How Bradford businesses are pledging to make a difference

Bradford businesses are among those to be recognised for going above and beyond in making ethical, environmental and societal changes. West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce has announced the return of its Raising the Bar (Businesses Acting Responsibly) event, which will be held next month.

Raising the Bar is the Chamber’s initiative to support, encourage, advise and reward businesses which go above and beyond in making a positive impact. In a change to its usual celebration of businesses which have delivered impactful social responsibility programmes, the Chamber recognised the challenges of Covid and launched its ‘Make a Pledge to Make a Difference’ campaign in April 2021 to encourage businesses from across the region to pledge their social responsibility targets. Pledges include activities to benefit the community, the environment, the economy, employees and education and are achievable regardless of business and lifestyle restrictions.

Award-winning, Saltaire-based architects Rance Booth Smith has pledged to hold staff charity fundraising social events. Director Linda Hollings said: “Although we are now operating a hybrid working model, it’s important we keep staff motivated, active, involved and connecting. We know from our pre-Covid charity days just what a powerful tool fundraising is to focus the team and be part of a collective effort to make a difference. In this new era of fundraising, we wanted to use the Chamber’s ‘Make a Pledge’ campaign to share our experiences and our ideas with other businesses to help encourage more of the same in all corners of the business community.”

Meanwhile, Bradford-based accountancy firm Naylor Wintersgill has pledged to provide 30-minute weekly term time reading sessions.

Sandy Needham, West and North Yorkshire Chamber Chief Executive, said: “The pledges campaign is helping to get social responsibility back into business conversations and we are delighted that many local businesses have already made a pledge.”

Sponsored by Provident Financial and HSBC, Raising the Bar is in its sixth year and has historically helped businesses accrue over 20,000 hours in donated time and more than £150,000 in funds raised. The Raising the Bar programme and Make a Pledge campaign are available to all businesses, irrespective of Chamber membership.

More information about making a business pledge as part of the Raising The Bar initiative can be found at or by emailing All pledges submitted before October 15 will be considered for formal recognition by a panel of judges who will conduct telephone interviews with the businesses involved.

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