High street bank Barclays is the first to back a new web-based shared learning and problem solving network that brings together Communities, Universities, Local Authorities and Business in Surrey.
CommUniLAB will be run by Surrey Youth Focus, as a pro-active shared learning network for members, into which issues/concerns/proposals can be put and advice and perspectives sought.
Barclays’ financial support will help fund the employment of a Project Manager who will run workshops and develop links between community organisations, the universities, local authorities and businesses.
Nigel Biggs, Surrey Youth Focus trustee and Entrepreneur in residence at Surrey University explained: “CommUniLAB will be the place for Surrey’s organisations and employees to post issues, about the provision of child care and school places, difficulties in recruiting apprentices (and graduates) with good soft skills; or problems with anti-social behavior, for example. As postings on the site increase about a particular issue and it gains traction, we will hold workshops to enable solutions to be found using the multiple perspectives of the different sectors involved.”
Mike Abbott said: “CommUniLAB is delighted to have secured Barclays support. Many people face the same problems when they close their front door - CommUniLAB enables those issues to be shared from different organisational perspectives.”
Robin Reynolds, Regional Director for Barclays Wealth and Investment Management in the Southern Home Counties, said: “Barclays plays a broader role in the communities in which we live and work beyond what we deliver through our core business activities. We do this through community investment programmes and the direct efforts of our employees. By aligning our community investment strategy to our skills and experience as a bank, the positive impact of our activity is much more than just a financial contribution.
“We are keen to develop this partnership to support the local community through, for example, Barclays employees volunteering as mentors to the beneficiaries of Surrey Youth Focus member organisations.”