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Geraldine Blake wins award for outstanding business community collaboration

06 Jul 2010

Geraldine Blake wins award for outstanding business community collaboration

Community Links Chief Executive, Geraldine Blake, has been awarded the BITC London Marks & Spencer Sieff Award ‘for an individual, based in the community, who has best collaborated with business to benefit society,’ one of only two individual categories in Business in the Community’s (BITC’s) 2010 Awards for Excellence.

Geraldine has been recognised for her work in engaging communities in improving public services and regenerating neighbourhoods. She has undertaken a variety of sector appointments including stints at Save the Children, Trust for Urban E cology, and the National Council for One Parent Families. From 1993-2003 she set up and ran a community consultancy, Gap Research, specialising in training and supporting residents to carry out their own research and development projects. During this time she chaired the award winning Get Set for Citizenship SRB programme, which supported local people to develop ‘citizen’s strategies’ to tackle long standing local problems.

At Community Links, Geraldine successfully led the development of the Chain Reaction Project which connects community activists and local projects with businesses, alongside government, to collaborate in addressing the issues which affect us all.

The Marks & Spencer Sieff award is the benchmark standard for successful community-business collaborations, recognising individuals whose contributions to society - by bringing businesses and communities together - have left a lasting, replicable legacy in the region. Paul Buchanan, London Regional Director, Business in the Community said: “I would like to applaud Geraldine for the work which has led to her being recognised as their region’s champion for forging links between businesses and the local community. To be the recipient of the Marks & Spencer Sieff Award shows an outstanding commitment to and understanding of the importance of such relationships. Particularly at this time of recession and social unease, it is vital that businesses and communities continue to work with one another to find solutions to their particular challenges. By forging lasting, replicable relationships, all parties can emerge from the recession stronger and more competitive.

Geraldine Blake said: “I am delighted to accept this award. All of the most successful projects that achieve great results and transform lives are collaborations - none of us on our own can create social change, not governments, not businesses, not charities. We succeed when we work together”

Geraldine was presented with the Award at a celebration held at The Royal College of Music on Monday 5th July