The value of Business Connectors

I end this week with a little blog which comes at the end of a mixed week.  We began the week with the terrible incident in Manchester in which 22 people sadly lost their lives and yet, one which has done so much to foster a greater sense of community than ever before.

For me, the week started out a little rough, waking up on Monday full of cold and lacking the energy but with a room full of charities to present to at the Involve Swindon Networking Day, I pulled myself together and had a fantastic morning.  Involve Swindon, who promote employee volunteering in the town, have some wonderfully inspirational and influential people behind them, naming Jo Banks and Tony Martin in particular.  I had been asked to give a presentation about the Business Connector programme and from this, obtained a number of new contacts and individuals wanting to speak to me.  The value of connecting can not be under estimated.  I often wonder what the barrier is to charities and community groups approaching business and how this can be overcome in the long term.  Very often, money is the main need of so many organisations and from talking to businesses, they are not so willing to engage when this becomes the primary request.  Where businesses have been willing to engage however, is in that sharing of resource and expertise.  It will be interesting to see over the coming months, how we can develop the way in which both sides can approach one another for mutual benefit, with the conversation being dominated by the dreaded 'M word'

My week finished with an incredibly productive meeting (perhaps rather fittingly) with Wiltshire Police.  Meeting a couple of the community policing officers, we had a really interesting discussion around the communities the police serve, culminating in an invite to join their next meeting of the community co-ordinators.  As Business Connectors, perhaps the police don't seem an obvious organisation to approach, but what they bring is a thorough knowledge and understanding of the communities, the problems they face, how their resources are being deployed and what could be done to address the social issues Business Connectors are in post to address. 

I really look forward to working closely with the police and in this week that was, let's appreciate the incredible work they do and thank them for it.