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The Invaluable role which Corporate Social Responsibility can play is no longer a secret

Corporate Social Responsibility is a term with which most are now familiar.

That’s truly a great thing because it means that more and more businesses are getting to work with some fabulous charities. Of course, it also means that the charities are getting some-much needed help and raising the essential funding they need to continue.

CSR, in our opinion, is about as close as you can get to a true win:win situation in life. Both parties involved gain just as much as each other; it’s a genuine mutually-beneficial relationship.

The other fabulous thing which has arisen from the increased uptake in CSR activity is that both businesses and charities are understanding more and more about the opportunities it can present. They are also now helping each other to get the most from the arrangement.  In fact, many organisations are beginning to make connections between those who want to give their time and resources and those who can desperately use that time and resource to continue the important work they do.

Voluntary Action LeicesterShire is one such organisation. Based in Leicester, they have been an active part of the local voluntary, community and social enterprise sector (VCSE) for over 50 years.  Amongst many other things they supply advice, support and training to charities and community groups across the county, helping them reach their potential and to keep delivering their vital community services.  They are also particularly good at bringing businesses and charities together, encouraging the sharing of ideas and the discovery of mutual interests and passions.

From our own experience getting representatives of charities and businesspeople in the same room (perhaps with the catalyst of coffee added in for good measure) usually results in some great conversations. What’s more, it normally also leads to the birth of some amazing joint ventures – the beginnings of beautiful relationships you might say.

Whilst this kind of networking is something which VAL have organised in various guises over the years, they have just recently launched a more focussed event.  The InVALuable Network is a unique opportunity for all charities, voluntary organisations, community groups, social enterprises and businesses to share good practice, get updates on CSR initiatives, learn about what’s happening in the VCSE sector. Of course, the fact that they get to make invaluable connections and explore ways in which they can work together is simply an added bonus!

Long-time friend of RDZ PR, Jon Woodcock, has played a pivotal role in the launching of these regular, informal networking sessions.  He explained to us what the idea behind them was and how he felt the inaugural event – held at the end of January – had gone. He told us: –

“Myself & Kevin Allen-Khimani were keen to ensure that our inaugural VALL Awards, held in November 2019, had a continued platform so when we met a couple of days after the event I suggested that we should create a networking group to allow Charites/VCSE and Businesses to chat more freely. This is where The InVALuable Network was created!  Although run and hosted by us at Voluntary Action LeicesterShire, it is a networking club for ALL charities, voluntary organisations, community groups, social enterprises & businesses and we’re extremely proud of the very positive feedback we’ve had from everyone so far.”

The team here at RDZ will be attending these events and look forward to seeing some fabulous long-term partnerships being formed and many more amazing community projects being funded and supported as a result.

If you would like to find out more about VAL and the work they do, visit their website at or simply get in touch with us here at RDZ via and we can get you along to one of the InVALuable Networking events.


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Rachel Hargrave

Rachel has over 30 years of local, regional, national and international communications experience and expertise across a wide variety of clients including FTSE 100 companies, SMEs, micro businesses and start-ups. She also has extensive charity, Not-For-Profit and Community Interest Company experience and happily offers clients working in these areas a 50% discount on all RDZ PR rates.

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Rachel provided us with a day of free support in association with the LLEP programme. Despite it being ‘free’ Rachels support was professional and dedicated. We received a full day of practical support including a discussion to fully understand our organisation, an assessment of our need, the production of a communications and marketing plan that was realistic, manageable and practical aimed at helping us move ahead on the communications front and, ultimately, with our organisational objectives. Rachel achieved so much in the time she had including writing and issuing a press release that appeared in the Leicester Mercury, wording for our website homepage and a letter to go with our membership pack. She also shared her hints and tips about social media, her press contacts and she connected me with a potential Reaching People member! In all it was an invaluable experience. Thank you, Rachel for giving up your time to help us.

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I met with Rachel and was instantly impressed with her warmth, enthusiasm and ability to understand the key issues being faced. She took time to clarity objectives and the key tasks required. A quick study she was able to pinpoint the brand tone of voice accurately. Rachel’s’ copy writing skills have been excellent. She has written for my business website, advertorial pages in lifestyle magazine and has also written first class responses to awards entries which are curtailed in length. Rachel is just really, really good!

Victoria Curtis, Company Secretary, Mono Roofing Ltd

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Trusha Lakhani, MD, Great Business Matters t/a Trusha Lakhani

Rachel Hargrave is one of the best PR experts that I have met. She not only understands the best awards for her clients but also how to make the most of the opportunity for the client’s personality. Put simply Rachel gets people. She understands her clients and their goals and is with you all the way. I highly recommend Rachel Hargrave and The Awards people and RDZ PR.

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