New guide aims to encourage and support businesses on community investment

Caption: The front cover of the new brochure

A new guide to simplify the way businesses in Leeds can engage and invest in community activities and events is to be launched this week.

Public and private sector organisations will be joined by voluntary sector and brokerage representatives at an event on Wednesday morning at the offices of Bond Dickinson in Leeds to discuss ways in which businesses can get more involved with community groups, charities and social enterprises in ways to also positively benefit their own workforces.

The event organised by Leeds City Council and members of the Community Investment in Leeds Partnership will see the launch of a new guide entitled ‘This is how we do business’, which aims to be a starting point to help and encourage businesses to get more involved in their communities through greater corporate responsibility by investing their time, talent or resources.

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Media are invited to attend the brochure launch event at the offices of Bond Dickinson, 1 Whitehall Road, LS1 4BN from 8:30am-10am on Wednesday 18 March.

Speaking at the event will be Leeds City Council executive member for transport and economy Cllr Richard Lewis, chief executive of West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce Sandy Needham, chief executive of Leeds Community Foundation Sally-Anne Greenfield and Bond Dickinson partner Paula Dillon.

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The guide also aims to highlight the vital contribution companies can make to Leeds through recruitment, training, workforce development and procurement practices, all of which are increasingly on the agenda of companies seeking to adopt a more civic-minded approach to doing business in the city. It also encourages businesses to give something back as the Leeds economy grows by looking to engage and invest more in their local area.

Leeds City Council executive member for transport and economy Councillor Richard Lewis said:

“In Leeds the council has a very strong and positive relationship with businesses and business groups, and we do everything we can to help support them as we recognise the vital role they play in the city’s economy. This guide looks to encourage businesses to look at what they can do to invest in their local communities through supporting events, activities or campaigns which can make a big difference.

“We know already that many businesses are thinking innovatively about how their working practices can be more supportive of the civic agenda, whether that be through family friendly workforce policies, or working with communities. Greater business involvement in local communities fits with the concept of ‘Civic Enterprise’ developed in Leeds which encourages the public sector to become more enterprising, the private sector to become more civic and for local people and communities to work together more to help communities flourish.

“We know as well that the benefits of businesses getting involved in these kinds of activities are felt both ways as the feedback we get from companies is that they find such experiences overwhelmingly positive in terms of staff engagement. The guide aims to make it as easy as possible to match businesses with appropriate activities to get involved with, so we look forward to seeing closer links between our businesses and the local communities they are based in over the months and years to come.”

The guide looks to provide effective guidance to business looking to work and connect with community groups, charities and social enterprises in Leeds. As there are currently more than 3,000 such organisations in the city, previously it had proved difficult for businesses and community groups to match themselves with appropriate partners in order to achieve the maximum benefits.

Looking to resolve this issue, a new Community Investment in Leeds partnership was established in August 2014. The partnership is made up of 10 citywide broker organisations which mediate between businesses and local community groups and charities to promote community investment.

The new guide looks to develop this partnership working further, offering initial guidance and contact information around a range of possible supporting activities, including:

• Team building days based around voluntary work

• Helping in a community

• Charitable giving

• Support to city and neighbourhood projects

• Donating resources

• Adopting companywide policies and initiatives that benefit employees and the wider community

• Employment support

• Work experience and apprenticeships

• Professional volunteering

• Fostering and adoption

• Support in schools including mentoring, employee volunteering and becoming a governor

For anyone interested in receiving a copy of the guide, please email community.investment@leeds.gov.uk


For media enquiries please contact:

Leeds City Council press office,

Tel: 0113 395 0244