Business in the Community takes business leaders into community organisations in Nottingham to see the impact of the cost-of-living crisis - Business in the Community

Business in the Community takes business leaders into community organisations in Nottingham to see the impact of the cost-of-living crisis

Business in the Community (BITC), The Prince’s Responsible Business Network, last week brought 20 business leaders to community organisations in Nottingham, to understand the impact of the cost-of-living crisis and food poverty facing the local community.

This visit is especially timely, as recent analysis revealed that 57% of households in the East Midlands shared they were worried about how they were going to afford paying bills during this time.[1] Census data shows that half of households in Nottingham are deprived in at least one of the following areas, housing, health, education and employment. Recent research by BITC in association with YouGov found that one in ten people will need to rely on community services like foodbanks and warm banks over the next six months.[1]

Organised by BITC’s East Midlands Leadership Board, the visit was led by Deborah Gordon-Brown, Partner, Shoosmiths, and Patrick Craven, Executive Director, Policy and Stakeholder Partnerships, City & Guilds, with 20 local business leaders in attendance, from companies like Futures Housing Group, NatWest, Fusion 21, Capital One UK, Nottingham University Business School, Experian, Sodexo, and more. Business leaders visited:

  • FareShare Midlands, which redistributes surplus food to over 500 food banks, social supermarkets, charities and community projects across the West and East Midlands region
  • Foodprint, a social enterprise started by students at the University of Nottingham, which sells surplus food at greatly reduced prices through its low-cost social supermarket
  • Himmah, a community action charity dedicated to tackling poverty, race and education inequalities. They provide direct services, including the largest foodbank in Nottingham, community hot meals, the Nottingham People’s Pantry, hate crime awareness and reporting, as well as heritage and educational projects. 

BITC recently launched an action plan for businesses to help businesses respond to the cost-of-living crisis by taking specific action to support employees, suppliers, and community organisations. The calls to action include:

  • Pay the Real Living Wage to employees and contractors
  • Target support towards your lower income and vulnerable employees using workforce data and employee engagement
  • Understand the needs of your lower income and vulnerable customers, and how the cost-of-living crisis will impact them
  • Provide products and services that are genuinely affordable to increase choice for lower income consumers
  • Share goods and equipment with community organisations that are working with lower income and vulnerable people

Libby Sandbrook, England Director at Business in the Community, said:

“It is clear from the community organisations we visited that rising costs are pushing more people into food poverty and deprivation. The visit has shone a light on the true impact of the cost-of-living crisis in Nottingham, and how urgently business action is needed.

Laura Spencer, Head of Development at FareShare Midlands said:

“As we approach winter and the cost-of-living crisis continues to worsen, 90% of the charities and community groups receiving food from FareShare Midlands report an increase in demand for their services. Things have never been more challenging, and we continue to reach out to the food industry, corporate partners and individuals to support us in our mission to unlock as much good quality, surplus food as possible to feed the most vulnerable in our society.”


Notes to editor

  1. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,019 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 6th – 7th October 2022. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).
  2. Analysis taken from Office for National Statistics. A household is considered to be deprived if it meets one or more of the four dimensions of deprivation: in employment, where any member of a household, who is not a full-time student, is either unemployed or long-term sick; in education, where no person in the household has at least five or more GCSE passes (grade A* to C or grade 4 and above) or equivalent qualifications, and no person aged 16 to 18 years is a full-time student; in health and disability where any person in the household has general health that is “bad” or “very bad” or is identified as disabled; or in housing where the household’s accommodation is either overcrowded, with an occupancy rating of negative 1 or less (implying that it has one fewer room or bedroom required for the number of occupants), or is in a shared dwelling, or has no central heating.
  3. The Business in the Community Cost of Living Action Plan for Businesses is available online.

For further information, please contact Erin Johnson, Press Officer, on 07713 101878.

About Business in the Community

Business in the Community (BITC) and our network of business members are leading a movement to create a fair and sustainable world in which to live and work. Formed in 1982, and with HRH The Prince of Wales as our Royal Founding Patron, we are the largest and longest-established membership organisation dedicated to responsible business. We work and campaign with more than 600 members to continually grow their responsible business practices, uniting our efforts for greater social and environmental impact in our communities.