Shropshire Chamber of Commerce is offering free membership packages to charities and not-for-profit organisations thanks to the support of a new ‘Ambassadors’ programme.
The Charity Membership Fund is being delivered in conjunction with the ‘power of three’ – a trio of local organisations, Enterprise Flex-E-Rent, McPhillips and Aico, who have all donated to the fund to support the third sector.
“The past year has been particularly tough for many charities, with the Covid-19 lockdown cutting off vital income streams,” said Mia Carter, Shropshire Chamber’s director of membership.
“So, we felt this was the perfect time to create an opportunity which would make a positive difference to local charities, at a time when it will be of maximum benefit.
“The fund generated by our three ambassadors will give these organisations access to our essential level membership, which includes a host of benefits such as HR, tax, legal services and health and safety support.
“It also entitles them to a wide range of discounted training programmes, and attendance at six Chamber’s network club sessions of their choice.”
To qualify for consideration, the charities and not-for-profit organisations must have a Shropshire postcode, and an annual turnover of less than £1 million.
All applications will be assessed and considered by the Ambassadors panel, who will make the final decision.
The Charity Membership Fund has a limit on the number of memberships that it can provide and once that limit is reached, the fund will close for applications for membership for the current year.
Neal Hooper, managing director of Aico – the current Shropshire Company of the Year – said: “As a patron of the Shropshire Chamber of Commerce we are always seeking ways to support them, and of course Shropshire business in general.
“Aico in the Community was launched a few years ago to bring a great focus on our CSR initiatives. By becoming a Chamber Ambassador we are able to be involved with a number of causes that are important to us.”
David Wauchope of McPhillips said: “We are a Shropshire-based company with the vast majority of employees based within the county. This is an opportunity for us to support local causes within our own community, and hopefully give a little bit back where we can.
“Quite often people in need don’t know where to start looking for support; if we can put a platform out there where people can approach us for support, then that has to be a good thing for our county as a whole, and means we can direct support where it is needed and can be effective.”
Tom Macdonald of Enterprise Flex-E-Rent added: “Enterprise has a proud history of supporting our local communities, and the opportunity to partner with the Shropshire Chamber of Commerce aligned perfectly with our ongoing commitment to support good causes in the Shropshire region.
“We know that many of our employees have benefited from the fantastic work that local community groups do, and in recent years we have built strong relationships with many charities in the local area. We are looking forward to continuing this as an Ambassador in 2021.”
Any charity or not-for-profit organisations that would like to apply for a membership through this fund, can find further details, criteria and how to apply here.