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Bolton at Home has been shortlisted for Business in the Community’s Responsible Business Awards in the ‘employment for excluded groups’ category.

The housing charity asks its partners and suppliers, as part of their contracts, to create jobs, work experience or training opportunities for the long-term unemployed on Bolton’s estates who need extra help to get into work.

Since 2013, this work programme has created 66 paid jobs that would have otherwise not existed for people with low confidence, health and wellbeing issues, lack of experience and in need of new skills. A further ten people took a positive step towards employment through training and work placements.

Driven by the charity Business in the Community (BITC), HRH The Prince of Wales’ Responsible Business Network, the 2016 Responsible Business Awards celebrate inspiring examples of businesses that are making a significant difference by taking action to improve their local communities, create more inclusive workplaces and tackle environmental challenges.

The announcement of the 2016 Responsible Business Awards shortlist coincides with Responsible Business Week (18 – 22 April), an annual initiative to increase awareness of the positive contribution of business in society.

Business in the Community received 297 entries for the Responsible Business Awards, shortlisted 103 and re-accredited a further 82 entries for demonstrating continual impact in their responsible business programme.

Jon Lord, Chief Executive of Bolton at Home, said: “We’re delighted to be recognised for helping customers break through personal, social and economic barriers to prepare for work and secure jobs with our network of contractors and suppliers. We’ve always made it a priority to help people living in our communities to improve their employment prospects.  And we’re showing that it’s possible to help people maximise their income, sustain their tenancy and improve their health and wellbeing, all whilst safeguarding our limited resources and making savings for the public purse.”

Stephen Howard, Chief Executive, Business in the Community said: “We know that every day businesses contribute towards more resilient communities, stimulate local economies, help to create skilled and healthy workforces and tackle environmental challenges. But more companies need to share these ideas and actions to grow the responsible business movement in the UK and abroad, which is why we launched Responsible Business Week.

“Today’s Responsible Business Awards shortlist represents the very best of business. Celebrating their stories helps raise awareness of business as a powerful force for good.”

Now in its 19th year, the Responsible Business Awards are open to companies of all sizes, from SMEs to multi-nationals, and across all sectors. Categories cover a wide range of positive business activities, from investing in the health and wellbeing of employees, nurturing young people to develop skills, supporting rural communities and more disadvantaged members of society, to helping the resilience of communities in the face of international disasters.

All shortlisted companies will be celebrated through a series of Responsible Business Gala events taking place across the country in June.

The Award Winners are announced at BITC’s Annual Responsible Business Gala at the O2 in London on 11 July, hosted by Fujitsu (2015 Responsible Business of the Year).

For more information on the Awards, visit www.bitc.org.uk/awardstories and follow @BITC on Twitter #BITCawards.

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