By Jayne Woodley, Chief Executive at Oxfordshire Community Foundation
We are expecting to welcome around 200 business leaders to an inspiring and thought-provoking breakfast event featuring the former Managing Director of John Lewis, Andy Street, as our guest speaker – and we really hope you will be among them.
By way of background, Reciprocate was launched by Oxfordshire Community Foundation in March 2016 to share with businesses our knowledge of the charitable sector, and of the unacceptable social problems faced by many in our communities across Oxfordshire.
Businesses are at the heart of the community. Business leaders know that getting staff together to do something for charity is a great way of engaging and retaining them, especially in a job market where the talented employees are in high demand. What is more, positive community engagement can position companies favourably in the hearts and minds of their customers.
Reciprocate is a membership of responsible businesses: organisations that believe that, by sharing ideas and collaborating on projects, they can increase their support for the local community. Reciprocate empowers them to become more effective and strategic in their engagement.
Reciprocate is all about finding solutions not working with problems. It’s not about writing cheques or donating money so someone else can sort it – it’s about getting involved and making a pledge to play a part in the common good. Current members who have made a pledge include Allen Associates, Blenheim Palace, Unipart, Beard Construction, Meech, DAF Trucks, Taylor & Francis, Royds Withy King and many more.
A pledge could be as a simple as offering a great work experience for a young person about to leave school, mentoring an ex-offender and helping them gain employment, or becoming a trustee of a charity who could really welcome your skills and experience.
Reciprocate has exciting plans for 2017 – including our much-anticipated breakfast event with Andy Street, sponsored by Allen Associates, a founding member of Reciprocate. Andy will be talking about his recent decision to swap his role as MD of John Lewis for the potential of becoming Mayor of Birmingham. Over a Q&A and breakfast at the Said Business School on Tuesday, 14 February, Andy will share his personal insights about ethical business and building the community credentials of a world-leading brand.
We believe this event will be an inspiration for many more businesses to join Reciprocate and a great opportunity for those businesses to start to build better relationships with the communities in which they operate.
To find out more about the Andy Street event and reserve your free place, please visit here.