Our programmes

Since 2011, we have been building stronger communities across Cheshire by helping businesses and charities to work together. We do this in many ways including:

High impact matches

The majority of our projects are long term and often involve a range of business skills and expertise. They don’t necessarily begin that way, but as relationships develop further opportunities arise. Typical areas of support include marketing, HR, finance, operations and longer term planning.

These kind of matches are particularly beneficial to all involved, providing an ongoing support system for the charity and a significantly positive outcome for all those exchanging their skills.

Charity leader development and support

As well as matching charity CEOs with mentors from the business sector, we host Connect, Lead & Learn. Meeting on a quarterly basis, we provide a forum for the leaders of Cheshire-based charities in which to share problems, learn best practice from others and take time to develop their own leadership skills.

In 2019 we introduced Connect, Lead and Learn Access – our 12 month leadership development programme for aspiring charity leaders of the future such was the success that we now have another three programmes running.

To meet the needs of the sector as we entered Covid-19 lockdown, we set up three online peer support groups for charity leaders across the Cheshire and Warrington area. These groups have been operating on a weekly/ fortnightly basis and participants have benefited from sharing knowledge and experiences on Covid-19 including adapting to change, re-shaping the delivery of services, providing safe services, emerging staffing issues, communicating changes with users. These groups have been very successful and will continue to support our charity leaders for the foreseeable future.

Short term matches

Like any organisation, charities are often hit by unexpected projects for which they need particular expertise that might not already exist within the charity. These types of project are ideal for a business to make a quick but significant impact and could include:

  • Matching a charity which needs a lease renewal reviewed with local chartered surveyor

  • A charity with concerns about the new pension auto enrolment process and so matching them with a local pensions expert

  • Perhaps a charity recruiting for the first time who needs HR advice 

Transform Programme

Charities are facing huge economic pressure, with the National Council for Voluntary Organisations estimating that a minimum of £4.3 billion in income has been lost because of the pandemic. Sadly, some charities will, inevitably, close and those who survive will face a struggle to adapt to decreased funding, and new ways of working set against high levels of demand for their activities.

Our Transform Programme launched on 1st May 2021 involving a really focused and strategic approach to skills matching, utilising highly skilled and experienced volunteers from the business community to support charities involved to rapidly become the very best they can be. The CEO’s are supported throughout the Programme with ongoing mentoring and a tailored leadership development package.

Enquiries to: Andrea Peattie andreapeattie@cheshireconnect.org