Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is becoming an ever more important element of a respected, well-run business, and at Goodman Corporate Finance we’ve taken the deliberate step of supporting local communities through our CSR.
As one part of this we use local companies to provide services for our offices, such as our IT and phone systems, building maintenance and professional services, and where possible we use professional services situated close to our clients when arranging finance, to help support their local communities in turn.
But we also see our role of supporting the local community in more general terms, which is why we’ve been sponsoring the Gedling and Sherwood Cricket Club youth team for the last three years, helping local young people enjoy sport together. This year we have increased our level of sponsorship to include the team shirts.
In September I enjoyed attending the club’s annual celebration for the youth team where awards were presented to the bowler, batsman and coaches’ player of the year, and all the players were given medals, as a way of saying ‘well done’. Players from Nottingham Cricket Club also attended and held an inspirational Q&A with the youngsters. It was great to see such community spirit in support of the young people.
Rugby is also close to our hearts as our MD, Paul (my husband), and his son Jamie both play, so we’ve started supporting Long Eaton Rugby Club in a five year sponsorship deal.
The first home game in the season was tied in with the opening of a new club gym at a special stakeholders’ day. It’s the club’s 50th anniversary year and the founding president opened the gym, which for me shows how the generations can work together to keep community projects like these alive.
Club = community
The day out at Long Eaton Rugby Club was a great family-oriented community event and we were delighted to be joined by a couple of colleagues from Ashgates, one of our industry partners. The club was packed and it really brought home to me the role of the volunteers who were there throughout the event helping out with essentials such as the food and drink. The club really does mean a lot to the community – the club and community are virtually one and the same.
Being a local business, it’s also nice to make connections in a more relaxed environment – local companies linking together informally can sometimes get to know each other at a more intimate level than by working at a ‘corporate’ level and because of this we’ve managed to help a couple of local businesses to gain funding where they may have struggled otherwise to get the best deal.
It’s a generational thing
At Goodman we all believe in giving back to the community and Paul in particular is always passionate about it, encouraging and facilitating us to offer as much of our knowledge and support as we can in volunteer roles.
As an individual he worked incredibly hard to build everything we have and he is now showing his son the importance of getting out there and supporting others. And it’s working, as Jamie loves going to the club and helping out where needed. He even helped to run the touchline at the first Cup match last weekend!
Supporting new generations as they come through is also key in Paul’s role as a governor at a junior school in our area. He first took the role up as a parent when his children attended the school, and was then asked to stay on as a community governor. Now in his seventh year on the committee, Paul enjoys his time working with the staff at the school.
We really relish delivering on our corporate social responsibility and would love to hear how others are doing so, especially if you’ve come up with any new ways of supporting the areas you believe in that don’t just involve donations of money. Our skills and time are precious assets that can be just as valuable.