A group of Shropshire business professionals have created a county-wide corporate supporters’ network in aid of the NSPCC – one of the UK’s leading children’s charities.

Designed to harness the enormous goodwill that exists amongst the region’s business community towards the charity, the NSPCC Shropshire Business Group will co-ordinate a range of exclusive corporate fundraising and business networking opportunities during 2009.

Funds raised by the group will support local NSPCC projects that will directly benefit vulnerable children and young people in Shropshire.

Any business based in the county, regardless of employee numbers or size of turnover, can become a member of the NSPCC Shropshire Business Group (NSPCC SBG). Membership of the group is free, although there is a suggested discretionary joining donation of £50.

NSPCC SBG Chairman and founder member, Nick Jones, a partner with wealth management company St. James’s Place Partnership, says: “By joining the NSPCC Shropshire Business Group companies will send a strong signal that their organisation recognises good business practice goes far beyond the bottom line.

“In this current very difficult economic climate many of us are arguably in danger of becoming too introspective as we focus hard on the issues that affect our business.

“Although I was surprised to learn there was no formalised corporate support for the NSPCC in the county, I was very aware there is a wealth of goodwill towards the NSPCC. It became increasingly clear from conversations with business people there was a genuine will to harness the business community’s desire to make a meaningful difference to local children’s lives.

“Membership of the NSPCC SBG offers Shropshire companies a chance to align themselves with a highly respected national charity that is doing great work in the county, and engage with like-minded business professionals who understand there is also a strong business case for getting involved.”

Marc Hornby, NSPCC Corporate Manager for the West Midlands added: “It’s important to remember that families in crisis often suffer particular hardship in financially difficult times and that often impacts hardest of all on the children.

“The NSPCC offers vital services in Shropshire. There is a tremendous network of local and regional fundraising groups who work very hard for us. It is especially pleasing to open up a new network of corporate supporters to help us extend the services we provide.”

The NSPCC Shropshire Business Group is inviting companies across the county to join the group and/or pledge to support the NSPCC in some way during 2009, either by attending fundraising events staged by the group or encouraging employees to organise fundraising activities.

NSPCC SGB membership benefits include exclusive access to quality fundraising and business networking events, member-to-member promotional offers, services and discounts, professional PR and promotional support for fundraising efforts, priority ticket reservations for staff, family and friends and a free ‘Big Green Swag Bag’ – stuffed with practical tools, tips and techniques to help their organisation raise money for the NSPCC.

Events already planned include a corporate Scalextric Race Night at Shrewsbury Town FC’s Prostar Stadium in April, a corporate Golf Day, The Big Bike Ride and Picnic in the Park in Shrewsbury in July, a corporate Fifty/50 Cricket Challenge Cup at Oswestry Cricket Club in September and a Black Tie Ball in November.

Any organisation interested in joining the group is asked to contact Nick Jones, St. James’s Place Partnership on 01743 240968 or email