Funding will continue to support our dedicated training hub for community businesses.

Plunkett UK is delighted to have again been awarded a grant from the Royal Warrant Holders Association (RWHA) Charity Fund to support its dedicated training hub for community-owned businesses.

Following a nomination from McFarlane Telfer Ltd, warrant holders who maintain and service commercial kitchens, Plunkett has received a £3,000 donation, which will again be used to make its training activity accessible to a wider range of businesses. Our previous RWHA grant was awarded in December 2022.

McFarlane Telfer Ltd has been working with Plunkett UK since 2020 and has an ongoing relationship with us to help support community projects across the country as part of our exclusive group of recommended suppliers.

The RWHA grant will help support the continued running of a training hub that provides a blend of free and subsidised training for businesses that trade for community benefit, and are democratically owned and controlled by the local community. They can be any type of business ranging from village shops, pubs and cafés, through to woodlands, fisheries and farms.

The hub provides a wide range of resources including:

  • An online library of free video training and webinars for Plunkett members, covering a range of vital issues for community businesses such as: engaging your community, keeping your community business profitable, recruiting, training and retaining volunteers.

  • Access to bespoke resources, templates and advisory notes as well as in-house training, study visits and networking events.

  • Dedicated professional assistance and guidance to help community businesses improve their financial viability and support them during the cost-of-living issue.

The grant will also help to enhance the individual community business’ social impact in their local communities – from creating more employment and training opportunities, particularly for those who are most disadvantaged and excluded in society; working with young people; tackling loneliness and improving the wellbeing of their communities; introducing environmentally-friendly initiatives and investing back into a localised economy.

An estimated 1.1 million people benefit from the community businesses that Plunkett supports. Collectively, they employ approximately 4,000 FTE staff and 21,000 volunteers.

James Alcock, Chief Executive of Plunkett UK, said: “We’re delighted to be awarded this grant from the RWHA. Plunkett launched this new training hub in 2019 and we can see from our data how important this resource is to our communities.

In 2023, we delivered training to nearly 1,300 individuals through 59 live in-person and online events. We have ambitions to grow our reach even further this year. Already in 2024, we have run webinars around topics such reducing energy costs and staff recruitment and retention, and held in-person and online workshops for groups in areas such as Devon and Scotland.

“We plan to grow our library of training materials, resources and templates to make it easier for communities across the UK to set up and owned and run by the community, for the community.”

Bringing communities together

Claire Anderson, RWHA Charity Fund Manager said: “We were so pleased to give a grant to Plunkett UK for their training hub, helping to address issues that we fully support; bringing communities together in deprived areas, and through business this is a great way.

“We support a variety of charities ‘in need’ across the UK, nominated by Royal Warrant holders who volunteer for the charity, it can be for something specific, an activity or a project.”

Sustainability squared

Chris Craggs, CEO of McFarlane Telfer, said: “We have been privileged to support community shops and pubs through our relationship with Plunkett UK on more than a dozen establishments by maintaining and facilitating amenities which are the heart of local communities and which, of themselves, help to foster giving and volunteering. It’s a double honour – and completely aligned with all parties’ values – that this work should be further enhanced and facilitated by support from the Royal Warrant Holders Charity – providing seed corn for villages to flourish. And, in the process, repurposing equipment which would have been scrapped – it is sustainability squared.”

How can we help?

If you are interested in finding out more about community businesses, and the support Plunkett UK provides, please get in touch.

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