Sainsbury's pledges support for 'Big Society'


Sainsbury's managers to be seconded to work full- time within their communities and Supermarket to work in partnership with the Government, the voluntary sector, BITC and other stakeholders to develop the concept of 'Business Connectors'  

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Sainsbury's has, in the beginning of December 2010, announced its commitment to pay for a number of Sainsbury's colleagues to work full-time within their communities, helping businesses and the voluntary sector work closer together, and bringing the knowledge, skills and expertise of the business community to good use locally.

The pledge was given at Business in the Community's (BITC) Leadership summit and AGM, attended by the organisation's President, HRH The Prince of Wales and Prime Minister, David Cameron.

In line with Sainsbury's firm belief that their stores should be a hub of the community, the company will work in partnership with the Government, the voluntary sector, BITC and other stakeholders to develop the concept of 'Business Connectors' - local brokers working collaboratively with business and local organizations for the benefit of their communities.

Gwyn Burr, Customer Service and Colleague Director at Sainsbury's, and Chair of BITC's Community Investment Leadership Team, said, "Charities and community organizations are facing significant challenges, so support from businesses will be increasingly important for them. Businesses across the country are already engaging with voluntary organizations to the benefit of both parties, and it's important to build on that heritage. We believe that Business Connectors have the potential to be a powerful and positive force for good within their local communities, and we're convinced we can achieve a real step change by having individuals in place to act as a local broker, bringing together what business can offer with what the voluntary sector needs."

Business Connectors will promote and facilitate long-term, strategic partnerships between the business and voluntary communities. The role will develop and evolve as the key stakeholders identify what works well and best practice is shared across the country.

Sainsbury's is making a positive difference to our community

Sainsbury's stores are at the very heart of the communities they serve. It is not only important to provide great service and quality products, it's also vital to make a positive difference to communities and to be a good neighbor.

This begins with the positive economic impact Sainsbury's stores have in generating local wealth, by providing employment, using local suppliers and contractors, and regenerating local surroundings.

© 2011

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