Companies encouraged to play their part in community projects

    Corporate Business Partner Initiative
    (LtoR): Artist Louis Ryan, Jenny Kitchen from Yoyo Design and Roisin Donovan

    More than 70 people representing businesses from across the borough shared ideas for supporting their community at the launch of a new initiative by the housing association Town & Country.

    Hosted at Trinity art gallery on March 4 to coincide with a new exhibition titled ‘Entrepreneurs of Tunbridge Wells’ by Louis Ryan, business leaders discussed how they help the housing association deliver charitable services to those in need.

    Named the Corporate Business Partner Initiative, the scheme is being overseen by the Town & Country Foundation, which acts as the charitable arm of the housing group. Businesses are encouraged to provide mentoring and supporting services to help with things such as marketing or branding.

    Established in January 2007, the foundation focuses on identifying and responding to social needs around Kent.

    The latest initiative aims to provide a platform for companies operating in the area to help provide mentoring, training and marketing materials for the foundation and other charitable organisations.

    Roisin Donovan, Community Investment Officer said: “As the charitable arm of Town & Country Housing, the Foundation’s role in these partnerships is to ensure they are mutually beneficial.

    “As a larger organisation we’re in a unique position to offer more ‘in exchange’ to reward businesses for sharing their time and expertise with their community.”

    One company taking part, Yoyo Design, said they benefitted from the scheme as it allows them to test new ideas and services as well as act as a useful platform to train more junior members of the team.

    Jenny Kitchen, Managing Director of Yoyo Design in Calverley Road, said: “The relationship we have built with Town & Country Foundation means a lot to our creative agency and a lot to me personally.

    “Our lives are getting busier and busier and even though most of us do want to ‘do some good’, few of us have the time.

    “That’s why we started this relationship. If we carved out some time each month during working hours, we could provide free design services to local charities to help the community.

    “I hope the event will encourage other companies to sign-up to the corporate partnership program – I’d hugely recommend it.”