Leatherhead businesses leading the way on collaboration

An initiative in North Leatherhead - the Leatherhead Hub - looks set to be rolled out across the region following the success it has had helping businesses work collaboratively to support young people in the town.

The Leatherhead Hub was established to provide, through collaboration of local companies, a sustainable, diverse and highly committed resource to find solutions to local issues. The result has been spectacular, not only in the great support provided to Therfield School in the North Leatherhead Community, but also in the impact the hub has had on the employees of the participating businesses. This kind of collaboration and action ensures sustained business impact within Leatherhead that is not dependent on any single organisation, and underlines all of the advantages of localism.

- Huw Davies,
Chief Financial Officer, Wates Group
Since September 2011 organisations in Leatherhead have been working collaboratively to support students and staff at the Therfield School.  This initiative, known as the Leatherhead Hub was recently showcased to business leaders from across the region to celebrate the impact it has achieved so far.

The unique collaboration enables local organisations to share their skills and resources to support the school through targeted interventions that are developed in response to the school's needs. Self-esteem workshops, work experience and personal finance sessions are amongst the interventions that have been developed by local employers, who include Circle Housing Mole Valley, CGI, Intertek, Legal & General, Menzies, Wates, Unilever, Surrey County Council and Surrey Police.  Other organisations interested in similar collaboration are welcomed to get in contact with  Sally Dartnell, Business Engagement Manager, Business in the Community on 07810 854067.

The interventions have helped raise the aspirations of young people whilst enhancing their understanding of the workplace. 326 employees from across Leatherhead have so far volunteered time to support the activities and over 1,665 hours have been invested by employee volunteers in supporting young people since its launch.

Delegates at the showcase event were provided with an insight as to how the collaboration is impacting on the lives of students at the school and to the broader community.  Speaking at the event Jeff Place, Deputy Headteacher at the Therfield School said:

‘Since the launch of the Hub we have been very fortunate to receive the amount of support we have. Each activity has been developed in response to the discussions we have held with the partners, enabling us to deliver projects that leave a lasting impact for the young people involved. I would like to thank everyone for their time and commitment to the collaboration and hope that other communities will soon begin to benefit from this level of support’

 Huw Davies, Chief Financial Officer at Wates Group and Chair of the Leatherhead Hub shared with delegates how Wates involvement with the Hub has enabled employees to engage with the local community whilst supporting their learning and development.

Food and refreshments at the event, sponsored by Legal & General, were supplied by Allsaints a local social enterprise working with young people in North Leatherhead.

Organisations interested in collaborating to drive impact in their local community can contact Jen Beacon, Community Impact Manager, Business in the Community 07831 138257