1 month in and...

Well if anyone had told me one month ago that I'd be on the road looking for a forklift truck, a double decker bus and would have the pleasure of meeting the former Olympian Roger Black, I don't think I would have believed them.  But such is the nature of a Business Connector's work that all of the above and much more, have come to fruition.

When I first considered applying for this role, there was of the side of me that wanted to do it from a developmental point of view.  After all, where else could you possibly have the opportunity to act as a broker between the voluntary sector and businesses?  What has struck me however over the past few weeks, is just how many people and organisations there are in Swindon - a town in which I have worked for over 15 years and yet seemingly, know so little about.  The world of the charitable and voluntary sector is one which quietly goes on with their work, not asking for praise or recognition, not wanting to be at the forefront of the media promoting their work and looking for people to congratulate them.  They have a goal and even when there is severe pressure on them, particularly in relation to finances, they somehow pull through.  It has been incredible to see how the sector operates, meet the people behind the great work and to hear how their efforts affect people every day.  That was no more true than at the Inner Flame Young Champions awards at the DoubleTree by Hilton on the 27th of April.  Invited to join by the fantastic team of Gail, James and Darren, it was a fabulous night of fun, games and celebration, culminating in the inaugural awards presented to 7 well deserved individuals.  It's nights like these where you truly appreicate the world of charities and the voluntary sector.  All too often when we think of charity, our minds conjure up images of collection tins.  But the reality is very different.  The work goes on behind the scenes, sometimes in non-descript buildings, sometimes with just a few people.  Yet the wider impact is immeasurable and so often, seldom mentioned.

Equally, businesses I have met so far have been fantastic - open to new ideas and initiatives and the idea of community, underpinned by the new Switch on to Swindon campaign, will harness even greater collaboration in the future.  We have a great town with great people and great businesses.  It's now up to us in this final year of the Business Connector programme, to build on those foundations and keep the good work going.  So thank you so far for all the cups of coffee, meetings, invites and chats.  I look forward to many many more and look forward to bringing benefits to you all.

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