Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street yesterday brought together charities with some of the region’s biggest companies at an event designed to help business give something back to their local communities.
More than 100 companies and 20 charities attended the launch of the Mayor’s Giving Day in Edgbaston, Birmingham.
The event, hosted by University of Birmingham and featuring keynote speeches by the Mayor and Baroness Fritchie, Chair of the Lloyds Bank Foundation, saw companies meet face-to-face with charities to hear first-hand about their work and to discuss how they might be able to help.
This could be financial support or help in kind through the donation of expertise, time, equipment or use of premises.
The Mayor’s Giving Day will take place on Friday, June 28 and will be the first ever held in the West Midlands.
It will see companies and other organisations supporting their chosen charity during the day with wider events such as workshops for charities and other fundraising events being held in a central location.
The Mayor said: “There’s a lot of giving already taking place across the West Midlands with businesses and organisation doing huge amounts of excellent work. Giving Day will be about celebrating this and engaging with local charities and encouraging companies to think about how they can give back more.
“The turnout for the launch and the enthusiasm I am already sensing for this from businesses, organisations and charities underlines the need for something that can bring communities and businesses in the West Midlands together.”
There’s a lot of giving already taking place across the West Midlands. Giving Day is about celebrating that but also growing ‘the pie’ by engaging with local charities and encouraging companies to think about how they can give back more.
“Of course many businesses already do brilliant charity work and Giving Day is about showcasing that work, building a sense of pride and purpose in our region and thinking about how we can all do a little extra.”
The launch event was part of a programme of work being undertaken by the Mayor and his ‘corporate ambassadors’ to recruit organisations to take part in a giving activity on June 28.
The colour theme of Giving Day will be purple, with those companies taking part encouraged to wear the colour while taking part in the activity.
The choice of what to do on the day is up to the organisations themselves, but it is hoped that being part of Giving Day will promote a feeling of being part of something bigger.
Baroness Fritchie said: “At Lloyds Bank Foundation, we know that charities and businesses, both at the heart of their local communities, have a great deal to offer and learn from each other.
“We fund 62 charities across the West Midlands but there are many more delivering vital services and support but struggling for resources so anything that the Giving Day can do to encourage more people to get involved and to give more to local charities will be greatly appreciated.
“We also know that charities need more than money, and volunteering and the sharing of skills, experience and resources can all make a vital contribution.
“I am delighted that the Mayor is offering West Midlands charities and businesses the opportunity to share and gain together. I look forward to seeing strong, mutually beneficial relationships between charities, business and communities emerge and strengthen from Giving Day and over the months to come.”
Giving Day will kick off the Mayor’s Community Weekend which last year saw grants of up to £500 awarded to local communities to deliver exciting events and celebrations across the region. More than 120 events took place.