VOLUNTARY sector organisations and charities in Kirklees are set to get a welcome boost.
A full-time Business Connector, Mark Yarwood, has been seconded from his job with Lloyds Banking Group to work full-time helping Third Sector organisations connect with individuals from businesses to help them overcome issues relating to employment, education and enterprise.
The Business Connectors programme is run by Business in the Community.
Mr Yarwood will leave his day job for 12 months to take up the new role, although his salary will continue to be met by the bank.
He has already made contacts with Kirklees Council and is meeting leading figures from the local business community over coming weeks.
“Being a Business Connector for Huddersfield is a fantastic opportunity to get involved in my local community,” he said.
“I'm really excited to be able to work with the Huddersfield communities, charities and local businesses to help make a difference.”
Mr Yarwood has lived in the Huddersfield area for the past 14 years and currently resides in Honley.
Lloyds Banking Group has also seconded Gareth Ewing to the role of Business Connector for Calderdale.
Mr Ewing, who lives at Greetland, has worked with the Halifax part of the group for 25 years.
As part of its commitment to the scheme, Lloyds Banking Group will provide the infrastructure and training for all the new secondees as well as placing up to 20 senior employees in communities across the UK for an entire year for the next three years. They will work on the ground in areas most in need across the country.
The investment by Lloyds Banking Group has enabled Business in the Community to increase its ambition to create a national network of more than 670 Business Connectors to work in more than 200 disadvantaged areas over five years.
Lloyds Banking Group director Graham Lindsay said: “Lloyds Banking Group is in a powerful position to help local communities across the UK tackle the issues they are facing.
“We have shown our commitment to our communities by backing a range of programmes and initiatives designed to support education, enterprise, and employability.
“However, we do not want to stop at that. Our employees are a huge untapped resource and their business expertise, deep local knowledge and professional connections can be put to use to improve lives in our communities.”
Stephen Howard, Business in the Community chief executive, said: “Business Connectors is based on the proven impact of taking business resource, skills and time into the heart of communities.
“We’re delighted that Lloyd’s is placing Mark to work full time in Huddersfield.
“We hope other organisations are inspired by the leadership shown by our supporting businesses to also take a stand to build prosperous cohesive communities at this critical time.
“It’s exciting that so many businesses are backing this movement and we look forward to working with Mark and seeing the valuable connections he will make in Huddersfield.”
Mr Yarwood has worked with Lloyds Banking Group for the past 29 years in a variety of management roles before a move to Halifax in 1998 to work in project management.