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Equans uses volunteering time to make a positive impact in Manchester

North Manchester-based charity, NEPHRA Good Neighbours, was recently visited by regeneration specialists Equans who provided a number of business mentoring sessions, workshops and activities to support the organisation on its sustainability journey.

NEPHRA Good Neighbours is a charity that works with the community to help reduce social isolation, improve community cohesion and support those through the current cost of living crisis. They have a passion for sustainability, and want this to be an increasing focus moving forward.

The partnership took place during Green Careers Week 2023 (6-11 November), with Equans reaching out to NEPHRA through its facilities management partnership with Manchester City Council.

Equans’ Strategic Business Development Team utilised two days of annual volunteering time, which is allocated to every employee, delivering the sessions and providing the charity with business expertise. The team shared their skills and expertise in bid writing, enabling NEPHRA to successfully secure grants to help make their building and operations more sustainable. Equans will continue to support NEPHRA by reviewing future bids.

The second day of volunteering was centred around the Community Environment Day, where local residents attended NEPHRA’s branch in New Moston to learn more about sustainability and the charity’s increasing focus on such.

Equans held an information stand to provide residents with information and energy saving tips to help reduce their energy bills. On top of this, Equans volunteers joined Ann Bates, the Moston Brook Project Manager for Oldham and Manchester Council, to carry out conservation work at the local green space to help improve the habitat and make it more accessible to the local community. NEPHRA’s community allotment was also given a glow-up, prepping the garden site for the upcoming winter. The allotment provides over 3,100 healthy and nutritious meals to older residents every year.

Claire Walsh, a representative at NEPHRA, said: “The Equans team’s visit was truly incredible. Our management team had the privilege of receiving bespoke bid writing training, which has already proven to be invaluable support. As a charity that heavily relies on funding revenue, having access to such expert advice has completely transformed our approach to bid writing.

“Thanks to the incredible help and support from the Equans team, the community event was a tremendous success. Without their assistance, it would not have been possible. We are immensely grateful for all the assistance we received, and we cannot thank the team enough for their dedication and commitment to a making a positive impact in our community.”

Ben Simcock, Strategic Development Director at Equans, said: “By providing professional services to great community groups like NEPHRA, we can better use our corporately sponsored volunteering days to enable these charities to have an even greater impact in their communities. By guiding NEPHRA’s management team through our core principles of bid strategy, solutioning and writing, they will no doubt be even more successful in securing the essential funding they need to continue helping the people of New Moston feel connected to their community.”

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