LIFEBOAT heroes will be honoured at this year’s Open 4 Business (O4B) 2012 awards dinner on Thursday, October 25.

The RNLI Weymouth Lifeboat will be the recipient of cash set to be raised by the business community at the ceremony at Weymouth College.

The steering group selected the RNLI because it is a cause close to people’s hearts following recent tragic events.

Julie Cleaver, managing director of Open4Business, said the RNLI affects many people in Dorset.

She added: “In 2012 we have had two tragic events which took place in local waters, the loss of the Purbeck Isle and the powerboat tragedy.

“Both events brought the outstanding work of the RNLI into public view and Open 4 Business Dorset recognised this as an essential charity to sponsor in 2012.”

The Echo, O4B’s media partner, is profiling the sponsors of the awards ceremony.

Under the spotlight today are Battens Solicitors and Wessex FM, which are sponsoring the Best Community Engagement Project and Best Employer awards.

Gareth Jones, of Battens, said: “As one of the largest law firms in the South West, Battens Solicitors supports Dorset businesses of all sizes and in many industry sectors.

“We do this chiefly through our award-winning legal work building on a track record going back more than 300 years. Our experienced team covers key areas such as property litigation, commercial property, employment, wealth management, planning and agriculture.

“Now a Legal 500 firm with more than 20,000 clients, we enjoy challenging the accepted ways of doing things so that we can develop and deliver fresh solutions. This go-ahead approach is reflected in the ways we support many community initiatives and foster links with businesses from our offices in Dorchester, Weymouth, Yeovil and Sherborne. This year we held our fifth annual beach volleyball tournament in Weym-outh. It attracted a variety of businesses for some friendly sporting rivalry on the sands in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society. We also support the Dorset Wildlife Trust and the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy.

“We are thrilled to champion the theme of community engagement through our Open 4 Business sponsorship.”

Weymouth firm Swift Signs is one of the finalists.

The company first entered the awards in 2010 and was a finalist in the Exporter of the Year and Customer Service categories and won the accolade Best South and West Business.

Karl Lantree of Swift Signs said: “Entering the awards gave us the impetus to re-energize and focus on the challenges faced in business today, enhancing our skill set, investing in training and developing new products and techniques.

“It is a fantastic opportunity to share our achievements and vision for the future.”