Business Connecting…. doing what it says on the tin!

Creating space is a good thing to do… not least so for two very worthwhile charities, both working with young people, here in Hastings that I’ve been pleased to help in the last month. I mentioned previously, the Education Futures Trust (EFT) and their need to for a replacement store room facility adjacent to their main building. Step up my name sake but no relation, Andy Noble, who owns Westoaks builders – I met Andy on site last week; he quickly and generously agreed to build a timber-framed construction that will do the job, free of charge. A delighted Carole Dixon, chief exec of EFT, commented ‘we will now have somewhere safe and secure to store our forest school equipment.’

Friday, 8th March 2013, 7:04 am
Business in the Community Ian Noble
Business in the Community Ian Noble

Back in January, I met with Zoe Deeprose who runs Tomorrows People, a charity who provide foundation learning for 16-19 year olds who for various reasons have not completed formal schooling. Zoe showed me around their offices – one room was full of old box-type computer monitors, so the room wasn’t fit for purpose. A couple of phone calls later and Peter Cruttenden, another builder by trade, agreed to shift the monitors thus creating a room that the young people can now use as part of their relaxation time.

One of the most established charities in Hastings is the Fellowship of St Nicholas or FSN as they’re now known; there’s a theme here as these guys also offer invaluable to support to young people. I was introduced to FSN by a Lloyds Bank colleague and met with Angie Jakeman, finance director… you know the usual introductions followed and she told me all about their tremendous projects and constant challenges to retain existing funding streams. At the end of the exchanges I asked Angie for her business card… I collect them; it’s not as mad as it sounds… she told me that they didn’t have business cards as every cost was carefully reviewed and they could probably do without! Ok, so what trading business with a turnover in excess of £1M would operate without business cards? Did I know a good printer who would provide some pro-bono business cards? In short, yes… Julie Banks, MD of Eastbourne based Zest, the print people, was previously a client of mine when I led the Lloyds commercial team in East Sussex some four years ago… Julie kindly agreed to provide five sets of business cards for the FSN senior team and we are in production as I type!

I was particularly pleased to be able to help FSN in a simple and yet hopefully, effective way as their range of support for young people is far reaching. Their support for bereaved children and young people with their Dragonflies programme is a priority so spare a thought for FSN as they take a group of youngsters to PGL at Windmill Hill to celebrate Mother’s Day this Sunday…. It will make a difference to those youngsters who have suffered the loss of their mother prematurely.

Stephanie from FSN spoke with passion about their projects at this week’s Hastings Chamber breakfast in the ‘community’ slot as did Natalie Williams for Hastings Foodbank. I’ll finish where I began; the guys who run Foodbank urgently need more storage space … anyone out there with an empty unit able to help?

Ian Noble can be contacted at [email protected] or 07801 250668. You can follow on twitter @TN34Connector