Chester Voluntary Action is launching a programme supporting charities and community groups across the borough of Cheshire West and Chester.
The scheme, called SkillShare, has been devised to strengthen the links between businesses and charities by offering free, professional business skills for use within the community. CVA act as an independent broker, helping charities identify where they could benefit from specialised expertise, before matching their needs to a database of professionals who have agreed to supply their skills voluntarily.
The concept has been developed by CVA in association with the Chamber as well as The Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire David Briggs, Cheshire West and Chester Council, Bank of America, Ellis Whittam, Jets Foundation, the Chamber and thebestofchester.
Chester Voluntary Action’s Chief Officer Carol Berry said: “This is an important programme offering local charities free access to vital professional expertise. This could be anything from legal advice, accountancy or business planning to training and website design.
“Our aim is to match the passion and energy of the voluntary sector with the knowledge and experience of local businesses. By doing this, we can help create a more effective, successful and sustainable voluntary and community sector in Chester.”
Martin Supple, from Bank of America, and Iain Barr from Cheshire West and Chester council, have both been seconded to CVA to help develop the project and make an initial connection between the parties involved. Martin said: “There are a number of businesses and professional people around Chester who are willing to offer their expert support to local groups, but previously there has been no clear route for companies to get involved. SkillShare is changing that.
“The programme offers a perfect opportunity for local businesses to become more actively involved within their community. It is a dynamic approach to providing important services and supporting the sustainability of charities and community organisations.”
Mrs Berry added: “We are delighted to have received support from a number of locally-based businesses already, and we hope additional companies will offer their services too. These are excellent examples of how businesses can make a tangible and significant contribution within their community."
If you are in business or a local professional and would like to become involved by using your skills to help a local charity please contact Martin directly at Chester Voluntary Action on 01244 401900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Or if you are involved with a charity which could benefit from free business expertise then please also contact Martin to arrange an initial discussion regarding the skills you are looking for.
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