Munich. When others need help, they are there: Cristiano Alano, Anke Boysen, Markus Entter and Thomas Fahnauer are the winners of the 12th BMW Group Award for Social Responsibility. The official ceremony was held on 14 September in Munich. The Award pays tribute to employees worldwide who are active as volunteers. Each winner receives prize money of 10,000 euros for their project.
The BMW Group Award shines a light on social commitment at the company, inspires others to get involved and promotes social initiative among the workforce. "Every year, this award ceremony fills me with tremendous pride. It's great that we have associates who take responsibility and are committed to helping others - and it's amazing what they are able to accomplish in their free time. With this Award, we pay tribute to this dedication and send a clear message: If everyone gives just a little bit of their time for others, we can achieve so much together," said Ilka Horstmeier, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, People and Real Estate, Labour Relations Director, and patron of the award.
Helping people in need
The BMW Group Award is highly regarded within the company and forges connections between volunteers. This year, once again, more than 100 associates competed for one of the four awards. From these, the judges selected 11 projects for the final round, with all nominees attending the award ceremony. All of these dedicated employees have one thing in common: They donate their time and their know-how to improve the lives of people who are socially disadvantaged or in need. All finalists receive 2,500 euros each for their initiatives.
Here are this year's four award-winners
Markus Entter, winner of the employee vote, works at the BMW Group in Munich and volunteers as a hospice helper at St. Vinzenz Hospiz in Augsburg. He accompanies those who are seriously ill on the last stage of their life's journey. With empathy, compassion and the gift of time, he helps dispel people's fear of death and dying. When practical help is needed, he prepares light meals, brings food and drinks to hospice patients, or simply assists the carers. He also provides relatives with emotional support.
Cristiano Alano, winner of the Vera and Volker Doppelfeld Award, works at BMW Group Plant Araquari in Brazil and advocates for disadvantaged young people in an impoverished district of the city of Joinville. Social mobility through a good school education is the aim of the initiative ASSOCIAÇÃO PROJETO RESGATE. Alano is especially dedicated to fostering character development and encouraging young people to be more confident and independent. As a mentor, he teaches them techniques for resolving social issues.
Anke Boysen, who works at the BMW Group in Munich, is passionate about training rescue dogs for aid missions. As a dog handler with the ISAR Germany Foundation, she even accompanies the rescue dog team on missions worldwide - most recently, following the earthquake in Turkey. The specially trained rescue dogs are able to find people who have become buried and help save lives.
Thomas Fahnauer,who works at BMW Group Plant Araquari, volunteers with the ONG Esperanca Brasil initiative, building simple homes for homeless people out of wooden pallets. He was motivated by the sometimes appalling living conditions of people in Brazil who often do not have a decent home. The wooden pallets were previously used as packaging material for ship transportation. Their continued use also helps the project contribute to climate protection.
BMW Group Award: Invitation to join in
Taking social responsibility is part of the BMW Group's identity. To this end, the company has encouraged social engagement among its employees for years. The BMW Group Award for Social Responsibility honours the personal commitment of its associates in a unique way. Together with the SOCIAL DAYS and SOCIAL DRIVE IT platform, it is one of the three pillars of SOCIAL DRIVE, which pools employees' volunteer activities. The SOCIAL DAYS held to mark various occasions aim to promote interest in social commitment among associates and encourage them to get actively involved. The SOCIAL DRIVE IT platform offers a wide range of activities and gives dedicated employees the opportunity to find supporters for their projects, giving further momentum to social commitment.