We’ve joined Reciprocate to help increase the impact of involving businesses in the community

At Firstline we know that most of our clients like to work with us because we are a local IT support company.

As small businesses in Oxfordshire and the Thames Valley it’s important to them that they are dealing with ‘real people’ who genuinely understand their needs and the technical challenges they may be facing.

They tell us that it is reassuring to know that, if necessary, an IT engineer could get out to their premises in under an hour; and they could (if they wanted) visit our offices and see their very own server sitting in our data centre.

Another aspect of being local is that it gives us an opportunity – and an obligation – to contribute to the community. We have already embarked on a long-term partnership with Pegasus Theatre, and it’s good to see the people in both organisations beginning to reap the benefits of our collaboration. We’re hoping to build further on this as a member of the new responsible business group Reciprocate, supported by Oxfordshire Community Foundation.

Reciprocate (www.reciprocateox.org) aims to help members of Oxfordshire’s business community become more strategic in their thinking about community engagement, and realise their good intentions through the power of many. Members are committed to sharing ideas, pooling resources, collaborating on projects, providing relevant information and driving responsible behaviour.

The group was launched at a great event in the Ashmolean Dining Room on 15 March 2016, and we heard many inspiring stories about how local companies have worked with charities and found new ways of contributing to the community.

We’re hoping to share our experiences of collaborating with Pegasus Theatre as well as get some ideas and insights from other Reciprocate members. We’re looking forward to working together to make a difference.