Companies should give more back to society than money

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GIVING something back to the community should involve more than throwing money at an organisation, according to a Yorkshire insurance manager.

David Kelly, commercial manager at QBE Insurance’s Leeds office, which is category sponsor for the Community award at this year’s Yorkshire Post Excellence in Business Awards, said businesses needed to donate time as well as money.

“A lot of companies will do things that give an appearance of doing something in the community but in fact it’s just a one-day thing,” he said.

“I am a big believer in the adage of teaching a person to fish rather than giving them a fish.

“Things like apprenticeships. I am very passionate about bringing young people through companies because otherwise there is a danger we have a tranche of young people who become disenfranchised.”

The Community award recognises businesses that actively work in the community to enhance education and skills development

At QBE, staff choose a different charity to support each year.

Last year it was Martin House Children’s Hospice in Wetherby. This year it is backing Macmillan Cancer Support.

Mr Kelly said: “Last year we were involved in a parachute jump and a golf day.

“We also helped try to break a Christmas gnome world record at Stockeld Park and sold raffle tickets at the cricket in Headingley.”

He added: “We get involved alongside the charity and see how we can help rather than just throwing money at them.”

The Australian insurer is expanding its Leeds offices and creating 100 new jobs after deciding to create a claims-handling hub in Leeds to service its UK clients.

The company said the move will almost double the size of its operation in the city.

The firm is about halfway through the recruitment process for the new team with up to 45 new employees due to start at QBE’s Acclaim House office this month.

Mr Kelly said: “We already had a claims team in Leeds with about 70 people but we are making Leeds the centre of excellence for our technical client handling.”

The final deadline for entering the Excellence in Business Awards has been extended until Friday, July 18.

To enter, visit www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/awards and follow the simple steps.

The main awards categories are:

• Companies with a turnover up to £10m, sponsored by Yorkshire Bank.

• Companies with a turnover between £10m and £50m, sponsored by PwC.

• Companies with a turnover above £50m, sponsored by DLA Piper

• Young business, sponsored by Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Small Businesses programme, for companies up to three years old

• Outstanding employer, sponsored by Bradford University School of Management, for excellent employment practices

• Innovation of the Year, sponsored by Drax, for companies that can demonstrate innovation in their approach to growth and development

• Exporter of the Year, sponsored by thebigword, for companies that have made progress in overseas markets

• Community, sponsored by QBE Insurance, for businesses actively working in the community to enhance education and skills development

• SME Manufacturer, sponsored by Elevation Recruitment, for companies with a turnover up to £10m

• Young Entrepreneur of the Year, for owner managers and directors aged 35 and under