To be recognised by the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise for something we feel so passionate about is amazing! It’s an important part of a journey we’ve been on since being founded in 1852, where our belief then, as it is now, is that our purpose goes beyond profit.
We want to be a catalyst for positive change, to improve the well-being of society.
This is typified by the actions of our people. Last year 80 per cent of our workforce – over 2,000 people – took part in a community activity to improve the lives of others. This included helping to upskill 1,471 young people, delivering workshops to 32,000 students and supporting homeless people and ex-offenders to find work.
The aim is always to make a difference; 1% of our people’s time is spent away from the ‘day job’ of building great places and is instead involved in initiatives to enhance the lives of those less fortunate. It is something we encourage through our Foundation, with everyone having the ability to take three days off for community work.
This is one reason people like working for us; they can change other people’s lives for the better.
As the fifth generation to lead Willmott Dixon, I am proud of the difference we make to people’s lives and our aim is to improve the life chances of 10,000 people by 2020. We measure that on impact to their lives, not merely on how many things we do.
While it is easy to focus on the statistics, it is the stories of real people who have gained skills, careers and opportunities they would not have had that means the most to me. That is why an accolade like a Queen’s Award for Enterprise is so important; it allows our people to appreciate what they have achieved and spurs us all on to achieve even more.
Rick Willmott, Group Chief Executive, Willmott Dixon
Spirella 2, Icknield Way, Letchworth Garden City, Hertfordshire SG6 4GY
Tel: +44 (0)1462 671852 • Fax: +44 (0)1462 681852 • www.willmottdixon.co.uk