Rob Gibbons receives the award from Sector Connector's coordinator, Ian Dougall

Rob Gibbons receives the first Gold Community Friendly  Business AwardLast month, we were honoured to receive the first Gold Award from Sector Connector, a project hosted by North Tyneside VODA.

And we even managed to get into the local News Guardian (see splendid photo opposite).

Ian Dougall, the project coordinator, made us totally blush by saying “YourPrintDepartment really deserve this award – they’ve been on board with the project practically from day one and have helped numerous small groups along the way.”

We’ve had such a great experience with the project that we really must share the details with you and let you know how you too can get involved.

What is Sector Connector?

Sector Connector is a project which supports businesses to get more involved with the community in North Tyneside by linking them with local voluntary groups which need help.

So far the project has engaged with over 50 businesses and supported more than 70 voluntary organisations in areas such as marketing and communications, web design, quality assurance and human resources. Some companies have delivered workshop sessions as part of the project, and some have offered one-to-one support to individual voluntary organisations.

For local businesses

Why should I get involved?

Getting involved with Sector Connector could enable you to:

  • Generate positive publicity for your business
  • Get references and testimonials
  • Improve your access to the voluntary and community sector as a marketplace
  • Training and personal development for staff
  • Networking opportunities with other involved businesses
  • Show your corporate social responsibility credentials
  • Feel good by doing something worthwhile

How does it work?

There are several ways you can get involved in Sector Connector:

  • Volunteer some of your skills, expertise, time or other resources to help a local community group
  • Offer a special rate for qualifying groups to buy your goods and services
  • Run a two-hour training workshop for groups and other businesses
  • If you are a larger company, you could give your staff the opportunity to plan a volunteer activity with a community group]

For Community groups

What type of support could my group get?

  • Finance and accounts
  • Health, safety and risk management
  • Design and branding
  • Human resources
  • Web design and hosting
  • Marketing and PR
  • Property management and maintenance
  • Business planning

How does it work?

Many businesses are keen to offer their skills, expertise, time or other resources to help local community groups – we help to match the support offered to the community groups that need it.

Some businesses offer a special rate to qualifying groups for their goods and services. There are also free training workshops on a wide range of topics for groups and other businesses. Larger companies are sometimes looking for opportunities for their employees to volunteer with local groups, so the support can come in many ways.

To find out more and to get involved, contact Ian Dougall on 0191 643 2638, email or visit the project’s website.