27.04.2018 Responsible Business Week: Meet Connect Assist – the dedicated helpline provider changing lives

Next up in our Responsible Business Week series is Ron Moody, the CEO of Connect Assist, a Nantgarw-based business delivering dedicated helpline services to the charity and public sector.

The organisation works with national charities including Mind and the Royal British Legion and specialises in training staff to meet the needs of vulnerable service users.

With more than 12 years of experience in the charity sector, contact centres and fundraising, Ron is passionate about responsible business. Here he shares his experiences of building a business that makes positive changes to the lives of both the people it helps, and the people it employs.

Tell us why your business was launched?

When Connect Assist was established, back in 2006, we had one clear vision: to make a positive change to those living in difficult circumstances. We knew we could achieve this by providing high-quality helpline services, while also creating meaningful employment opportunities in the south Wales valleys.

What does ‘responsible business’ mean to you?

Being a responsible business has always been central to Connect Assist’s vision. Last year, our co-founder and director, Patrick Nash, received the Institute of Directors award for Leadership in Corporate Responsibility 11 years after he first set up the organisation.

Corporate responsibility isn’t something we do to tick boxes – rather, ingraining it into all that we do has been the bedrock of our organisation. We work hard to actively neutralise adverse environmental and social effects caused by our activities or service delivery, and we have managed to build a thriving business while doing what we always believe to be the right thing.

Why do you think responsible business is important?

CSR should be so much more than a buzzword; it’s a way of doing business that can – and does – improve the lives of those it serves and employs, day in day out.

At Connect Assist, we believe in creating prosperity in our community and harnessing its potential through the creation of meaningful employment opportunities. We are committed to taking a progressive approach to sustainability, and this has always has been a motivating force behind our business.

What are the upsides of responsible business practice, for you? 

I believe that considering how you can have a positive impact on your community and workforce can actually help you deliver a better service. 

Half of our team joined us after a period of unemployment, about a quarter have some form of long-term health condition and many are former members of the armed forces.

Because we work with the most vulnerable people in society, we wanted to create a team with varying skills, backgrounds and reasons for wanting to make a difference. Put simply, we wanted our employees to reflect the diversity of the callers we deal with every day.

We believe a diverse workforce provides a better service because it can serve the needs, motivations and fears of a wider range of people from a position of understanding and empathy.

How do you think we can inspire more businesses to give back, and the next generation of entrepreneurs to put purpose at the heart of their business?

In our view, businesses must lead by example, and a social responsibility strategy should extend beyond boosting margins.

The impact of a socially responsible company can have a life-changing significance for service users and instil pride and satisfaction in individuals who contribute towards its growth. 

Campaigns like Responsible Business Week highlight and demonstrate how a social responsibility strategy can create meaningful opportunities for local communities and the wider economy.

It’s a great opportunity to share successes and get people talking about what they can do to make a difference in their own business.

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