How London business can provide tangible help to your local community
By our CEO, Mark Froud
In the last two years our local communities have been hit hard and charities in the UK have struggled to support them. Financial holes have emerged due to the withdrawal of the EU Structural Fund as part of the Brexit deal, and its replacement, the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, still in its infancy, will have a challenge plugging them. Add to this the effect of the pandemic on UK charities with 60% recording a loss of income and staff redundancies. Now is a good time to consider how your CSR programme can help your local community and local charities recover whilst at the same time meeting strategic objectives.
In addition to feeling like you have made a contribution to your local community, it can bring financial benefits through increased business and promote staff engagement and motivation.
Volunteering during Covid increased, with one in five UK adults giving up their time to help local community initiatives, such as food banks and deliveries to the elderly and those who were shielding. However, the face of volunteering is also changing with more people from disadvantaged backgrounds and marginalized communities volunteering with local initiatives as a way to increase their employability and to help prevent loneliness and low self esteem.
People who are struggling with unemployment, addiction or limiting conditions gain considerable emotional value from volunteering. Not only that but rewards such as education, grocery vouchers, fitness or entertainment experiences can be given in exchange via a time credit system which adds to the motivation and sense of personal achievement.
Businesses can play their part in helping volunteers and local community groups too by providing tangible rewards. Research by Tempo Time Credits reported that 88% of volunteers said being acknowledged with rewards improved their mental health and 95% said they felt able to contribute to the community.
UK businesses are starting to rebuild, having withstood some serious roadblocks in the past few years; a pandemic, Brexit, staff shortages and the economic upheaval they bring. Now is the time to rethink a strategy to help play a part in the overall social and economic picture.
Socially conscious businesses are well placed to thrive in the current market. A recent Impact report found that 73% of investors state efforts to improve the environment and society play into their investment decision-making. It also found that 77% of consumers are more likely to use companies that are committed to making the world a better place. The case for social responsibility has never been more important.
Urban regeneration is an area that requires a large amount of volunteer time as well as financial investment, it’s also a very sociable way to get outside and join in with the community. Many organisations in London have commissioned projects that provide Time Credits, to volunteers from a variety of community projects.
This article was originally published in the May/ June 2022 edition of London Business Matters, the bi-monthly magazine of London Chamber of Commerce & Industry. Link to published article.
If you would like to know more about joining our network either to commission your own project, or as one of our charity or business partners please contact the Tempo team.