Kirklees based, grant-giving charity One Community Foundation, has today announced its plans to support people from the business and voluntary sectors – so that they can come together and tackle some of the area’s challenges.
Leading the drive to generate more volunteers and CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) opportunities for local businesses is newly appointed Community Links Manager, Emma Woods-Bolger. Emma joins One Community Foundation with twenty years of experience across both the business and voluntary sectors and will use her experience to connect people who care with local causes that matter.
Last year, One Community Foundation distributed over £350,000 in grant funding to support grassroots community groups across Kirklees. The Foundation is ‘cause neutral’ and so acts as an informed and professional channel for the charitable giving of both businesses and individuals in the local community. Having developed local knowledge through regular engagement with their community, the Foundation is best placed to ensure that businesses Cooperate Social Responsibility (CSR) can make the biggest possible impact.
One Community Foundation plans to connect businesses interested in supporting the work of local charities and community groups, who are often working in challenging circumstances, and in some of the most deprived areas. Far too many communities are now being left behind across Kirklees, which demands a strong business-led response.
Emma says “Many Kirklees based businesses are already supporting the work of charities; and whilst there is a huge variety of worthy national charities, it is often the local, smaller ones that go unnoticed and miss out on support from their own community. We would like to see an increase in support for small local charities, which do not have the budget or resources to make themselves known to local businesses.
“We would particularly encourage businesses to engage with us in a conversation about the mutual benefits of Employer Supported Volunteering, and skills-based volunteering, to the charities, the businesses, and their employees”.
Employer-supported volunteering (ESV) is where the employees of an organisation take paid time off to volunteer during work hours. Employees can use their volunteering time, typically one to two days per year, to support a charity or community group opportunity provided by the Community Links Manager at the One Community Foundation. Projects typically include practical tasks such as going to a homelessness shelter and assisting with the food service, helping run an activities day at an elderly care home or helping to run a sports day for disabled people, painting and decorating at a hospice or organising or taking part in fundraising days and activities.
Skills-based volunteering leverages the specialised skills and talents of individuals to strengthen the infrastructure of charities, helping them build and sustain their capacity to successfully achieve their missions. Tasks typically include advising on HR issues and policies, business planning, advice on tendering and applying for funding, marketing advice and support, website creation or updating etc.
Emma says “If time is scarce, businesses can also volunteer their space for a good cause. They might consider using their storefront as a drop-off location for charity collections and local food banks, gaining exposure while helping others is a win for both your business and the greater community”.
Paul Johnson, General Manager of One Community Foundation, said: “This is a great time to be strengthening our communities by helping businesses and local voluntary groups come together. Emma will play a vital role developing and sustaining relationships between the voluntary and private sectors, and we welcome her to our team.”
You can contact Emma Woods-Bolger at the One Community Foundation on 01484 468397 or email Emma@one-community.org.uk