We use the Power of Leverage to encourage businesses of all sizes, even sole proprietors, to support local charities, community groups and educational establishments. In this way, we can turn 5 pounds into 50 pounds, 500 pounds or even 5,000 pounds worth of support. Our work already benefits approximately 1,000 people every year, but we want to improve our resources, web platforms and marketing reach so we can increase engagement levels and positively impact more than 3,000 lives annually.
In Southend, several wards are amongst the most deprived in the UK even though they may be adjacent to quite affluent areas: there is an estimated 15-year life expectancy difference between these areas. Lack of social cohesion contributes to a wide variety of social outcomes. Knife and gang crime is increasing dramatically as is homelessness. Many young people have low aspirations and youth unemployment is very high. Mental health issues and an ageing population are also major concerns.
Our projects use the Power of Leverage to encourage businesses to support a wide variety of good causes. To date, we have raised nearly 10k which has been shared between 42 organisations. But through our events, awards system and regular e-shots, the activities undertaken by our business connections are worth between 100k and 200k to an even wider range of good causes. By improving our IT platforms, we can automate processes, increase engagement and leverage support from many more companies.
Having the appropriate systems in place will help us engage with more businesses and support more than 3,000 underprivileged and disenfranchised people of all ages in Southend. Additionally, we will foster a mindset change so that it becomes the norm for businesses to support the local community. Once our platforms and systems are working effectively, we will encourage and support other towns across the UK to replicate them, thus potentially creating a seismic positive change in our societies.