Business and charity can be perfect match

York Cares recently launched a third Charity Business Review (CBR) through which local voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations are matched with business volunteers who provide expertise in order to help them expand and reach their objectives.

Volunteers from Aviva, Hiscox, Network Rail and University of York Students’ Union (YUSU) have been working with British Sign Language for Kids, Older Citizens Advocacy York and York Community Stress Management to explore issues and identify actions to take forward.

Ben Vulliamy, CEO at YUSU, who is involved for the second time running commented on what a valuable opportunity it is for business volunteers to be involved with the CBR.

He said he was “keen to build relationships with the city and it’s exciting to work with passionate people who are at an early stage in their project’s formation”.

The first session of the CBR took place in late November with each charity giving a presentation about what they do and what they are hoping to achieve through their involvement with the programme before being matched with two business mentors.

Jane Cullen, former participant of the CBR who received help with her heritage project at West Bank Park, also talked about her experiences. She said that she had hoped to get a lot of inspiration and information from being involved and “that’s precisely what happened”.

Louisa Kirkbride, HR Business Partner at Aviva and chair of the session, commented on the value of bringing the business and charity perspectives together.

As a clinician, Christina Wade, from York Community Stress Management, is an expert in her field, but she needs help with the business side of the project in order for it to expand its services, providing support for people with low-level mental health problems who have trouble getting help on the NHS.

Christina explained: “I don’t naturally promote myself in the way a business person would”. It is hoped that with support from her mentors she will achieve her aims.”

Watch this space for how the charities grow and develop over the coming weeks.