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Chamber ‘Raises The Bar’ to encourage social responsibility across West and North Yorkshire

Raising The Bar 2017 winners (l-r) North Yorkshire Chamber Chief Executive Sandy Needham, Jack Turnbull from Garbutt + Elliott, Duncan Firman from Gordons LLP, Graham Harris from Arena Group, Richard Carr from SCP join West and Bradford Chamber Vice President Suzanne Watson to encourage local businesses to unlock their social responsibility through the Chamber’s Raising The Bar initiative.

West and North Yorkshire Chamber has announced a programme of support tools to encourage more businesses to ‘act responsibly’ in the areas of education, employment, environment and the community.

Retaining its annual Raising The Bar awards event, which will be held in November 2018, the Chamber has introduced an online benchmarking tool to unlock the potential of businesses in Bradford, Leeds, York and North Yorkshire by measuring their current social responsibility activity and highlighting where they need support.

The software is one of a number of new features in the Chamber’s extended Raising The Bar programme which includes ‘top tips’ and skills sharing which aim to empower and equip firms of all sizes to consider the positive impact they can make in the wider community.

West and North Yorkshire Chamber Chief Executive Sandy Needham said: “Raising The Bar has historically celebrated regional social responsibility success stories. The Chamber now wants to do even more to help local businesses give back by connecting with and learning from others who have already made a start. Our free, online social responsibility diagnostic tool offers businesses a thorough insight and a starting point to explore their current role within the community before considering how to improve or expand into new areas.”

She added: “Good social responsibility isn’t all about raising money – there is real value in transferring knowledge and skills through the gift of your time. Through Raising The Bar we want to unlock the social responsibility potential of local businesses and get them connecting, talking and learning from each other to help more firms take the steps that make a real difference in their communities.”

The benchmarking tool can be found on the Raising The Bar website www.raisingthebar.org which also contains case studies of businesses who have successfully implemented social responsibility activities in their local communities. With input from past Raising The Bar awards winners and charities it will also include ‘top tips covering ‘how to make a difference’, ‘finding the right social responsibility partner’ and ‘colleague engagement’.

In 2017, entrants to the Raising The Bar business awards, which recognises companies implementing effective social responsibility, recorded almost 20,000 hours of ‘giving back’ to their local communities with Leeds and York-based chartered accountants Garbutt + Elliot securing the community category award.

Jack Turnbull, Garbutt + Elliot business support advisor, said: “Raising awareness of what businesses can do collectively to help local good causes is so important to inspire more firms to go above and beyond to make a difference in their community.

“The Chamber’s social responsibility benchmarking tool is a fantastic resource to help businesses really measure the great work they already do in the community and guide them in how to improve their social responsibility activities. It gives clarity, purpose and really supports internal awareness of what the possibilities are.”

More information about the West and North Yorkshire Chamber’s social responsibility benchmarking tool, inspiring case studies and top tips can be found at www.raising-the-bar.org.uk or by emailing [email protected] or calling 08455 240 240.