT

Royal siblings George, Charlotte and Louis play in the garden designed by their mother for the Chelsea Flower Show.

London protest held in support of British NI veterans

Sat, 18 May 2019 17:01:34 GMT

A rally is held by supporters of former British soldiers facing prosecution over incidents in Northern Ireland.

Vulva art: Private parts in London's public spaces

Sat, 18 May 2019 08:12:52 GMT

Oliwia Bober has chosen an unusual exhibition space to challenge taboos around female genitalia.

Knife crime

Fri, 17 May 2019 03:58:07 GMT

The BBC has tracked the killings to uncover the stories of those who have lost their lives.

 

Why SMEs should get involved in CSR

The Lord Mayor on SMEs and volunteering The Lord Mayor of the City of London, Roger Gifford, speaks about the benefits of volunteering to SMEs.

At the start of 2012, there were over 800,000 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in London. Many of these are still to introduce volunteering to their business, despite the benefits this can bring to both sides.

This is not because of a lack of desire on behalf of SMEs to introduce CSR schemes. Instead, it comes down to the perceived barriers that these firms are concerned they will encounter when trying to doing so: limited resources, lack of senior level buy-in and generally viewing it as a daunting task.

Involving staff in volunteering should be seen as an investment in the business. Introducing a CSR programme can deliver many business benefits, in addition to making a tangible difference to the wider community. These include improved staff retention, a more motivated workforce, better procurement options and an extension of the business network. Other businesses are also more likely to work with companies that are socially responsible, due to requirements in their own CSR programmes, and so many businesses gain contracts as a result.

Each member of staff participating will gain the opportunity to develop strengths they may not have had the chance to otherwise. On the side of the beneficiaries, they get access to the skill set of motivated individuals working towards a common goal.

The City of London Corporation’s Dragon Awards, now in their 26th year, recognise excellence in CSR across Greater London and are a chance for applicants to share the work they have been carrying out in their communities.

The 8build team with Kelly Hudson and and Keshal Patel Last year, the winners of the Dragon awards for CSR contributed a combined 163,565 volunteering hours, equating to a monetary value of some £3.8 million in community projects. Research collated by the City of London Corporation also reveals a dramatic shift in the type of volunteering that businesses are now completing- trends that seem to fit the dynamic approach of the SME sector.

Over the past decade, businesses have moved away from a tick-box model of donating cash sums and are increasingly focusing on training for employment. In 2001, the percentage of Dragon Awards applicants prioritising training for employment stood at 20%, but this has since more than doubled to 45% in 2012.

Last year, ethical construction company 8Build took home the Lord Mayor’s 25th Anniversary Award for its ‘Giving Back’ scheme – providing training and careers workshops for young people – and is representative of the more hands-on, vocational and skills-building approach now taken to corporate volunteering.

The work they do with young people requires flexibility and creativity, as well as requiring staff to take on responsibilities out of their remit to make something a success.

Red Door Communications and Body and Soul Other successful SMEs that took back awards last year include Red Door Communications for their work with Body and Soul, an HIV charity, and Sapphire Systems for their work in reading mentoring and apprenticeships in schools.

SMEs are making a real difference. Last year 17% of SME applicants took home a Dragon – an impressive achievement, especially when you consider that only nine per cent of large businesses won.

The work that SMEs undertake in this area typically has a personal approach – meaning that staff become more invested in the CSR process by seeing the results on the ground.

staff become more invested in the CSR process by seeing the results

Applications for the Dragon Awards are now open - with a call to double the number of SMEs applying this year. Winning a Dragon Award for great CSR can help raise a businesses’ reputation as well as shine the spotlight onto a group of people, or individuals, that their CSR scheme supports.


Applications can be submitted online for all the award categories at: www.dragonawards.org.uk. The closing date is 28 May 2013, and winners will be announced at the Lord Mayor’s Dragon Awards gala ceremony at Mansion House in the City of London on 2 October 2013.