Boost for Reading organisations

Fri 27 November 2015, 5:23 pm

Voluntary organisations, charities and other businesses in Reading are benefitting from a programme to help them connect.

The £4.8 million lottery funded Business Connectors programme was first launched in the UK in 2010 and is run by the Business in the Community charity. 

Business Connectors are individuals on secondment from business, and trained by the organisation which runs the programme to address local community needs.

Gas and electricity deliverer National Grid appointed Nathan Winyard as full time Business Connector for Reading six months ago. Winyard expressed his satisfaction with his role.

He said: “It’s very much like being a matchmaker putting together business and community groups for the benefit of the town and the organisations matched.

“I believe business has a vital role to play in supporting and working with the voluntary sector.”

Among the outcomes of the programme in Reading were the arrangement for 365 ITMS, an IT support company based in Risely, to give mentoring support to Christian Community Action and adult learning service New Directions.

Also, a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing has given support to the 3Cs community cafe in Caversham and Waitrose has provided mentoring to The Mustard Tree Foundation, which runs projects that work with those on the fringes of society. 

Steve Ellis, managing director of 365 ITMS, said: “We are always looking at ways to give something back to our local community and this initiative is a “win-win” as far as we are concerned. 

“The ability to share knowledge, expertise and experience is an enriching and rewarding experience both for the mentor and mentee.”

Stephen Howard, chief executive of Business in the Community, said: “We hope others are inspired by the leadership shown by National Grid and all the other organisations that support the programme, to also take a stand to build sustainable cohesive communities at this critical time.”

The scheme is backed by Prince Charles and prime minister David Cameron.


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