What will you be doing to support the community around you this year?
Many of us will volunteer, buy from charity shops, fundraise with your business or something else. How do you decide? And how do you know it has an impact?
These can be difficult questions to answer, especially when there is a wealth of volunteering opportunities and we are bombarded by good causes to jump out of aeroplanes on behalf of.
I lack time and already have two voluntary roles. So I tend to think strategically – that there’s more than one way to have an impact. You don’t always have to get directly involved.
This has turned my attention to our fine city of Norwich, the small voice and influence I have and what I can do to leverage more community impact. So this year my thoughts turned to how we can make it easier for businesses to make a difference.
Wouldn’t it be fantastic if the goods and services that businesses buy anyway were bought from other businesses that employ homelessness people or guys out of prison? (Did you know that every time you get your keys cut at Timpson’s you’re doing just this, as they employ ex-offenders?).
That means that this year I’m running a Buy Social Steering Group working with key partners from Norwich City Council, UEA, Chambers of Commerce, Norwich BID and local social enterprises. We will be looking at how we can register Norwich a Social Enterprise Place and make it easier for businesses as well as individuals to spend their money with businesses that have real added social impact.