Active communities newsletter Employers passionate about volunteeringbusiness active in the communityas the leader in its field, the work of scottish business in the community(Sbc), the Edinburgh based not for profit organisation, has a major impact on the way companies invest in their communities across Scotland. With the government's continuing focus on active communities, employee community involvement looks set to remain the fastest growing element of corporate community investment. Whether a company is supporting existing staff involvement or developing its own programme to meet human resource needs, employee investment can bring benefits to the company, the employee and the community. Sbc chief executive, samantha barber believes most companies want to work to best practice and help develop a healthy society and a more productive workplace. "We are the broker who makes the connections, provides practical advice and channels resources to deliver sustainable community investment. Samantha barber(Left)Helps load a fresh food delivery for people in need. "Investing time and knowledge in the community is every bit as important as giving financially.We bring together companies committed to making a positive contribution to the communities in which they operate. "Our goal is to champion community investment, making it an integral part of good business practice. " Samantha adds the sbc's business support group network is at the centre of its work, bringing together companies who want to work to help address the social and economic needs of disadvantaged communities.These groups work in partnership with both the public and voluntary sectors. Samantha is particularly up beat about ralph lauren women's shirts sbc's recent partnership arrangements with(Vds)And the volunteer centre network. "Our development work with companies seeking to invest in the communities they serve, sits alongside the wide range of volunteering opportunities available through vds links to volunteer centres across scotland. "Businesses benefit from a better understanding of their customers and stakeholders by being ralph lauren polo active in their communities it is in effect a win win situation. " What the businesses (More Here) say: "At bt scotland, we recognise that business not only has a right to operate within local communities, but also has a responsibility to give something back.Genuine partnerships between public, private and not for profit organisations can benefit all our communities. " Alex pollock, head of external relations, bt scotland "The development assignment was a real eye opener.I got a real kick out of doing something worthwhile and giving something back to my local community.It was a challenging and unique way of developing skills outside my usual work environment if you need me, i'll do it again. " Mark mccafferty, marks and spencer South korean volunteering developing fastgeorge thomson of and alister murphy of the scottish executive's voluntary issues unit, recently attended the 17th international association of volunteer effort world conference in south korea, where the theme was peace and reconciliation. Alister represents scotland at the iave conference in korea As two of many guest speakers from every continent, they promoted the work of the scottish executive and the volunteering sector in scotland. The two scottish representatives discovered south korea itself has a healthy, but fairly recently developed volunteering sector supported by a network of centres who receive state funding and operate in a similar way to those in scotland. In his report back, alister credits the development of volunteering in south korea to the impetus gained from the olympic games in 1988 when thousands helped make the event a success and the profile raising work of the international year of volunteers through ceremonies, exhibitions and in other ways. A further shot in the arm for volunteering in south korea came through the recent football world cup, that again called on the help of volunteers. During their seven day stay in seoul, george and alister heard speakers from north america, europe, australasia and the far east and were fascinated by accounts from other delegates talking of the part played by volunteers in bringing together"Warring factions"In areas like east timor and southern africa. Says alister: "The way we arrange and do our volunteering in scotland differs in many respects from elsewhere in the world, but similarities can be found in commitment, how we engage with communities and the work of individual volunteers. " School children entertain the iave delegates They visited the song pa district of seoul to discover around 35, 000 volunteers from diverse backgrounds and age groups were registered with/by the local centre.Their numbers represents about 5% of the district's population.
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