CSR Volunteers smiling

How helping others can help your business

The ‘win-win’ benefits of backing a local charity or community project were spelled out to businesses at the first Kent conference of its kind last week.

The event, Corporate Social Responsibility 2025 – Fit for the future, heard how encouraging staff to devote time to helping a charity or raising money for a good cause had many benefits for the company itself.

Businesses were told that a well thought-out CSR policy could boost morale, raise the profile of the company, increase productivity, help it win new customers and even reduce costs by making staff more environmentally and socially aware.

The event, at the Bridgewood Manor Hotel, Chatham, also heard speakers from two charities explain how their relationship with local businesses helped them support their clients while putting smiles on the faces of the employees who worked with them.

Corporate social responsibility expert Tracy-Anne Barker, from T A Barker Associates, organised the event to highlight the way CSR – also known as ‘social value’ – can be as good for the company as it is for the charity.

“Businesses regularly tell me how much more motivated their staff are when they are encouraged to link up with a local good cause, how much the team spirit improves and how that increased goodwill and energy boosts business performance,” she said.

HR Manager Jenna Wells, from specialist electrical group R J Power, outlined the many ways the company’s CSR programme had boosted that business – and saved money.

Because CSR is not just about supporting local good causes but about being ethical and environmentally friendly, the workforce had abandoned plastic cups, reduced energy usage and introduced video conferencing to reduce their carbon footprint, all of which had cut the business’ costs, she explained.

She also pointed out that companies and local authorities were increasingly asking potential suppliers to demonstrate their support for the wider community. “A CSR policy is increasingly important for businesses looking to compete,” she pointed out.

Martyn Reeves, from Friends of Wisdom Hospice, and Julia Kitchenham, from We Are Beams, both gave inspiring presentations about how much their business partners contributed to their charities – and how much those taking part in the various fund-raising and support activities benefited themselves.

The event also saw the launch of a short film produced by T A Barker Associates to highlight the benefits of CSR and featuring the R J Power team. For more information contact Tracy-Anne on 07449 041092 or email tracy-anne@tabarkerassociates.co.uk

Press release issued 21st October 2019

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