A SELECTION of business and voluntary groups South Gloucestershire came together to discuss how they can work more closely with each other this week.

On Wednesday, March 5 Thornbury Volunteer Centre hosted a very successful Business/Voluntary Organisations lunch at Thornbury Golf Centre.

The venue had to be changed at short notice due to the overwhelming demand for places and 60 representatives from the two sectors enjoyed a buffet lunch whilst networking and making links with other organisations.

The aim of the lunch was to allow the businesses and voluntary and community groups to meet and discover ways in which they could share expertise and knowledge to their mutual benefit.

Voluntary groups often need help with IT, social media, fundraising,

marketing, finance, legal advice and much more, but do not have the

resources to find this help.

In the current economic climate many businesses are looking at ways in which they can support their local community and enhance their corporate responsibilities. By bringing the two sectors together Thornbury Volunteer Centre enabled these contacts to be made.

Guest speakers included Councillor Ian Boulton, chairman of South Gloucestershrie Council, Claire Reed, community impact co-ordinator for Business in the Community and Martin Green, chief officer of Age UK South Gloucestershire. All three spoke passionately about the need for all sectors to work together to strengthen communities and increase community capacity.

Kim Webb, development co-ordinator for Thornbury Volunteer Centre said: “I think the fact that we had to change the venue to accommodate everyone speaks volumes for the interest these two sectors have to work in partnership.

“Not all voluntary organisations are looking for finance, although this is obviously very important, they are also looking at ways they can reach a wider audience through the use of social media, they increasingly need business expertise and legal advice and the firms who attended today’s lunch were able to help with these issues as well as offering support with a wide variety of other subjects.

“The feedback from everyone has been extremely positive and hopefully many important connections will result. We would also like to thank Thornbury Golf Centre for their support of this event today.”

To keep up to date with forthcoming Thornbury Volunteer Centre events visit their website at www.volunteer-thornbury.co.uk or follow them on Twitter @thornburyvc. Alternatively visit their Facebook page Thornburyvolunteers.