EXCITEMENT is mounting as the clock ticks down to the Solihull BID Excellence Awards ceremony later this month.
In the lead up to the Observer-supported awards on November 21 at St John’s Hotel, we will be looking at some of the businesses and organisations shaping the future of the borough to ensure it remains one of the most attractive places to live and work.
The awards aim to recognise the talented trainees and innovative companies helping to make Solihull town centre a great place to work.
This week we are looking at the work of BNP Paribas Personal Finance, one of the supporters of this year’s awards.
The Solihull-based finance company has joined forces with rugby world cup winner Lawrence Dallaglio in his bid to support disadvantaged teenagers.
BNP Paribas Personal Finance has entered into a three-year working partnership with Dallaglio RugbyWorks, the charity set up by the England rugby legend.
The charity was founded to help young people excluded from mainstream schools to achieve sustained education, employment or training by using rugby’s values of discipline, respect and commitment.
Dallaglio won 85 caps for England and is an inductee of the World Rugby Hall of Fame. He was part of the England team that won the 2003 Rugby World Cup.
Having experienced a troubled time in his youth after the death of his sister, he credits discovering rugby for helping overcome a turbulent time in his life.
He recognised the power that rugby had in transforming his attitude, behaviour and aspirations and channelled that power into the development of RugbyWorks.
Jayne Licari, from BNP Paribas Personal Finance, said: “We wanted to do something that could make a positive impact in the West Midlands and working with Dallaglio RugbyWorks has been something close to my heart and to our colleagues at BNP Paribas. We face some serious social issues in our region and we are very aware of the challenges young people excluded from mainstream education can face.
“For us this is a win-win partnership and it feels like one strong team collaborating to invest in these young people who may otherwise not get the chances and opportunities we can provide as employers.
“Whether it’s through skills sessions, rugby tournaments or career taster days, we can all help give young people skills to prepare them for a bright future ahead.
“I’m extremely proud of the work we’re doing and seeing first-hand the positive impact it has makes me even more determined to raise awareness of the Dallaglio RugbyWorks programme and to encourage others to get involved.”
Other sponsors of the awards this year alongside BNP Paribas Personal Finance are Solihull College and University Centre, Mell Square owner I.M. Properties, Touchwood, Wasps Rugby and Phoebus Software Limited.