Power of Leverage: improve 3000+ lives in Southend

by BSTLC CIC
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Power of Leverage: improve 3000+ lives in Southend
Power of Leverage: improve 3000+ lives in Southend
Power of Leverage: improve 3000+ lives in Southend
Power of Leverage: improve 3000+ lives in Southend
Power of Leverage: improve 3000+ lives in Southend
Power of Leverage: improve 3000+ lives in Southend
Power of Leverage: improve 3000+ lives in Southend
Double Whammy Networking at Metro Bank
Double Whammy Networking at Metro Bank

Yet again, not a great deal has changed in this last quarter. But hopefully that might change soon…

We are about to submit an application to The Fore which is the only open-access funder in the UK offering strategic support to early stage charities and social enterprises. They don’t have any restrictive criteria and like to support organisations that are a bit different. I think we fit the bill!

Application deadline is 2nd September and funding decisions will be announced by 29th November.

As we have said before, for every £5 a charity or other good cause receives, they will be able to spend £5 on the services they provide. However, if we receive £5 we can turn that into £50, £500 or even sometimes £5,000 for charities and good causes by being the central pivot that connects businesses and good causes.

Double Whammy Networking

We have held two Double Whammy events since our last report bringing the total cash raised from these events to over £11,000. But as we always stress, the cash is almost insignificant: it’s the value of the relationships that are built between the business community and our beneficiary charities that has real value. This often doesn’t materialise for months after the event.

In June, we held an event at our local Metro Bank, an early evening event with drinks and buffet – provided by the bank – while the store was still open! We raised £128 for the Teddy Hewitt Foundation which helps support families in need of financial and physical support following the passing of a child, when one parent is financially reliant on the disability living allowance are carers allowance in the 3 months following the child’s death.

In July we held a smaller breakfast event in the lounge area of The Yoga Factory, a local yoga centre. We changed the format of the event so that it was more of a discussion group about responsible business. We raised £61 for Gold Geese which supports families affected with childhood cancer. The emphasis was on awareness of the swab campaign to register potential stem cell donors on the world wide register. (We will feature that in one of our e-newsletters, too.)

At the July event, we also had a representative from Southend-on-Sea Borough Council speak about Industry Champions, a scheme which imatches local business people with schools to help with career support, advice and mentoring. Several attendees were keen to register.

This is, of course, only a small snapshot of the work we are doing. Our ultimate aim is to develop a model that is self-funding and can be replicated in boroughs across the country, but we desparately need additional funding to get the IT elements in place and additional staff employed.

 

Please do continue to support our project via our Global Giving crowdfunding page and/or share the information.

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Not a great deal has changed in this last quarter. We are still trying to find funding streams to enable us to further develop the project but, because we don’t deliver direct services, this is very challenging.

The irony is that for every £5 a charity or other good cause receives, they will be able to spend £5 on the services they provide. However, if we receive £5 we can turn that into £50, £500 or even sometimes £5,000 for charities and good causes by being the central pivot that connects businesses and good causes.

We have held two Double Whammy events since our last report bringing the total cash raised from these events to almost £11,000. But as we always stress, the cash is almost insignificant: it’s the value of the relationships that are built between the business community and our beneficiary charities that has real value. This often doesn’t materialise for months after the event.

In April, we held an event at our local Holiday Inn hotel and raised £202 which was shared between Off The Streets and Age Concern Southend. The latter are currently working on a big construction project and have several corporate sponsorshop options they wanted to promote. They are now the hotel’s charity of the year. Off The Streets is doing great work in rehousing the homeless and there were several people who were keen to help with mentoring and hands-on support.

In May we held an event at out local Fire Station. Funds raised of £133 were to support the Southend Tinnitus Support Group. These groups can be a lifeline for people suffering from these sometimjes quite debillitating and unseen health issues.

We also had a short presentation about domestic smoke alarms from the Southend Fire Brigade and many people booked to have them installed in there homes and home offices.

This is, of course, only a small snapshot of the work we are doing. Our ultimate aim is to develop a model that is self-sunding and can be replicated in boroughs across the country, but we desparately need additional funding to get the IT elements in place and additional staff employed.

 

Please do continue to support our project via our Global Giving crowdfunding page and/or share the information. 

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BSTLC – driving the Social Value agenda

By Jill Poet, CEO and project leader.

We continue to pursue a desire to drive the social value agenda forward, both locally and nationally.

We applied for a grant this last quarter to enhance our existing offering. The funds would have provided  for a matching portal: “what charities and community groups need and what business can provide” and additional staff. An email at the end of January suggested we were very likely to receive this pot of funding, but ultimately we were unsuccessful.

This was obviously very disappointing, especially as our hopes had been raised. Nonetheless, we continue with our existing projects and still support many local charities and community groups.

However, we know we could do so much more if we had the funding for the proposed new portal, together with a dedicated member of staff as a business liaison officer with a remit to increase numbers and levels of business engagement.

Organisation for Responsible Businesses (ORB)

The good news is that BSTLC CIC has purchased the shareholding in ORB and is now, effectively, the parent company.

ORB is a UK-based national organisation, incorporated in February 2009 and with a remit to encourage SMEs to operate ethically and responsibly, and always consider their impact on people and the environment. This might also be referred to as Corporate Social Responsibility or Shared Value.

ORB and BSTLC are very much aligned with two directors in common. Many resources are shared including the Responsible Business Workbook which is the basis for ORB’s Responsible Business Standard certification, as well as for Stage 1 of the Southend Business and Community Charter Award which is one of the projects within BSTLC.

The aim is to take these resources online with a multi-purpose resource that can be used at several different levels:

  1. At the most basic level, a company representative will be able to register and go through all the questions relevant to the Responsible Business Standard, but purely for their personal development.
  2. The Social Value Portal could be used to complete the Charter Awards, with all supporting documentation uploaded and with access to auditors to validate the award. This would also make it easier to replicate the awards across the UK, but with the emphasis still on supporting the local community.
  3. Similarly, the portal could be used to provide a Light Touch Responsible Business Standard Certification process.
  4. Or, it could be used as the starting point for a full Responsible Business Standard, which would require a subsequent onsite audit.

 

Again, BSTLC will be looking for grant opportunities to fund this development.

 

Please do continue to support our project via our Global Giving crowdfunding page and/or share the information. 

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BSTLC website home page screenshot
BSTLC website home page screenshot

Our new website

As our GlobalGiving crowdfunding campaign provided funds to build a new website, I am delighted to confirm that the new site has just launched! https://www.bstlc.org.uk/

There are some tweaks to be made, and I now need to update the blogs, but I hope you will agree that it is looking good?

Our local community focus

Whilst most of the many fabulous campaigns on the GlobalGiving website relate to projects in developing countries, our focus is on strengthening our local community in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, UK. We do this by encouraging businesses of all sizes to support local charities, community groups and educational establishments.

A little bit of Christmas cheer

Yesterday (29th November) for example, we sent out our ‘Bring a Little Bit of Christmas Cheer’ email encouraging our business database to support the disadvantaged over the festive period. We are always very specific in our asks, so we featured three campaigns that respectively represent and support the lonely elderly, children and the homeless.

We sent the e-shot out to nearly 400 local businesses and we know this will inspire many of them to take action. The frustration for us is that because we are signposting to other organisations, we don’t necessarily get info on the full impact. Nonetheless, the more businesses we are engaging with the more impact we will have, so the ongoing support we receive from our GlobalGiving campaign makes a huge amount of difference.

Other requests we have sent in the last few months included a request for work experience placements for college students (some were placed on the very day the e-shot was sent!); supporting an ambitious Age Concern project by ‘Buying a Brick’ or Sponsoring a Space’; joining a work party day at the Trust Links mental health charity community gardens.

Double Whammy

We have also held four smallish Double Whammy networking events which have raised £664 for four different charities. But as we always stress, the value in these events isn’t in the cash raised but the relationships that are established between the businesses and the charities. At our last event, for example, several businesses pledged support to small charity 57 West to provide numeracy and literacy workshops for their homeless clients.

Often, we don’t hear what transpires as a result of these events. And sometimes we hear a snippet several months later. For example, we only recently heard the heart-warming news that a young man with Asperger’s was placed in a full-time apprenticeship with a small, local IT company as a direct result of a relationship that was forged at a Double Whammy event between the beneficiary charity SAFE (Supporter Asperger Families in Essex) and one of the business attendees.

Awards for supporting the community

And we are delighted that in November, the Southend Business and Community Charter Committee agreed awards for 5 businesses in acknowledgement of the work they are doing to support the local community. These are robust awards and their applications are very detailed and evidence based, so the following are just very brief summaries.

ENS Recruitment Ltd – Gold Award

Supporting the local community has always been part of this company’s DNA and all managers, senior managers and directors are actively involved in charity projects, and all members of staff are encouraged to get involved. The company also employs two full-time apprentices. We particularly like that they feature their efforts on their website. We are encouraging more businesses to do the same:  https://www.ensgroup.co.uk/about-us/charity-work-ens-csr/

Gleneagles Guest House – Gold AwardThis is the fourth Gold Award in succession for this lovely Guest House and Tea Rooms which looks proudly across Southend’s Western Esplanade and across the River Thames estuary.  Owners Garry and Penny Lowen are well known for their community support, particularly Southend Carnival and Southend Mayor’s Charity. Garry chairs both organisations and both are actively involved throughout the year.

Home Instead – Southend – Gold Award

This company provides support to the elderly which enables them to stay in their homes. However, the award is not for what their business does, but the additional community support. Proprietor Niven’s commitment to the local community is quite apparent and includes providing free workshops on dementia for the general public and giving two members of staff paid time-off to help deliver dementia training. The company also employs two apprentices.

CHC Construction – Silver Award

MD Trevor Williams has been a Trustee of Age Concern Southend (ACSOS) for about 8 years. In the last 12 months his focus has been supporting ACSOS’s ambitious plans to develop a new community hub which will provide a venue for the elderly, for various other charitable and community groups, and for the wider community to come together.

Lollipop Local – Bronze Award

Jo and Jon of Lollipop local, a small digital marketing agency in Leigh-on-Sea, are passionate about supporting education and employment for young people.

Please do continue to support our project via our GlobalGiving crowdfunding page and/or share the information. 

Four companies receive Charter Award certificates
Four companies receive Charter Award certificates
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Chris Wise from SEE MS Society giving presentation
Chris Wise from SEE MS Society giving presentation

 

Since our initial Accelerator campaign ended on 30th June, we have held two of our Double Whammy Networking events, raising a total of £489 for local charities plus additional non-cash benefits.

We raised £307 on 26th July which was split between the Southend Mayor’s Charity and the South East Essex MS Society.

The Mayor’s charity for this year is Southend in Sight which has recently been rebranded from Southend Blind Welfare Organisation. It was therefore most fitting that at the event, the Mayor was able to present a Gold Southend Business & Community Charter Award to Emily Hewitt of I Am Emily. (The Charter is our robust award, via an application process rather than a competition, for businesses that demonstrate support for the local community.)

Emily is a sole proprietor who works with several subcontractors to provide complete web design and marketing packages.

Emily is committed to supporting the local community and has given her time free of charge to several charities over the last twelve months, encouraging her subcontractors to do likewise. One of the charities Emily supported during this time was Southend in Sight, giving over 50 hours of her time without charge to the rebrand project.

As well as supporting charities, Emily has also supported young people at careers events and through mentoring.

As it was holiday season, we didn’t have an event in August, but on 6th September we held a smallish event at The Stage House UK and raised £179 for local charity Friends and Places Together, which provides short breaks for disabled children and young adults.

Mandy James gave a 5-minute presentation on behalf of the charity. She explained how disabled teenagers and young adults were often socially isolated and how the charity helped them develop friendships and go to places and events that able-bodied teenagers take for granted.  

As always at our events, relationships were established between the business community and the third sector which invariably results in even more support for the specific charities we invite to the attend and share details of the work they are doing.

Michelle Passfield, Founder of wellbeing in the workplace charity WellbeingMatters, said:

As always with Jill’s Double Whammy events, the recent one at Gleneagles Hotel on 26 July provided me with the opportunity to meet new business owners and catch up with familiar faces. It was so well attended that I wasn’t able to get to talk to everyone but with those I did, I’ve had follow-up correspondence and meetings.”

Of course, the funds we are raising through the Global Giving crowdfunding campaign are primarily to be used for new IT platforms that will help us reach out to more businesses, which in turn will support more charities, community groups and educational establishments.

We are delighted that we have now commissioned I Am Emily to develop a new BSTLC website that will enable us to manage the content of the site including a new blog. We have agreed the scope of the work and Emily has giving us a very good quote for design and development. We have paid the deposit and the new site should be live at the end October/ beginning November.

The money raised so far is only sufficient for a very basic website. In due course, we are hoping to fulling integrate the existing Double Whammy & Charter Award web sites (http://dwnetworking.co.uk/Southend/ and http://bccawards.org.uk/Southend/) with the new BSTLC site and automate more of the processes, including a matching facility for what good causes need and what businesses can provide but, as always, working on a very localised basis.

Please do continue to support our project via our Global Giving crowdfunding page and/or share the information.  

Business delegates at DW Networking 26th July
Business delegates at DW Networking 26th July
Mayor of Southend presenting Charter Award
Mayor of Southend presenting Charter Award
Mandy James giving presentation about the charity
Mandy James giving presentation about the charity
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Organization Information

BSTLC CIC

Location: Southend-on-Sea, Essex - United Kingdom
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @SouthendCharter
Jill Poet
Project Leader:
Jill Poet
Southend-on-Sea, Essex United Kingdom

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