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Business & Economy

Community sport webinars bring together North East businesses

A major online event, supported by the North East England Chamber of Commerce, has enabled businesses from across the region to hear more about innovative sport organisation GiveToLocal.

North Tyneside-based GiveToLocal is on a mission to back sport, boost business and build networks as it seeks to drive an additional £10m annually into community sport.

And the first of this week’s two introductory webinars — hosted by CEO and founder Neil Gardiner — was attended by leading names from across the North East.

Those businesses keen to find out about GiveToLocal’s unique connection to community sport included Virgin Money, NatWest, Brewin Dolphin, Bidfood, AkzoNobel and BAM Nuttall.

And Neil expects tomorrow’s webinar to be equally well attended after revealing he’s been bowled over by the support of, and interest from, the region’s business community.

“We decided to host these webinars in order to get across our key messages and fire up a corporate network that has the potential to do so much good for communities across the North East,” he says.

“I don’t think we ever imagined that there would be so much interest first time around and I’d like to thank each and every one of the businesses who took time out of their busy schedules to learn about the work that we do.

“There are still places available to attend the second of our webinars and it would be wonderful to see more familiar faces and some new names join us later this week.”

GiveToLocal’s webinars underpin the organisation’s commitment to protect what matters through positive action.

It’s a mantra shared by event sponsors Smart Outdoor and Managing Director Mark Catterall explains: “We’re excited to support GiveToLocal and the webinars.

“We believe in what Neil and the team is doing and can see the positive impact their approach is having.

“I come from a background in grassroots sport and the clubs I’ve been involved with have always been at the heart of the local community.

“GiveToLocal offers an opportunity for corporate partners to support those communities.”

GiveToLocal launched formally in December 2019 and earlier this month outlined its plans to remain proactive throughout 2021 — continuing to protect community sport in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.

A number of new national and regional partnerships, bringing together sport’s governing bodies and corporate backers, are under discussion.

And GiveToLocal intends to create 30 new jobs as it grows its rapidly expanding team in line with increasing demand for a user-friendly service.

Brewin Dolphin attended the first of this week’s webinars and Gary Fawcett, divisional director, says: “I’ve heard a bit about GiveToLocal recently and I’m intrigued by their proposition.

“Given the current climate we find ourselves in, I think it’s a fantastic idea to try and provide vitally needed support for local sports organisations by getting businesses involved with regular giving.

“At the same time GiveToLocal is creating a network for those firms involved to hopefully help each other.”

If your business would like to join tomorrow’s webinar and find out more about GiveToLocal then please register at