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Volunteering their time to guide Ashfield’s next generation

Posted onPosted on 3rd Jan

A business whose workforce has devoted more than 500 hours of voluntary work in Ashfield in the past three years has pledged to continue its community help in 2024.

Kinver Business Solutions (known as Kinver) has worked with Ashfield District Council since 2020, overseeing high-profile regeneration projects and supporting the growth of leisure facilities.

Recently these have included the launch of £15.5m Kirkby Leisure Centre, redevelopment of the boating club site at King’s Mill Reservoir, and completion of the £6m Maker Space in Sutton.

Kinver said it focused its social value time predominantly on ensuring the next generation of young people get informed choices and support in their careers.

Team members have conducted mock interviews with pupils from year 10 up to year 13 in schools across the district, and attended careers fairs to help students understand routes to careers in project management and the wider public sector.

Darowen Jones, managing director, said: “I’m immensely proud of all the support the team has given to pupils across Ashfield district.

“The quality of students we’ve interviewed and supported across the year has been outstanding.

“It’s important to us that Kinver plays a significant role in the communities it works in. It’s not just about delivering projects for the client and then walking away, it’s about our actions creating a legacy for the local communities in which Kinver works. We look forward to delivering even more activities.”

As part of its tender to the council, Kinver agreed to contribute as many hours as it could spare to supporting voluntary activities across the district with an employment, skills, and careers development focus — all done in the business’s own time.

It means community organisations have received almost £40,000-worth of time free.

Council chief executive officer Theresa Hodgkinson said: “When the council procures any supplies or services, it’s absolutely vital for the local economy and community that as part of that investment the area sees real, tangible support, which makes a clear impact.

“What Kinver has achieved in this last year in terms of their social value commitment locally is a fantastic credit to their approach and their team members.”

In addition to the 509 hours volunteered so far, Kinver said it also focuses on its impact when delivering services. For example key project staff have EV cars or travel by public transport; meetings are kept virtual where possible to minimise travel; all documentation is kept digitally with minimal printing, and spare or older ICT equipment is donated to good causes.

Schools, colleges, and similar organisations in Ashfield that would like Kinver team members to volunteer time towards careers development should email [email protected]


Nominated for award

Kinver principal project manager Katie Mills (above), who is based in Ashfield and runs the council projects, has been shortlisted for a regional leadership award.

She is one of six finalists in the Young Leader category for the West Midlands Leadership Awards.

Winners will be announced at the Burlington Hotel, Birmingham, in March.