Partnership work is familiar to most people these days, whether they work in the Public, Private or Third Sector. How can its impact be maximised?
Recycling Lives prides itself on its partnership work. As a social business, it operates a social welfare charity, so partnership working is at the core of its activities. The charity has also forged links with other organisations with which the social business works.
Third Sector Online recently outlined four components of the business-charity partnership that enable the collaborative impact to be boosted. The four aspects are geared towards delivering social and commercial value, and Recycling Lives adheres to these principles in all of its collaborative work with other organisations.
The first of the ways identified is for charities to ask themselves what they can do for businesses, rather than what businesses can do for them. In return for work and training opportunities, our social welfare charity provides us with staff members who often go on to work full time with us or one of our corporate partners.
Second on the list concerned what else businesses can offer charities besides money. The Recycling Lives social business offers space to charities and other local organisations to hold their events. We also operate Community Dotcom schemes that help charities to benefit from unwanted furniture, bulky waste, and scrap vehicles.
The third aspect was creativity, and Recycling Lives can certainly demonstrate this. We have developed innovative ways to deal with waste, including manufacturing processes to make plastic beams and glass tiles. We have also worked closely with our social welfare charity to help them develop their new healthy eating cafe.
Finally, the Third Sector Online article urged charities to find businesses whose core values align with their own. With Recycling Lives’ commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility, our values are enshrined in our policies and procedures. We are dedicated to adding value to the local economy, the community, and the environment.
We know that charities who want to work with Recycling Lives will choose to do so because of everything that we do in our everyday activities. As a social business, we care about the impact our commercial operations have upon the environment. This is why we do the best we can to make sure our impact is positive.
The Recycling Lives social welfare charity has spent five years improving the lives of homeless and unemployed people. When people become Residents of the charity, they undertake a support plan that involves training in daily living skills, job related skills, and academic areas such as literacy and numeracy.
Along with our Community Dotcoms, the social welfare charity’s success demonstrates what is possible when a business and a charity work together for common goals. That is what partnership is all about, and that is what we do best!