The inaugural UK Social Mobility Awards – organised by Making The Leap – announced the winning 2017 entries at last week’s awards ceremony, held at the London Marriott Hotel in Grosvenor Square. The Awards celebrated the forward-thinking organisations who are developing initiatives to promote social mobility, either within their own workforces, or by influencing the debate from beyond their own walls. By raising awareness and celebrating the people and organisations that are committed to bringing about change, these awards aim to advance the practical implementation of social mobility in this country.

The evening was hosted by award-winning television presenter Steph McGovern, who read out a letter of support for the awards from the Prime Minister. Guests were entertained by a choir of secondary school children, from Notre Dame School in Southwark, before the winners were announced, and were presented with their awards.

The awards, which are sponsored by PwC and the RAF, received an impressive array of entries from a range of sectors and industries who have demonstrated excellence in their social mobility initiatives. Entries were judged by a prestigious judging panel, made up of leading figures in business, charity, politics and the public sector.

Tunde Banjoko OBE, Founder of Making The Leap who have organised the awards, said:

“The UK Social Mobility Awards were created to encourage UK businesses and organisations to tackle the very important issue of social mobility. Our hope is that they inspire companies and organisations across the country to think about the social mobility programmes that they are currently running, and do good enough work so that they may win in UK Social Mobility Awards 2018.”

Laura Hinton, chief people officer at PwC, lead sponsor of the awards, said:

“These awards are so important as improving social mobility isn’t something one organisation can do on its own. It’s only by businesses sharing and learning from each other that we can take a bigger stride towards making sure that every person in the country has a fair chance to succeed, regardless of their background.”

You can view a gallery of the night here as well as all the winners here

The winners for the 2017 UK Social Mobility Awards are as follows:


Organisation of the Year Award

Winner: Wates Group

Highly commended: Civil Service Fast Stream and Early Talent


Leadership of the Year Award

Winner: KPMG

Highly commended: TfL


Innovation Award

Winner: Civil Service Fast Stream – Opportunity Network

Highly Commended: Legal Social Mobility Partnership


Recruitment Programme of the Year Award

Winner: Barclays

Highly commended: Enterprise Rent-A-Car


Progression Programme of the Year Award – sponsored by the London Town Group

Winner: Metro Bank


Community Programme of the Year Award

Winner: Allen & Overy

Highly Commended: Diageo and the Springboard Charity


Impact Management Programme of the Year Award – Sponsored by BNP Paribas

Winner: UpRising


Social Mobility Champion of the Year Award

Winner: Chris Rix – Partner – Deloitte

Highly Commended: Melanie Richards – Vice Chair – KPMG


Outstanding Achievement Award – sponsored by HSBC

Winner: Debbie Akehurst – Head of Economy and Communities – Landsec

Highly Commended: Julie Mclean – Director WBLSP – City College Plymouth


Rising Star Award – sponsored by Foxtons

Winner: Ricky Shearsby – London Youth Hub Manager – Tomorrow’s People

Highly commended: Claudine Adeyemi – Lawyer – Mishcon de Reya


Mentor of the Year Award

Winner: Lorcan Lennon – Director of Client Council – KPMG

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