As we gear up for the Social Enterprise Awards in London this evening, Landmarc’s Sustainability Manager Amanda Williams reflects on her experience as a member of the judging panel for four of the awards categories.

“In September, I was excited to be invited to join the judging panel for the Social Enterprises Awards 2019. It is always a privilege to be asked to work with a panel of industry peers in this way, not least in this case because it is a chance to reflect on how much wonderful work is being done by organisations in the third sector, and by other businesses like our own who are working to secure social value from the spending decisions that they take.

“The UK Social Enterprise Awards recognise businesses that give back, enrich communities and make a contribution to society, as well as those who lead them – the social entrepreneurs who use their business acumen to make a real difference, tackling social and environmental problems both at home and abroad. The Awards, hosted by Social Enterprise UK recognise the achievements of social enterprises and supporters in 14 different categories, including Social Enterprise of the Year, Women’s Champion, ‘Buy Social’ Market builder and the One to Watch.

“The event itself is a truly inspiring and entertaining evening. The Awards grow in size and reputation each year and the shortlisted organisations offer an insight into the amazing work being done in the UK social enterprise sector. This year Landmarc is sponsoring the Environmental Social Enterprise of the Year category, one of four categories that I was lucky enough to assess.

“The finalists in the environmental category include some very well established social enterprises like Belu Water and the Furniture Resource Centre, and some that you might not have heard of, like Stand4Socks which donates a pair of specially designed socks to the homeless for every pair of socks they sell! If you’re stuck for last minute Christmas shopping ideas, check them out!


Finalists in Category 9 – Environmental Social Enterprise (Sponsored by Landmarc)

“As always, the worst part about being on the judging panel for an awards event is that you have to keep a secret for weeks on end until the big reveal, so my lips are firmly sealed about who will be the winners on the big night. You’ll have to look out for social media from the event to find out. You can also see details of all the finalists across all 14 categories by visiting this link.

“It is great to see some familiar names listed, like From Babies with Love (FBWL) who are finalists in the International Impact category, sponsored by the British Council. This was not one of the categories I was involved in judging, but FBWL is a particular favourite of mine as we source our maternity and paternity gifts for staff at Landmarc from them. Every penny of their profits goes towards supporting orphaned and abandoned children around the world.

“It is also great to see Employers for Childcare feature among the finalists in the highly prestigious UK Social Enterprise of the Year Award sponsored by Café Direct, as we will be starting a new partnership with them in the new year (watch this space!).

“As members of the Buy Social Corporate Challenge Landmarc is working with a group of high-profile businesses aiming to collectively spend £1 billion with social enterprises as part of the Challenge. By working to engage with a range of innovative suppliers like social enterprises, we can embed corporate responsibility and diversity into our operations. This is an area of work I am excited to be involved in, along with colleagues from across our business who are passionate about having a positive social impact or what we call the Landmarc Difference.”