29th November 2013

Building healthy communities with Southampton Hub

Jonathan Field

Last Thursday Ordnance Survey hosted Business in the Community’s (BITC) Southampton Hub network. The Southampton Hub, launched at Ordnance Survey in October 2012, encourages local businesses to support local communities through partnerships and collaboration.

The event included a tour around Ordnance Survey’s new headquarters and a review of the work and initiatives undertaken by the Hub since its launch just one year ago. The session was introduced by Mike Brophy, Development Director, London, South and South East and Mike Toy, Community Impact Manager, for BITC, respectively, and chaired by Jayne Carrington Managing Director, Right Management Workplace Wellness and BITC Southampton Hub Chair.

Elaine Owen, Schools Sector Manager, introduced the work of Ordnance Survey and Danny Hyam introduced the myriad ways in which Ordnance Survey products and services can be used to mitigate place related problems. The afternoon and evening programme included some inspiring presentations on partnerships between businesses and local schools through BITC’s Business Class programme. This included Wates’ work with Woodland Community College and Cobham’s work with St Aldhelm. Rosy Jones, Enterprise and Employability Manager at Southampton Solent University gave a brief background to the University’s vision for social justice and how engaging students with business can enhance their employability prospects.

Building Healthy communitiesAt the event GeoVation’s Chris Parker launched the problem PowWow report: “How can we build healthy communities in Southampton?” This was the result of the GeoVation problem finding PowWow run back in September, in collaboration with 13 representatives from the public, private and third sectors and the Hub community. Using a series of infographics the report identifies and illustrates 41 insights representing barriers to building healthy Communities in Southampton?”, under 5 themes which consider: the natural environment, human health and well being, social capital, manufacturing, and financial assets.

Speaking on the problem identification process Mike Toy, Community Impact Manager, Business in the Community said: “It’s been fantastic for us to be able to work with Ordnance Survey and the team at GeoVation in discovering some of the most pressing issues facing communities across Southampton. The PowWow provided a lively debate and it’s great to see such a wealth of information collated in one document. This will shape both the future direction of the Hub and the work of our local Business Connector”. 

Jayne Carrington Managing Director, Right Management Workplace Wellness and BITC Southampton Hub Chair, stated:

Working with the team at GeoVation team has been a journey for all Hub partners in understanding community issues in Southampton. A year ago we launched the Hub and set ourselves some targets, this publication will help us in further shaping the future direction of the Hub. We are grateful for the time and resource invested by the team at Ordnance Survey, which has led us to identify some key overarching issues and some more niches. Through working collaboratively and sharing the skills, expertise of staff, businesses can take action whilst benefiting from increased employee engagement and wellbeing.” 

For the GeoVation team it was great to collaborate with businesses and organisations in identifying community problems and challenges local to us. The GeoVation team will also be using this problem PowWow report as part of its work in developing GeoVation’s eighth national challenge, launching in 2014. Meanwhile, GeoVation’s 7th Challenge: How can we encourage active lifestyles in Britain? is open for your great ideas until 8 January with a slice of £100,000 to help launch the best ideas as ventures.