Penningtons Manches LLP has confirmed its support for ‘Communilab’, an exciting new initiative that aims to improve the lives of people under the age of 25 in Surrey by connecting the organisations which directly or indirectly affect them.
Through its Guildford and Godalming offices, the law firm has teamed up with Surrey Youth Focus, the largest representative youth organisation in the county, which runs Communilab. Surrey Youth Focus is the ‘go to’ point of contact for any public authority or national contractor interested in the voluntary youth sector in Surrey and celebrates the positive contribution young people make to the community.
Penningtons Manches joins Barclays Bank, Surrey County Council and Surrey Connect which have already pledged their commitment to the project. The Communilab network will provide a broad range of services, including an online discussion blog and online forum as well as workshops. It intends to connect communities, universities and colleges, local authorities and businesses, enabling voluntary groups to work in new partnerships and build projects that meet current funding agendas.
In addition to creating much better opportunities and scope for young people to contribute to their communities, Communilab will work with the education sector to help make students more employable by developing their ‘soft skills’ and providing valuable work experience. As part of its remit, it also plans to provide a mechanism for companies to actively engage and work in partnership with voluntary groups as well as to identify local issues and trends and better understand family issues affecting their workforce.
Commenting on the sponsorship, partner Simon Bickerdike, who leads the corporate team at Penningtons Manches’ Guildford office, said: “We are delighted to join forces with Surrey Youth Focus on a project which has the potential to benefit so many people. As a practice with a long-standing presence in Surrey, we very much want to give as much as we can back to the local community. Communilab drew our attention because it has such an innovative and enterprising approach; we look forward to seeing it extend its reach during 2015, both on a local and national level.”
Cate Newnes-Smith, chief executive officer for Surrey Youth Focus, added: “We are very grateful to Pennington Manches for their support for Communilab. Together we believe that we can make a significant difference to the lives of young people in Surrey.”