Growing Together is a partnership of community and environmental sector organisations that aims to unlock land, generate income and share skills that will enable community growing groups to become self-sustaining.
We have been contacted by Carillion PLC, a large construction firm that is currently building four schools in the Oxford area. As part of their commitment to add social value to the areas where they operate, they are looking for local community growing projects to support.Traditionally community groups have received financial or material donations from private businesses, or not engaged with them at all. Over the past decade we have seen a rise of team volunteer activities and skill sharing. Companies recognise their “Corporate Social Responsibility” not simply as a giving exercise but as engagement to benefit communities, the environment, their staff and their reputation. As well as being a large, high profile company, Carillion PLC have the added impetus for engaging with communities due to the nature of their work as they deliver contracts for the public sector. The Social Value Act 2012 requires those who commission, or buy, public services to consider securing added economic, social or environmental benefits for their local area. Depending on the needs of your group, Carillion may be able to offer free materials, labour or expertise around a building/management project. As a construction firm they have a wealth of experience in their sector from planning and sourcing suppliers to project management, trades and health and safety. Community groups should take the lead in proposing innovative ways that companies can support them in way that is mutually beneficial. For example, Carillion employ many apprentices who need experience on different projects – could your organisation identify a project for them to undertake that would develop unique skills? If they were supported by a Carillion project manager and came with materials and tools this would be a great win for your organisation provided you were able to be little flexible and effectively communicate your expectations. To find out more about this opportunity of support offered by Growing Together please contact Alison Sheffield on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07752 542 853. www.growingtogether.community Find us on facebook: growingtogether.community Follow us on twitter: @gtcommunities