Claire von Schilling
Penguin Random House, Executive Vice President Corporate Communications
Phone: + 1 212 782 98 76
Subject: Society, Employees, Media & Services
Country: Great Britain
Category: Prizes & Awards
Supporting underprivileged children and youths with the development and unfolding of their own creativity – Penguin Random House UK set itself this goal last year and drafted a "Creative Responsibility" strategy and a concise 10-point plan for this purpose. The publishing group aims to help close the "creativity gap" in the UK caused by factors such as social mobility, geographic location and ethnicity in order to establish equal opportunity for all. For this commitment, Penguin Random House UK has now won the Lord Mayor’s Dragon Award in the "Best New Community Programme" category.
With this prestigious award, the Lord Mayor of the City of London, Lord Mountevans, honors organizations and companies that make an exemplary impact in London’s communities. The office of the Lord Mayor of London, which dates back to the year 1189, today involves mainly ceremonial tasks and is not comparable to the political office of Mayor of the City of London, which Sadiq Khan holds.
The CR strategy of Penguin Random House UK announced in 2015 focuses on a large-scale cooperation with the nonprofit organization Ministry of Stories with its head offices in East London, which was founded in 2010 by bestselling author Nick Hornby. The initiative helps children and youths to develop their creative writing skills. In its declaration, the publishing group dedicates itself to supporting at least 7,500 children and youths in London in the 8 to 18 age group until 2020. Over the course of the three-year partnership, Penguin Random House UK will also help Ministry of Stories expand its work to other regions in the UK. The publishing group’s 10-point CR plan intends focus activities in four areas: inclusion, reading, sustainability and community.
More than a fifth of Penguin Random House’s London workforce is actively involved in its Creative Responsibility activity. By the end of this year, Penguin Random House employees will have provided 1,200 hours of writing workshops for young people at the Ministry of Stories’ East London center, with many more sharing their marketing, design and editorial expertise to support its development and expansion. They have jumped off planes, climbed mountains and run marathons to raise almost £20,000 for the charity so far in 2016.
Tom Weldon, CEO, Penguin Random House UK, said: "Creative Responsibility is at the heart of our company, so we are delighted that it has been recognized by the Lord Mayor's Dragon Awards. We believe creativity is crucial for future growth and success. Creative people invent, imagine and solve problems big and small. By giving people opportunities to use their imaginations and tap into their creativity, whether in writing workshops at Ministry of Stories, through volunteer reading in our local primary schools, or talent recruitment initiatives like ‘The Scheme’, we are helping to equip them with the tools they need to succeed at work, at school, at home or in their communities."
Siena Parker, Creative Responsibility Manager of Penguin Random House UK, commented: "So many employees have come together behind a shared purpose and common goals as part of our Creative Responsibility program, and this means we can have the greatest possible positive social impact over the long term. We are particularly proud that our partnership with creative writing and mentoring charity Ministry of Stories has been recognized in such a prestigious way."