Stronger together

Recently Anna attended a business event in Chesterfield at which the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby spoke to members of the town’s business community. Held the day before the Referendum, it gave Anna food for thought. Read her take on what the Archbishop had to say here…

“It’s always easier to observe what’s wrong, than participate and get it right in business.” Never a truer word was spoken than by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby at a business event I attended the day before the EU Referendum.

He was in Chesterfield as part of his tour of Derbyshire and spoke at a business networking event at St Thomas’ Centre in Brampton, Chesterfield. His talk focused on the challenges facing businesses in the current economic climate and he spoke of the need for businesses to be deeply embedded in the community.
24 hours later I was reflecting on his words in the aftermath of the Referendum and the subsequent events it triggered. We are now a nation split and divided. However, Archbishop Welby’s speech has played an important part in giving me (and continuing to give me) a sense of perspective around the events. It has enabled me see what role my business and I can play to unite the town and ensure it continues to thrive.

In the Works PR is a tiny drop in the town’s economy. However, Chesterfield’s SME economy is characterised by lots of tiny specks and, together, we are powerful and can and do drive change. Look at the regeneration of the town and our fall in unemployment. We’re obviously doing something right together.

I couldn’t have agreed more when the Archbishop said: “Business has to operate in solidarity with society and it has to be deeply embedded in its community.” However, I couldn’t help feeling that he was preaching to the converted. As I looked around the room I saw representatives from the Credit Union and High Street banks, businesses, social enterprises, schools and charities all sitting alongside each other and we all knew each other because we all work together and support one another.

Collaboration and giving something back is in the fabric of the community and within the DNA of many businesses. Members of the business community are regularly fundraising for local causes, working with schools, sponsoring young people, volunteering and sharing their advice and experience with other businesses freely.

We must keep doing this for our own sake and the good of the country; as the Archbishop said: ‘The government is not going to build us a good economy; it has to be the whole people and people in the area, and above all, businesses that do it.”

As I sat in front of the Archbishop, Bishop of Derby and Rev Canon Matthew Barnes from St Thomas’, I pushed images of episodes of Father Ted to the back of my mind, and thought instead about how I could participate and help get it right for the town as a whole regardless of the Referendum.

Whether business or resident, let’s stop the moaning, naval gazing and blaming and instead, come together, pull ourselves up and get on with building us a good economy together.