Pictured: The Minister for Civil Society, Brooks Newmark, chairs a meeting at the Swindon MS Therapy Centre office with 'Involve Swindon' representatives.
We always aim to work in a collaborative spirit, both with our charity partners and external colleagues and professional bodies in the voluntary sector. We firmly believe that by sharing best practice and through the effective use of networks, we can make the most positive, measurable and sustainable difference to communities across the UK and overseas. We approach all our grant giving and partnership programmes with experienced due diligence combined with a pioneering spirit. We are not afraid to challenge and are valued as a 'critical friend' by our partners.
A recent example of successful advocacy at grassroots level, is our support of local employee volunteer network Involve Swindon. In August 2014, Involve Swindon received one of The Prime Minister's Big Society Awards which was presented by the Minister for Civil Society, Brooks Newmark.
Established in 2004, Involve Swindon is run by the Swindon Volunteer Centre and Voluntary Action Swindon, with annual funding from the Zurich Community Trust, Intel and Nationwide. It brings together representatives from local employers, the statutory sector and the voluntary sector to work collaboratively to share skills. Since inception, Involve Swindon has worked with over 120 local organisations, engaging over 3,500 Swindon employees. It is chaired by Tony Martin, the Trust's Volunteer Development Manager.
"With the funding challenges voluntary organisations are facing in these difficult economic times, the need for the sharing of business skills has never been greater. Often the voluntary sector organisations don’t have the time to ask and the private sector isn’t sure how to offer help. Involve Swindon is bridging that gap and performing a vital brokerage role between the private sector in Swindon and the local voluntary sector."
Pam Webb, Head of Zurich Community Trust.
- Pam Webb, Head of Zurich Community Trust, chairs LBG , a network of over 100 companies with leading community investment programmes. Pam is also a Trustee of the Association of Charitable Foundations (ACF).
"We are often asked to share our 40 year experience to help shape and inform other programmes and I can honestly say that, when we do, the learning is always two way. I am a firm believer that organisations can achieve more together and our belief in genuine partnership and the power of collaboration underpins everything we do."
- Steve Grimmett, Manager of the 'Zurich Cares' Programme, chairs the Issues Based Network (IBN) of the Association of Charitable Foundations (ACF).
"This issues based network is a great forum for corporate foundations to regularly meet, share information and learn from each other. If you are an ACF member and a corporate foundation, and would like to know more about this network, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org."