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Gary Medlow

31 March to 4 April 2014 was ‘Responsible Business Week’ (RBW), a national initiative from Business in the Community (BITC),...

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Taking social responsibility seriously

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31 March to 4 April 2014 was ‘Responsible Business Week’ (RBW), a national initiative from Business in the Community (BITC),...

31 March to 4 April 2014 was ‘Responsible Business Week’ (RBW), a national initiative from Business in the Community (BITC), one of only 19 charities supported by HRH Prince Charles. I was proud to support this inspirational platform, helping businesses to unlock their potential to do more and demonstrate the positive impact they can have on society.

My passion is education, preparing and equipping our future workforce with the skills and confidence they need to succeed. I make no secret of my belief that ‘if you can you should’ and so I was delighted to host a series of events to support and spread the word about being a socially responsible business and encourage debate, idea sharing and collaboration across the business park and wider local community.

Working alongside BITC, we decided that the catalyst for a positive change would be volunteering, making a difference in the local community at a real ground level.

To this end we hosted a ‘Responsible Business Leaders’ debate and invited local business representatives and guest speakers to come to Langstone to talk about making a difference.

It was a fantastic opportunity and it was terrific that 40 delegates came along from a range of companies and everyone contributed to the table debates.

The main points that came out included:
> Be inventive when offering support and think outside of the box
> It's not just about money
> Education is vital and can make a huge difference
> Collaboration is the way to affect real change in a community
> Giving back to a community is hugely rewarding and enriching for employees
> A company that offers community and charitable support has an improved brand and reputation
> Business champions can help a business deliver its social responsibility agenda.

The guest speakers were excellent.

Jinx Prowse from Music Fusion really brought to life what it means to give/volunteer alternative business skills rather than just money. Through help from the business community his organisation is supported to a value of around £26,000 (IT support, accountancy etc.), funds that without he would not be able to exist and offer a real lifeline to many young and vulnerable people in the area.

Jason Dowling from Carillion had a real passion for corporate responsibility and Carillion offer an award winning volunteering programme. They are involved with numerous community and education initiatives that have (and are) making significant impact into the local area.

It was evident that everyone in the room was of a like mind and really enthusiastic about what they individually and their business could do.

As a follow on from the meeting, Fasset are linking up with Motiv8 a local charity to undertake a ‘team’ volunteer project on ‘Give and Gain Day’ (May 16th 2014); and initiate a regular cross-business discussion forum to continue the ideas sharing platform started at the event to capitalise on any partnership opportunities.

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