31st March 2017
Walker Morris was awarded the prestigious ‘Contributing to the Community Award’ at last night’s TheBusinessDesk Yorkshire Business Masters in recognition of its 23-year commitment to encouraging and supporting creativity and art in schools.
Walker Morris launched its Calendar Competition in 1994 with the objective of encouraging interest and enthusiasm in art amongst school children and also raising money for Martin House Children’s Hospice as a very worthwhile cause. The Competition is open to all primary school children in Yorkshire and Humber. Entrants paint their favourite month of the year and the winning entries are used to create a calendar, which is then sold and all proceeds of the sale are donated to Martin House Children’s Hospice.
Over the last two decades the Calendar Competition has been an important aspect of the Firm’s culture and its collaborative engagement with clients. It has also been integrated with the Firm’s broader £1.45m national arts sponsorship programme creating further opportunities for pupils, teachers and schools. These opportunities have included: benefiting from masterclasses and workshops with renowned artist, Ashley Jackson; taking part in educational visits to high profile galleries and museums; and having original winning artwork displayed nationally. At a time when as little as 4% of the timetable is given to teaching art, this commitment is unprecedented in corporate social responsibility terms.
David Smedley, Chairman at Walker Morris and one of the judges of the Competition commented:
“We are honoured to win this award which is testament the longevity of our commitment to encouraging art and supporting Martin House Children’s Hospice. As one of the judges of the Competition it gives me great pleasure to see the children, proud families and teachers at our annual Presentation Ceremony. To have this contribution recognised by The Business Masters is extremely gratifying.
“I would like to say a huge thank you to Ashley Jackson who has been an integral part of the Competition since its inception. Ashley has been a champion of the Competition not only through his role as chief judge but also through his enthusiastic support, art workshops and master classes. We are extremely grateful to him.”
This is the third award that the Walker Morris Children’s Calendar Competition has won having previously been presented with the MPF award for ‘Best Community Engagement’ in 2012 and the ‘Arts, Business & Corporate Identity’ category in the 2004 Arts& Business Yorkshire Awards.