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:
- 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.
- 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.
- Similarly, the portal could be used to provide a Light Touch Responsible Business Standard Certification process.
- 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.