An innovative no-cost way of encouraging businesses, local authorities and voluntary organisations to share skills, knowledge and physical resources through a ‘time and talent bank’ is to be launched in Mid-Sussex.
The brainchild of the Queen’s local representative, the Lord-Lieutenant of West Sussex, the imaginary bank’s reserves are made up of social capital rather than cash and are there for public, private and third sector groups to both invest in and borrow from.
Already successfully trialled elsewhere in the county, the Lord Lieutenant’s Voluntary Sector Support Group (LLVSSG) has made a significant difference to a wide range of organisations by simply matchmaking needs and resources.
While the voluntary sector has been able to offer businesses advice on customer service and staff support, including disability access, accommodating hearing and sight loss, and team building, charities have benefited from offers of help with writing funding bids, IT support, premises for meetings and finding trustees.
The Lord Lieutenant, Mrs Susan Pyper, who launched the support group in 2012, explained: “When I took office four and a half years ago, I thought there must be a way we can bring together the commercial sector, the public sector and the voluntary sector to share the skills and expertise that each other has.
“I’m not asking for money from anyone, it’s really just to try to find those trustees that some commercial companies might be hiding or use the skills of the people working in the commercial sector to help with the financial aspects – perhaps to offer up premises. That’s the idea, very simple, and if we have one tiny bit of success it will make such a difference to the voluntary sector.
“This launch is the fourth to take place in the county and previous events have successfully established a ‘bank’ of time, talents and resources that organisations can share. I have every confidence that this will also be achieved at the Mid-Sussex event.”
The LLVSSG Mid-Sussex Working Together group will be launched at the South of England Showground, Ardingly, on Wednesday April 2, from 4.30 to 7.30pm.
Anyone interested in attending is encouraged to think about examples of reciprocal arrangements and what resources they need or could offer.
For further information and to request a place, contact Carole Hayward DL 01444 firstname.lastname@example.org or Liz Bennett DL 01444 email@example.com