Businesses give �300,000 worth of help

Norfolk firms gave time and expertise worth nearly �300,000 in the past year, according to the county's branch of support network ProHelp.

But, more and more charities organisations are going to be seeking the help of businesses in the county as spending cuts bite, it has said.

Norfolk ProHelp, a network of businesses who support charities and organisations through pro bono help,

said its members supported 48 organisations in the year to June 30, 2010, with pro-bono work worth �297,000.

This was an increase on the �261,000 worth of free professional advice and support given in 2008/9.

As a result, Norfolk ProHelp said it had become the biggest and busiest panel in the national ProHelp network.

Lynda Osborne, who administers Norfolk ProHelp's day-to-day activities, said: 'I am delighted that Norfolk firms continue to find the time and energy to continue to support ProHelp, notwithstanding the difficult economic conditions.

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'As a result of funding cuts, we are likely to get more inquiries for more PR, media and marketing support from charity and community groups. In fact they have started to flow already.'

Professional firms such as surveyors, architects, PR experts, lawyers and accountants are members of the network, sponsored in Norfolk by NPS Group.

A business breakfast is being held later this month to showcase some of the projects the network has been involved in.

One was Norwich-based charity the Hamlet Centre Trust, which was given a professional rebranding free of charge.

The Ella Road centre, which supports children and adults with disabilities, worked closely with Norwich-based creative design agency Farrows on a new logo, marketing strategy and branding advice, valued in total at more than �10,000.

Michael Rooney, chief executive of the centre, said: 'Our colourful new logo is already making an impact as the Hamlet Centre Trust gains a higher profile across the city and beyond – and raises much-needed funds for expansion.'

Farrows director Nick Farrow said: 'Seeing the caring work they do is a very humbling experience for all of us and it is particularly satisfying for everyone at Farrows to think we have been able to make a real impact on their success.'

Norfolk ProHelp, launched in Norfolk in 1993, has 42 firms ranging from small local businesses to those with national and even global operations on its panel.

The business breakfast is being held at the Park Farm Hotel, Hethersett, on November 19.

For more information contact Lynda Osborne, PO Box 1211, Blofield, Norwich, NR13 5WA, telephone 07739 899473, e-mail or go to