Partnership to unite businesses and charities across Sheffield
Sheffield Chamber of Commerce are delighted to be teaming up with Sheffield Business Together to scale up team working between employers and charities to address key challenges in Sheffield.
Two years ago, Arm, Arup, Henry Boot, Irwin Mitchell and John Lewis, joined forces with Voluntary Action Sheffield, Business in the Community and the city’s universities to form Sheffield Business Together. Supported by Benchmark, Mantra Media and South Yorkshire’s Community Foundation, the aim of Sheffield Business Together is focussed on increasing employer-led volunteering and the impact that charities and businesses could have by working together.
Since its creation, Sheffield Business Together has made a real difference delivering in excess of 132 projects involving more than 50 charities and 35 businesses within Sheffield. Delivering key flagship projects such as GoGoGreen, that built a living green barrier around Hunters Bar School to combat air pollution. Business have also engaged with schools in Sheffield’s most deprived communities to help raise student attainment, aspiration and job readiness and have helped charities be sustainable by offering specialists skills such as marketing, IT, engineering or graphic design.
Then the pandemic hit. Communities and families in Sheffield are facing real challenges. Now, more than ever, businesses and charities must come together to provide support and to solve common challenges facing the city.
Launching this month, Sheffield Business Together, working through Voluntary Action Sheffield and Business in the Community, are teaming up with Sheffield Chamber to create a citywide network of 1000s of businesses and charities. The focus of this new partnership is to link more businesses and charities together, in order to deliver projects across the city to solve challenges faced by communities, as the city continues to live with the impact of the pandemic.
Built around a simple brokerage service, charities that require support will be introduced to Chamber members with the skills and expertise to help. Businesses who want to give something back, will have access to a one-stop-shop to understand how they can help.
Martin Singer, Co-Chair of the Sheffield Business Together Steering Group, said: “Sheffield Business Together was founded in 2019 to bring like-minded businesses together to collaborate, connect, share and harness resources to address some of the key challenges facing our city. We have already supported over 132 projects across the city, but we know that we need to scale up our activity to give more businesses and charities the opportunity to work together.
“We are excited about the partnership with Sheffield Chamber and their members. Together we have a greater ability to support people and communities across the city.”
Louisa Harrison-Walker, Executive Director at Sheffield Chamber, added: “Sheffield Chamber members and the wider business community care hugely about people and communities in Sheffield. Businesses across the city are saying to us they want to help, and they want to make a difference. Sheffield Chamber joining up with Sheffield Business Together increases our capacity to make connections between businesses and charities so they can work together to help address some of the biggest challenges facing our city. This new network is open to all Chamber members. We are also working with business groups across the city to make sure this new network is open to all.”
Paul Harvey, Head of Volunteering at Voluntary Action Sheffield, added: “Voluntary Action Sheffield is proud to have developed Sheffield Business Together with the founding members to mobilise employee volunteering more strategically in Sheffield. Businesses care about making a positive difference in Sheffield and want to strengthen the resilience of the voluntary and community sector across Sheffield. The pandemic has created huge challenges for the people we serve and the charities delivering that support. This partnership links VAS’ connection to the voluntary sector to Sheffield Chamber’s network of businesses, to scale the impact that Sheffield Business Together can have.”
Baroness Jo Valentine, Place Director at Business in the Community, said: “Covid-19 has had a seismic effect on communities and businesses across Sheffield and has shone a spotlight on the inequalities in our society. As we look towards recovery, we are presented with an opportunity to build on some of the incredible collaborative efforts of businesses, the public sector, and the community that we have witnessed during the pandemic.
“Business in the Community as the largest business led organisation, dedicated to responsible business, has been proud to support Sheffield Business Together (SBT). Our Sheffield connector, Carolynn McConnell, has played a leading role in establishing and running SBT. We are now delighted to support the coming together of the Sheffield Chamber and SBT in a unique partnership to benefit Sheffield.
“Carolynn’s secondment will be extended to April 2022 to work alongside the Chamber to take this forward and further scale collaboration between employers and charities to address the key challenges in Sheffield and build back responsibly.”
At the centre of this new partnership is the shared belief that Sheffield is at its best when it comes together. Businesses and charities working as one to deliver a real, lasting impact.
To find out more about Sheffield Business Together, visit www.sheffieldbusinesstogether.org.uk