‘Halton Foundation’, a new partnership between local businesses and the voluntary sector, was launched at Runcorn’s Heath Business Park today. (Wednesday 24 February)
Representatives from more than 60 local businesses gathered to hear about ways they could develop better links to local charities and give back to the communities in which they operate.
Hosted by Halton Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the event featured inspirational talks from Chris Bliss, Liverpool One estate director and chair of the North West Philanthropy Fellowship and local entrepreneur Richard Bamber, who owns Runcorn family coach company, Anthony’s Travel.
Halton firms heard how in-kind support, such as free professional advice, transport, equipment or website design, could be just as important as giving grants and fund-raising.
The partnership will be led by Halton Chamber, Halton Borough Council and Halton & St Helens Voluntary and Community Action (VCA), assisted by Cheshire Connect, Business in the Community (BITC) and Community Foundations for Lancashire and Merseyside (CFLM).
Chamber chief executive Paula Cain said: “Many large companies have well-established corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies but we want to tell smaller companies – you can make a huge difference to your local communities too.
“Very often it’s not about money but about providing a wide range of support. Employees could be encouraged to adopt a local charity or a company may be able to provide a particular service or expertise.
“No business exists in a vacuum and it actually makes good business sense, as well-as delivering a feel-good factor, to give something back to the local community in which you operate.”
Halton Council chief executive David Parr was also one of the keynote speakers. He said: “These are challenging times for all of us; times when we need to work together more than ever for the wellbeing and prosperity of the borough and people of Halton.
“The Halton Foundation will link individuals, businesses and organisations within Halton, enabling individuals, families, companies, entrepreneurs, and charitable trusts to support Halton’s communities and grow prosperity. This could take many forms, including funding, volunteering, donating goods and services, sharing expertise and providing in-kind support. It is a true partnership of the willing.”
Dozens of local charities and voluntary organisations have a wide range of needs and wants and could potentially benefit from being put in touch with an appropriate local business.
Sally Yeoman, from Halton & St Helens Voluntary and Community Action (VCA), added: “For us to ensure that local voluntary action continues to exist and support people in Halton, we need to think of new and creative ways of resourcing it. Our Halton partnership provides us with an exciting new way to do just that.”
Any business who believes they have something to offer, in whatever capacity, is invited to get in touch with Halton Chamber chief executive Paula Cain, email: firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange an informal discussion.