The Prince’s Ambassador South West announced at regional BITC Awards

By Anita Jaynes on 16 June, 2016

Katharine Finn, Regional Leader of the PwC West & Wales practice and Senior Partner in PwC’s Bristol office, has been named as The Prince’s Ambassador in the South West.

The appointment was confirmed at the South West Responsible Business Gala Dinner held at St George’s in Bristol on Tuesday June 14, as part of the 2016 Responsible Business Awards run by the charity Business in the Community (BITC), HRH The Prince of Wales’ Responsible Business Network.

Each year, HRH personally appoints an inspirational business figure in each of the UK’s regions to represent the responsible business movement and lead other businesses in the region to take action to address key issues. Ambassadors are chosen for their personal impact and for demonstrating leadership within their own business.

Katharine is an active member of BITC’s South West Regional Advisory Board – a group of senior representatives from some of the region’s leading businesses committed to taking practical action to tackle key local issues. She has used her knowledge as Chair of PwC’s Women’s Network, to advise BITC on diversity issues and is Adviser to the Bristol Chamber of Commerce & Initiative Board.

She is also a Trustee of the Avon Wildlife Trust and chairs the organisation’s Finance Committee. Between 2009 and 2014 Katharine was an elected member of PwC’s Supervisory Board and the Chair of the Partner Affairs Committee. She has supported a number of national initiatives in the area of Community Affairs and the Women’s Network as well as helping to extend the reach of the Women on Board’s network in the region.

Katharine said: “I am absolutely delighted to accept the role of The Prince’s Ambassador for the South West, which is a huge privilege. More than ever, it is vital that businesses get behind the responsible business movement and the goals of BITC around Environment, Education, Employment, Employees and Enterprise resonate very strongly with me as areas where businesses can and should strive to make a difference. I really look forward to working with businesses across the South West to bring this to life.”

The special event also saw cider producer, H.Weston & Sons Ltd recognised as a finalist in the Samworth Brothers Rural Action Award category for its ‘Grow Our Own’ project, which encourages local farmers to grow more apples and pears. The initiative has created 90+ jobs and strengthened the local economy by £10m. H.Weston & Sons will now attend BITC’s Annual Responsible Business Gala at the O2 in London on 11 July to compete with two other finalists from across the UK for the chance to be named overall winner.

Also celebrated on the night were a number of additional awards, which identify individuals and companies making an impact across the South West. These included Amanda Watkins from DAC Beachcroft, who was named South West Nationwide Employee Volunteer of the Year, while Swindon’s Excalibur Communications was awarded the South West Responsible Small Business of the Year Award.

The South West Collaborative Action Award, which recognises businesses that are pooling resources and working together to make a positive impact on a key social or environmental issue, was awarded to a collaboration between South West Water with the Citizen’s Advice Bureau Plymouth, Age UK in Devon & Cornwall, Westward Housing, North Devon Homes and Teign Housing.

Raksha Pattni, Area Director West, Business in the Community, said: “Business has a key role to play in tackling the challenges we face in our schools, communities, workplaces, supply chains and in our environment and I’d like to congratulate all those who were recognised for their achievements last night. These organisations have given us a fantastic illustration of how responsible business can be delivered in a real and practical way across the South West.”

The headline sponsors of the 2016 Responsible Business Awards are Asda, Bupa, Experian, Fujitsu, Hogan Lovells, M&S, Samworth Brothers, Unilever, Unipart Group and UPS.

For more information on the Awards, visit www.bitc.org.uk/awardstories and follow @BITC on Twitter #BITCawards.