Last week, we were privileged to be invited to a breakfast event, hosted by Suffolk’s High Sheriff in conjunction with Community Action Suffolk.

Here, Hannah Reid, Deputy CEO of Community Action Suffolk, talks more about #TheBigSuffolkPledge.

What ONE activity, initiative or undertaking could you or your business deliver in the weeks ahead, for the benefit of Suffolk’s voluntary sector?

That’s the question Community Action Suffolk is keen to ask of entrepreneurs and company leaders around the county, as we prompt you all to participate in our unique concept – #TheBigSuffolkPledge.

Championed by High Sheriff Mark Pendlington, #TheBigSuffolkPledge began on the weekend of The King’s Coronation, at a time when the nation was being asked to participate in The Big Help Out.

We wholly applauded the idea of encouraging more people to volunteer, but we wanted to take this even further, and create a longer term ‘legacy approach’.

#TheBigSuffolkPledge asks businesses, organisations and individuals to consider how they can contribute to the world of the voluntary sector.

This might be by doing a specific volunteering activity like a group litter-pick, but it might also mean something more long-lasting, like developing an Employer Supported Volunteering scheme, through which staff are enabled and encouraged to give time to a cause in the community.

You might wonder why this matters so much.

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The stark reality is that even though Suffolk is a very generous and compassionate county on the whole, we know that the voluntary sector is facing increasing challenges regarding volunteer levels, donations, and an increase in demand for their services.

The most recent Cost of Living Survey by Community Action Suffolk showed that volunteer levels had fallen 47% in recent times, and that donations had fallen by the same figure.
Meanwhile, 83.5% of organisations are experiencing increased core costs.

It’s for these reasons that we took #TheBigSuffolkPledge to a business audience this week, where the likes of MAD-HR were invited to hear from companies who have adopted Employer Supported Volunteering, or are doing considerable activity in support of the community.

We value enormously that MAD-HR is eager to support our endeavours and to spread further the message of our intentions with others in the business community.

We are grateful to Carole and Charlotte and the team for the work they already do in their charitable commitments and efforts across the county.

If you read this and feel inspired to explore how you could involve your business in #TheBigSuffolkPledge and concepts like Employer Supported Volunteering, please go directly to our Pledge page and make your commitment: Make your pledge – Community Action Suffolk

You can also reach out to me directly with any queries, by emailing

big suffolk pledge community action suffolk