BE’s Corporate Social Responsibility Manager, Julie Tucker, has been recognised by the Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alderman Nicholas Lyons, as Social Impact Leader of the Year at the prestigious Lord Mayor’s Dragon Awards 2023.
The awards took place last night at Mansion House, the Lord Mayor’s residence, and were hosted by Tim Campbell, former Apprentice-winner, turned Lord Sugar’s right-hand man. Over twenty firms, projects and individuals were vying for just six awards, with only one of those awards presented to an individual which makes Julie’s achievement even more special.
Creating meaningful social impact is something Julie truly goes the extra mile to achieve with her direct involvement in numerous projects and her constant encouragement for others to take part in volunteering activities.
BE Offices is renowned for its altruism and social value initiatives but corporate volunteering normally comes with a price tag. At zero cost, in 2023, Julie increased staff volunteering by 520% over the same period last year through the relationships she developed with charity partners and other organisations. In 2023 staff have participated in weekly online literacy tutoring sessions with primary school children, beach clean-ups on the Thames foreshore, and gardening activities at schools in Camden and tree planting on Camden housing estates with local charity Camden Think and Do. Julie has also instigated support for international reforestation projects, planting trees in South America, Africa and Asia. As well as the ecological benefits of these projects they also provide livelihoods for local indigenous populations.
In addition to participating in all these activities herself, Julie volunteers her time (some of it her own) to multiple good causes and lends her support to several London Business Improvements Districts. Julie is Chair of Aldgate Connect’s Culture and Marketing Steering Group, supported the development of the Culture Mile BID as Co-Chair of the Sustainable Environment Steering Group and works closely with Better Bankside and the Camden Climate Alliance as a participant in and advocate for the Mayor of London’s Business Climate Challenge.
Recently, Julie introduced Charity Super.Mkt to the City of London Corporation’s Destination City team and united the two entities resulting in the innovative retail concept coming the City of London in September as part of the Corporation’s flagship Bartholomew Fair. The Charity Super.Mkt is a concept for social and environmental good activating empty or redundant space, increasing footfall to the benefit of surrounding retailers, raising funds for and the profile of the charities involved, encouraging a sustainable lifestyle, supporting the circular economy, diverting clothes from landfill and creating a destination for Gen Z, bargain hunters and environmentalists. Charity Super.Mkt’s involvement in Bartholomew Fair will undoubtedly have brought a whole new audience to the City with pop-ups in Paternoster Square, Aldgate, Smithfield and the Leadenhall Building throughout the duration of the Fair. It raised almost £11,000 for the charities involved and saved .3 tonnes of textiles from landfill, an estimated 3 tonnes of CO2 emissions and 532 cubic metres of water.
As a volunteer Air Quality Ambassador for Cross River Partnership, Julie supports the DEFRA-funded Healthy Streets Everyday and Clean Air Villages projects, with a particular focus on air quality inequality. Julie is also a volunteer Cancer Campaign’s Ambassador for Cancer Research UK’s policy team, regularly lobbying her MP and supporting various campaigns, and an ambassador for Meningitis Research Foundation, this year celebrating a decade and twelve years respectively in these roles. A volunteer ambassador and mentor for The Youth Group, an ambassador for The Heart of the City and a trustee of EcoJudaism, Julie is also an active supporter of City Giving Day and the Lord Mayor’s Appeal.
More recently, Julie has committed to delivering climate change education to primary school children through a volunteer scheme called Climate Ed which teaches children about climate change and empowers them to take action. Julie will teach a minimum of 10 classes across each academic year to children at two different schools. And this week, Julie will complete training to become a Thames21 certified River Action Leader enabling her to lead beach cleaning activities on the Thames foreshore supporting Thames21’s mission to transform our rivers through environmental enhancement.
Commenting on her achievement, Julie said: “To be shortlisted for such a prestigious award was already a great honour, but to win it is beyond thrilling and truly means the world to me. Working on and volunteering for social impact initiatives in their various guises is a privilege, incredibly uplifting and hugely rewarding. It enriches my life immeasurably and has presented me with the opportunity to meet some remarkable and inspirational individuals who all deserve kudos for the amazing work they do to improve the lives of others.”
Julie’s win comes hot on the heels of her achieving Highly Commended in the Sustainability Leader of the Year category at the Business Green UK Green Business Awards at the end of June. Julie is also shortlisted for the Sustainability Leader of the Year Award in the World Sustainability Awards 2023 which take place in Amsterdam next week.