Get every company in Bristol supporting a local community group or charity

Local community groups and small charities are doing amazing work here in Bristol, striving every day to make life better for us all, particularly those who face ongoing difficulties. Strain on local government funding means the wonderful work these organisations and groups do is constantly under threat.

But, we also have an amazing wealth of successful, forward-thinking businesses in this city who care about communities they operate in and who have the resources to help.

The idea: put these two sides together so that we have every community group in the city sponsored by an organisation. Lots of these businesses have money as part of their ‘social responsibility’ budgets, but it doesn’t have to involve huge sums of cash – there’s lots of ways a company can help; e.g. specialist advice, volunteer hours, help with fundraising, gifts in-kind (i.e. books to help children with reading).

But how to practically do this? Well, a small team of us here is Bristol have just launched a new online social network – www.neighbourly.com which has been built for the very purpose of bringing community groups together to manage projects and get company support. The site is UK-wide but Bristol is our hometown and we believe that it can be the city that proves the impact that proper collaboration between voluntary organisations and businesses can have. Every community group/school/charity in Bristol could create a project on the site, right now, in a few minutes and at no cost. Next year we’re switching on the company side which is when businesses can join and start pledging support.

Why the contribution is important

neighbourly has the potential to get lots of the brilliant ideas in this forum underway – not just one or two.

We already have the people out there, in our communities, who have the will, skills and time to make great things happen. Funding and guidance from organisations like Big Lottery and Locality have already proven that empowered local communities can deliver huge social impact. It is vital that these communities are supported to continue their work. For life not to be a constant round of stressful funding applications and the threat of having to discontinue a service that local individuals have started to rely on. 

Bristol can be the first city in the UK (and world!) to show that this can work.

by janehalstead on December 02, 2013 at 02:46PM

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