The Lord Mayor’s Dragon Awards celebrate businesses that are achieving excellence in social impact in Greater London. London College of Communication has been shortlisted as a finalist in the ‘Accelerator’ Award category after showing our commitment to Elephant and Castle through various creative projects. LCC Talent Works and Shop Front were set up by the College, aiming to offer our main resource – the talent of our students – to our community.

Students and graduates are developing a wealth of creative skills, knowledge and experience. This expertise has been offered to local small businesses, social enterprises, charities and community groups to help them grow, including a series of projects that gave free creative work to our Southwark neighbours. Businesses were, and still are, given the chance to work with our students and graduates on creative and communications projects.

LCC Talent Works was promoted to social enterprises, charities and community groups using LCC’s internal and external communications channels, and via organisations with strong networks in the sector – Community Southwark, Business in the Community, United St Saviours, UnLtd, Better Bankside and Southwark Group of Tenants Organisations.

In autumn 2017, London College of Communication launched Shop Front, a pop-up design studio sited in the Elephant and Castle shopping centre. The project, part-funded by Southwark Councils High Street Challenge initiative, offered creative designs and support to local businesses and traders to enhance their shop fronts and window displays and promote their businesses, as well as offering basic design advice. We worked with five LCC graduate designers who created more than 25 visuals in consultation with the clients.

As a result of the two projects students have created work varying from websites for social enterprises to help them launch, designed new branding to bring visuals up to date and provided print materials for marketing to making films to help charities tell their story. So far, 80 local charities, social enterprises, community groups and small enterprises have received free creative and communications work.