Olympic sponsors mentor charities and social enterprises
Big Olympic sponsors have been mentoring small charities and social enterprises in the host boroughs to ensure a lasting legacy for some of the most deprived communities in London.
The project, led by national charity Pilotlight, involves five of the UK’s best-known companies, including adidas, BP, BT, Lloyds TSB Commercial Finance and Deloitte.
Nine enterprising charities in the Olympic host boroughs were chosen to take part in the Legacy for London project.
Over the last two years, they have been mentored by teams of senior executives and received free business coaching, enabling them to develop their services and support more people.
The charities all work in some of the most deprived neighbourhoods in the UK and have seen demand for their services grow during the recession.
London 2012 games chief, Lord Coe, said: ’Thanks to this Olympic-inspired project, our business sponsors have rallied together to create this lasting legacy; allowing some of their talented directors to mentor these visionary charities to help people at the sharp end of life.“
Fiona Halton, Pilotlight’s chief executive, said: “We all know that charities are facing a tough time at the moment, with many badly affected by the cuts and recession trying to expand their services because of growing need.
“We saw the chance to bring together ambitious charity directors, who understand the problems local people face, with the Olympic partners and their outstanding business talent.
“We wanted the charities in the Olympic boroughs to grow faster, higher, stronger thanks to the Olympics.’
One of the charities involved, Aanchal Women’s Aid in Newham, which supports Asian women and children who are survivors of domestic abuse, have increased the number of people they are able to help by nearly 60%.
CEO, Sudarshan Bhuhi MBE, said: “Working with Pilotlight gave us a new perspective. It helped us achieve financial clarity and develop a fundraising strategy with clear financial planning.”
Mike Sharrock, partnership director for BP London 2012, commented: “This has been an amazing project and the BP people who volunteered have learned so much, as well as being able to pass on their own business skills in a very different environment to charities like HomeStart, Access Sport and Alcohol Concern, where they’re leaving a real legacy.
“What made this project even more special was the response from other London 2012 partners who agreed to join in. It is a wonderful example of the inspirational power of the games.”