Social Good Connect program launches

A new initiative that aims to positively impact communities by transforming employer-led volunteering is being launched on Thursday 21 May.

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A new initiative that aims to positively impact communities by transforming employer-led volunteering is being launched on Thursday 21 May.

Social Good Connect is a social business and digital platform that helps charitable and public organisations by connecting employees to volunteering opportunities. It is the brainchild of entrepreneurial Scottish businesswoman Caroline McKenna, who said: “Social Good Connect is a unique search and match digital platform that positively impacts communities by connecting employees with volunteering opportunities.

“By actively engaging with businesses, Social Good Connect is employer-led giving the businesses the opportunity to meet their social responsibility goals. It also provides employees easily accessible opportunities to volunteer in an effective way based on their skills and experience.

“This access to a wide range of attributes helps charitable and public organisations find valuable resources to match social need in a coordinated, sustained and structured approach.”

Caroline and the team at Social Good Connect had been working steadily for the past 18 months to build the platform and were planning to launch in Q4 of 2020. That was before the global coronavirus pandemic changed life and work as we know it.

Caroline said: “In response to the current crisis and demand for volunteering across Scotland, we have accelerated our digital platform build and will go live six months early. It’s been a lot of hard work, but a real team effort and we’re excited to start connecting employees, many of whom are currently furloughed, to volunteering opportunities to positively impact communities, particularly at this time of increased need.”

The unique search and match platform has been built by award-winning web and mobile app development company Vidatec based in Stirling. Vidatec CEO Greig Johnston said: “Volunteering brings about fulfilment on many levels and benefits not just the many great causes involved, but also the businesses and individuals who benefit from a sense of worth as a result of their involvement. The fact that we’ve been able to provide a platform that will enable this to happen more easily is a great source of pride on our part. We are proud to be Social Good Connects digital partner.”

The acceleration of the launch is supported by an Advisory Board of local business leaders including Andy Lothian, Insights Group CEO – which owns Vidatec; Danny Campbell, Commercial Director of St Andrews Links Trust; and Craig Nicol, Managing Partner of Thorntons Law.

Andy Lothian said: “This exciting initiative, borne out of the challenges posed by the Covid-19 crisis, is already making a positive and lasting difference. Business-led volunteering allows agile response to the pressing social needs in our communities, right now. Its legacy will be a new way of helping businesses do well by doing good for society.”

Danny Campbell said: “Within our community we have seen countless acts of kindness and solidarity, we want to build on that spirit of generosity at the Links Trust. We believe Social Good Connect is a great initiative that can facilitate broader, ongoing practical aid and support from within our community of colleagues to help us all build towards a better future.”

Craig Nicol said: “Helping our local communities is embedded in the culture at Thorntons. We have supported the acceleration to the launch of Social Good Connect in the current crisis, and we’re convinced that it will have a lasting and sustainable impact in the long term.”

Social Good Connect is based in Dundee and is currently working with four local authorities, Dundee, Angus, Fife and Perth, to support them during the Covid-19 recovery period and beyond. As interest increases and the additional functionality is added to the platform, it will be rolled out across Scotland and the rest of the UK.

On behalf of Angus, Dundee, Fife and Perth and Kinross councils, Perth and Kinross Chief Executive Karen Reid, said: “It has been so heartening to see so many people volunteering to help their community, in response to this global outbreak. There will be a major role for all of us – public services, private businesses and volunteers – in working together to help rebuild our communities. Having worked together closely on this project, we value the support that Social Good Connect will provide, as a great asset in linking volunteers to helping others in need, during the COVID-19 pandemic and as we collectively work to build future partnerships.”

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