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New initiative to be launched at Berkshire Media Group’s upcoming event, ‘Business Success In Berkshire 2012’

Berkshire, 19th September, 2012 - The Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (TVB LEP) today announced that the Berkshire Community Foundation, TVB LEP forum members, will be launching a new publication to simplify the process of giving back to the community. The initiative will be launched at BMG’s upcoming business show and is entitled, ‘Good Business Giving Guide Berkshire’.

The Good Business Giving Guide Berkshire is a new resource that has been produced to offer advice and guidance to companies wishing to support their local community. Berkshire residents can download the complete publication, available online, which identifies key areas of concern as well as ways to help that affects the whole county, or they can choose to only download the section pertaining to their borough. The Guide was produced under the Vodafone World of Difference programme and Rachel Haslam, one of its managers, was seconded to the foundation for four months to research and produce the publication.

The Guide acknowledges that Berkshire is a hub of charitable activity with several thriving causes available for citizens to embrace and make a difference in areas such as education, deprivation, the environment, homelessness and crime. However, whilst there are various options available to help, the Berkshire Community Foundation’s research identified that most companies were either unaware or could not find these charitable causes. This new Guide has been designed to allow companies of all sizes to find local charities to support and thereby satisfy their corporate and social responsibility. Andrew Middleton, Chief Executive of the BCF comments:

“The need for this Guide has been driven by our recognition that some companies are no longer willing just to donate money to charities, but wish to expand their Corporate Social Responsibility into other areas of giving. But the question often is; how do I do that? Charities need money, people and gifts in kind; three simple requirements that are often misunderstood and thought to be more complicated than they really are. We have chosen to showcase our new publication at BMG’s event because the show will be bringing together businesses off all sizes throughout the region, as well as representation from the charity sector and will therefore be a perfect opportunity to speak to the community directly and show how simple it is to give back.”

Business Success in Berkshire 2012 will take place on 25th September from 8am to 4.30pm at the Royal Berkshire Conference Centre, Madjeski Stadium, Reading. BCF has its own stand at the show and hard copies of the Good Business Giving Guide will be available to take away. There will also be two Philanthropy experts from BCF on hand to offer confidential and impartial advice to businesses on how they can give back within their budget. Throughout the day various different mini pop-up exhibitions, such as the Dingley Specialist Centre; a cultural fun & fitness workshop, will be showcasing/ performing to demonstrate exactly what BCF and some of Berkshire’s charities are all about and add flavour to the day.

The event is expected to draw a mixture of small business owners, entrepreneurs, decision makers and business managers and will be focused on issues of growth and development, encouraging collaboration between the Company, the Charity and the Community and showing what can be achieved when everyone works together. Berkshire is a thriving place, but it contains areas of real deprivation and local people in need, as BMG Managing Director and TVB LEP’s newly appointed SME Champion, Amanda Gee, comments:

“Business Success In Berkshire 2012 is all about celebrating our local community and local businesses sharing stories, knowledge and experiences. We aim to bring people together, to widen their networks and learn from each other and the BCF’s Good Business Giving Guide fits into this concept perfectly. It provides a vital and practical link between business and charity, connecting people with causes and enabling individuals and organisations to achieve far more than they ever could by themselves. We are delighted that this great initiative will be launched at our show and are certain that the Berkshire community will get behind giving back.”

The TVB LEP is a business led body, working to maintain and grow the status of the region as the engine of the UK economy, and to further attract inward investment. The TVB LEP’s central initiatives are improving transport and infrastructure through the Western Rail Access to Heathrow (WRAtH) programme, widening access to superfast broadband throughout the Thames Valley, and ensuring a work-ready population through the development of skills and education opportunities.

For more information on the TVB LEP, its key initiatives and how to get involved, please visit www.thamesvalleyberkshire.co.uk.

-ENDS-

About Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership

TVB LEP is business led and made up of key leaders across the business, education, the voluntary and community sector and six unitary authority areas of: Bracknell Forest, Reading, Slough, West Berkshire, Windsor, and Maidenhead, and Wokingham. For more details of the membership of TVB LEP please visit the website http://www.thamesvalleyberkshire.co.uk. Organisations interested in bidding for funds should contact Deborah Wharton or Richard Tyndall on 01628 796020. You can download a full briefing and FAQs document on Growing Places Fund via the website.

About The Berkshire Community Foundation

Since 1985, the Berkshire Community Foundation (BCF) has been working with local voluntary groups that tackle need at the grassroots level in our local community, both now and in the future. Community foundations exist to deliver philanthropic advice, expert grant making services, community leadership and to build endowment.

Media Contact:

Janine Mitchell
C8 Consulting Ltd
janine@c8consulting.co.uk
+44 1189 001132

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