Advanced search

NOW CLOSED: PLEASE VOTE for our Family Friendly Innovation Awards - you could win a £100 voucher - Engraver on Standby....

(63 Posts)
AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 29-Oct-12 19:50:03

As we gear up for our annual Family Friendly awards in November, we need your help in deciding who the winners should be.

We asked our members to enter their best Family Friendly ideas and innovations and they have come up trumps with ideas that include ways to make working life easier, products to help families stay safe online and support for families beyond their own workforce. We'd like you to vote for the ideas that you think are the best. Please read on to find out about the policies - and to vote. Everyone who casts a vote will be entered into a prize draw where one winner will get a £100 Amazon voucher.

You can vote for up to three companies.

Some of the companies are household names and need no introduction, while others are not quite so widely known. Below is an outline of the policy each company has put forward as being their most innovative family friendly policy. Please click on the link on their name to find out more about their family friendly credentials, then having read all the nominations, click on the end to cast your vote.

Abinger Hatch and Manor Arms
The Abinger Hatch transformed an area of overgrown scrubland on the pub property, into a number of allotment plots which have been offered out to local schools, families and kid's clubs. No rent, only a request that a percentage of fruit and veg grown goes to the pub kitchen where the produce will be showcased on their menu!

It has taken two years of innovation but we have managed to create a trolley that is purpose built for baby carriers and meets all the safety requirements that let parents and baby have an easy and hassle free shop.
The cradle trolley is currently being trialled in 11 Asda stores and if successful will be launched in all stores nationwide.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch
The Returning Talent programme helps Mums who want to return to work following a career break due to family commitments. The three-day course helps to bridge the gap between being a stay-at-home parent and a working parent providing practical help with CVs and job applications, ongoing support and networking opportunities.

The BT Baby Monitor and Pacifier is an innovative baby monitor that BT designed to be a do-it-all baby sleep monitoring gadget. Through carrying out extensive research we found out the things that really mattered to mums and dads and built them into the Pacifier to make things easier at bed time.

Our food development department developed a menu for children so they can have their '5-a-day' consumption of fruit and vegetables from a variety of sources. We made this menu fun & interactive so that kids can enjoy learning about healthy eating at the same time as picking their favourite meal (just like mum & dad can).

Over the last 12 months we've listened to parents and made some big changes to our stores to make life easier.
We've removed the sweets from our tills to avoid parents being plagued by pester power and we've refurbished all of our toilets (and where we don't have them, you can use staff toilets until we do to avoid any little accidents!)
Not forgetting the changes we've made for our people to make working for Matalan more Family Friendly than ever before, we're developing flexible working, part time management positions and a growing list of family friendly employee benefits.

Metro Bank
Metro Bank is making a difference in local primary schools with its innovative Money Zone programme. This unique free scheme for years 4 and 5 teaches children the important basics of budgeting, banking and saving. In the past 18 months we've visited 35 local schools, delivering financial education to 1,600 children.

National Trust
This summer saw The National Trust start recruitment for our first ever Kids' Council. The Council will consist of 10 children aged between 6 and 11, along with their families. Their role will be to test out what we do, and advise us on how to make our places more enjoyable for children and their families.

O2 Wifi takes a proactive role in ensuring that content inappropriate for children is filtered whilst in public hotspot locations. O2 Wifi has implemented a number of measures to ensure that we filter to the best of our ability, such as, filter lists that are updated twice daily and network based SafeSearch technology.

Pizza Express
When the kids have had enough, our smartphone app takes the stress out of waiting for the bill. Over a third of UK smartphone users have an android phone so, having launched our iPhone app, we developed an android version, giving even more families the option to pay and go as soon as they are ready.

SMV Group - ad agency
Contemplating returning to work following maternity leave is a big deal. We want to support our maternity leave mums and recent returners with this important life stage transition. Separately, we want to prepare our young managers in managing these conversations so that both emotional and practical needs are met.

Squire Sanders - Law firm
Squire Sanders (UK) LLP have established a number of employee networking groups. Two of these groups are "Flexible Working" and "Working Carers" to demonstrate Squire Sanders' commitment to improve the working environment and to ensure the firm becomes more confident of employees working alternative work schedules and in particular for those with parental and caring responsibilities.

To help make internet safety easier, we developed HomeSafe, a free unique parental control product built into the broadband network, meaning it protects every device using your internet, from laptops to iPads. It lets you control the websites your household can access and its homework time feature helps stop distractions!

As part of the Mumsnet Family Friendly Programme we wanted to do something that would help parents out, and being a supplier of school clothing we also wanted to do something for the children as well. Due to this we created a kids activity pack containing both activities that children can do on their own and together with their parents.

So which of these companies do you feel has offered the most innovative way of promoting family friendliness?
You can choose up to three nominations and don't forget that everyone who takes part gets entered into a prize draw to win a £100 Amazon voucher.


Many thanks

BrianAndHisBalls Tue 06-Nov-12 14:08:53


WorkInProgress Tue 06-Nov-12 14:27:04

Surely you can only know if a law firm is family friendly if you actually work there. They will lie through their teeth in the publicity stuff and we don't know if it's true. Wasn't true there a few years ago is all I can say!

JS06 Tue 06-Nov-12 15:12:42

I've voted.

longjane Tue 06-Nov-12 15:20:20


Princessishavingababyboo Tue 06-Nov-12 16:31:09


Mibby Tue 06-Nov-12 17:42:29


SilveryMoon Tue 06-Nov-12 17:47:53


llynnnn Tue 06-Nov-12 18:23:50

Done! Would be interested to trying a lot of these claims out as there are some great ideas!

jasminetatu Tue 06-Nov-12 18:30:56

All done! smile

La73 Tue 06-Nov-12 18:31:03


northernmonkey Tue 06-Nov-12 18:33:16


Tw1nkle Tue 06-Nov-12 18:37:59


Ghouljamaflip Tue 06-Nov-12 19:28:02

done smile

laughalot Tue 06-Nov-12 19:28:21


shaztwins1 Tue 06-Nov-12 20:02:38


pushitreallgood Tue 06-Nov-12 20:02:57


CountThalim Tue 06-Nov-12 20:24:17


Meglet Tue 06-Nov-12 20:53:38


IveNoIntentionOfMakingCupcakes Tue 06-Nov-12 20:54:30

All done

SlightlySuperiorPeasant Tue 06-Nov-12 22:40:12


Bongaloo Wed 07-Nov-12 13:32:31


Ali1011 Wed 07-Nov-12 19:19:23

Done, think the allotment idea is really innovative

DialMforMummy Wed 07-Nov-12 22:50:50


GinetteandWill Thu 08-Nov-12 19:30:31

done, and I agree with the previous poster who mentioned matalan, ours has loads of sweets by the till!

TurquoiseTranquility Thu 08-Nov-12 22:59:10


I didn't vote for any of the companies who say they help with transition back into work, flexible hours, etc. It sounds good on paper, but number one this is not new and should be, in fact, good practice requirement for all large and most medium-size companies, and number two, I don't feel any of them (except Squire Sanders maybe) have really explained what they do. Nor have we heard from any of their employees. Anyone can say they have stay-in-touch days (isn't this a statutory requirement anyway?), run workshops or ask their managers to talk to employees returning to work. Unless their employees have confirmed these measures helped them (and, more importantly, they weren't then pressurised into leaving because they've requested flexible hours or taken too many days off for childcare, etc. etc) all this is buzzwords.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now