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Chairman's Blog: Working in partnership to create stronger communities

In my March vlog, I touched on the ambitious plans we have for the gbpartnerships foundation. The team have been busy building and working on these plans and as the gbp foundation enters its third year, I am pleased to share with you some of the highlights. I’d also like to plant the seed for how our partners can get involved....

You may have seen the recent gbp news story about the foundation’s first long term charity partnership with the Sea Cadets. The partnership launched in July with £8,000 of funding for Sea Cadet's ‘On the Water’ programme, being held in Liverpool, Birmingham and London across the Summer – all of which are areas where the gbp group has a presence.

I have been extremely moved by some of the stories that have been shared with me from the the ‘On the Water’ programme, an immensely valuable programme which removes the financial barriers to participation and provides young people from under-privileged backgrounds with the opportunity to take part in a series of water-based activities, learning skills, making friends and building confidence. We have plans to grow and develop this important partnership over the coming year, with mentoring and apprenticeship opportunities. Supporting the Sea Cadets with skills and access to resources and building our relationship through the giving of time. If this is something you are interested in finding out more, get in touch!

The technical expertise that we bring through the skills and expertise of our staff team has proven valuable for smaller groups or charities that cannot afford to buy specialisms themselves:

Earlier this year, the gbp foundation supported Hope and Homes for Children with a piece of work that has informed their decision around the renewal of the lease on their head office. Specialist professional services can be costly and it is good to know that we have saved them much needed funding and tapped into our expertise in property management.

As we continue our collective journey to COVID recovery, gbp wants to encourage our staff and partners to get involved in a number of different ways to support a range of good causes:
  • Earlier this year, the development of a nurture room at a school in Nuneaton provided a safe space for local children and staff to go to experience a calming environment during the COVID pandemic. We involved our local supply chain partners -Integral FM and the local LIFT Company, Arden Estate Partnerships - in this activity and regularly have feedback from the school demonstrating the benefits to the children. (You can read more about that story here.)

  • Later in September we plan to launch a collective fundraising effort to raise money for a range of different charities and good causes that are close to the hearts of our staff team.

  • And this week we will launch our very first staff volunteering scheme. The scheme will formalise some of the work that we have been doing through the foundation with the giving time and expertise, providing staff with 4 volunteering days a year to get involved in practical action. I'm really looking forward to hearing about the creative and inspiring ways in which gbp staff will use this time!

Our staff team are the backbone of the success of the gbp foundation and I know that by continuing to work together and pulling together with our partners, we can make a real difference to the communities in which we work. If you'd like to find out more about how you can get involved with any of these activities, then please do get in touch with me or any members of the team.

Paul Ferry Chair, gbpartnerships group

Picture: Paul volunteering at the Peak District National Park

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