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London 2012: Big businesses help small charities in Legacy for London project

PUBLISHED: 11:19 09 May 2012

Access Sport's BMX trainer, Simon Hall, jumps over the Pilotlight mentoring team  Carola Wolf, BP programme manager; David Benjamin, BT Mobile chief executive; and David Pelham, Lloyds TSB client services director. Picture: Andre Camara

Access Sport's BMX trainer, Simon Hall, jumps over the Pilotlight mentoring team Carola Wolf, BP programme manager; David Benjamin, BT Mobile chief executive; and David Pelham, Lloyds TSB client services director. Picture: Andre Camara

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Some of the UK’s best known companies have been helping small charities and social enterprises in the Olympic host boroughs.

Teams from Olympic sponsors adidas, BP, BT, Lloyds TSB Commercial Finance and Deloitte have been taking part in the Legacy for London project over the last two years.

Nine charities in the host boroughs have been mentored by teams of senior executives and received free business coaching, enabling them to develop their services and support more people.

Charities from Tower Hamlets which were mentored were Alcohol Concern Tower Hamlets, Kinetika Art Links International and Step Forward Tower Hamlets.

The project was run by Pilotlight, a charity which brokers free business coaching to small charities, and won the support of the London 2012 Inspire Programme.

Pilotlight’s chief executive Fiona Halton was inspired to create the project by the Olympic motto - faster, higher, stronger.

She said: “We all know that charities are facing a tough time at the moment, with many badly affected by the cuts and recession trying to expand their services because of growing need.

“We saw the chance to bring together ambitious charity directors, who understand the problems local people face, with the Olympic partners and their outstanding business talent.

“We wanted the charities in the Olympic boroughs to grow faster, higher, stronger thanks to the Olympics.”

Other charities involved in the project were Aanchal Women’s Aid in Newham, Access Sport in Hackney, Age UK Waltham Forest, Home-Start Newham, New Choices for Youth in Newham, and StreetGames UK, which is based in Lambeth but works on projects in the East End.

Mike Sharrock, partnership director for BP London 2012, said: “This has been an amazing project and the BP people who volunteered have learned so much, as well as being able to pass on their own business skills in a very different environment to charities like HomeStart, Access Sport and Alcohol Concern, where they’re leaving a real legacy.

“What made this project even more special was the response from other London 2012 partners who agreed to join in. It is a wonderful example of the inspirational power of the games.”

Seb Coe, chairman of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), said: “Thanks to this Olympic-inspired project, our business sponsors have rallied together to create this lasting legacy; allowing some of their talented directors to mentor these visionary charities to help people at the sharp end of life.”


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