A long established countywide network of professional businesses supporting the voluntary sector
Suffolk ProHelp is a countywide network of professional businesses providing expertise and support to voluntary and community groups. Our network includes: solicitors, accountants, architects, engineers, surveyors, property consultants, marketing, HR and business professionals. Firms commit to undertake time-limited, specific projects which may include activities such as feasibility studies, structural surveys, property valuations, marketing strategies, legal, accountancy advice, business planning and more. We seek to target this free support at those most in need who would otherwise be unable to pay for such expertise.
The expertise Suffolk ProHelp businesses provide to the charitable and community sector has been described as being like the intervention of professional superheros, delivering expertise, advice and guidance when it is most needed to help communities thrive.
Suffolk ProHelp has been providing this support since 2001 when we were established by Business in the Community as part of a network of schemes. In 2016 these schemes were discontinued. But Suffolk ProHelp members saw how vital and effective their support was and worked with Community Action Suffolk to secure funding to continue this work.
In 2017 we received two years funding from Transformation Challenge Award, made possible by Suffolk Public Leaders group, to deliver our service to the community. During this time we distributed 1,760 hours of expertise worth £176,000. We helped 68 organisations directly and 123 indirectly providing advice and guidance through our regular Learning Lunches.
In November 2019 we were awarded a further three year’s funding from The National Lottery Community Fund. Our aim going forward is to distribute £100,000 per year of expertise and assist at least 50 organisations a year and increase these targets over the three years of our funding. We are ambitious because we know that Suffolk’s charities and voluntary groups need this support and greatly benefit from it. We want our community to thrive and prosper and we understand that professional expertise is a much needed resource that many voluntary groups cannot readily afford.