I am thrilled to let you know that the charity that Connect Dacorum is part of, Community Action Dacorum (CAD), has been awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service by HM The Queen.  The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award given to volunteer groups across the UK to recognise outstanding work in their own communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate the anniversary of the Queen’s coronation. It is the MBE for volunteer groups.

The citation for the award states that it has been given to us for “working to overcome barriers and improve the quality of life and wellbeing for individuals and community groups.”  CAD was nominated for the award by the former Mayor of Dacorum, Bob MacLean and his wife Wendy.  In the official notification of the award from the Government Department the letter states that:

“The work your group does for the community was much admired by the Independent Assessment Committee, chaired by Sir Martyn Lewis CBE
This represents a tremendous achievement for your organisation, and we hope that everyone involved, and particularly your volunteers, will feel immensely proud of it”

I would like to thank you all for your membership of Connect Dacorum, whether you've been members for many years or have recently joined.  We couldn't be helping charities in the unique way we do without you and I'm sure it would be a service sorely missed if it was not here.

Networking imageIn our February newsletter we mentioned that we had some exciting partnership news.  We have teamed up with Watford & West Herts Chamber of Commerce and Metro Bank Hemel Hempstead to put on some regular monthly networking events in the Metro Bank store in The Marlowes.  The first date is Friday 22nd March from 10am to 12 noon. 

The event is free to attend but booking is essential through the following link.

It will be a completely different format from the usual Connect Dacorum events which will still continue, but will be a great opportunity to cross-network with our colleagues in Watford and to build stronger connections locally with both businesses and charities.

Can you afford not to come along?

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The Hospice Lottery Partnership, have been selected as one of the beneficiary charity/not-for-profit organisations taking part this year in the Dacorum Dragons’ Apprentice Challenge which links school teams of Year 12 “Apprentices” with local businesses and charity/not-for-profit organisations in a challenge to turn £100 into £1,000 or more. 

Our apprentices, The Laureate Fire Lions, are holding a fundraising Quiz Night at the Laureate Academy School Hall, on the 24 January 2019. There will be a raffle on the night and we are looking for people that can help by donating a prize. All contributors will be mentioned and thanked at the event.

If you can help please contact Team Leader, Raheem Khan This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Also if anyone is interested in attending, we would love to see you there, please see poster for details

xmas 1 smallFriday 14th December saw our 10th Christmas Lunch to celebrate company support for the local community. Connect Dacorum hosted the annual Christmas Lunch alongside Dacorum Community Trust (DCT) and it was held at Shendish Manor Hotel and we invited all our supporting companies and friends.

David Gauke MP and Sir Mike Penning MP attended, as well as the Mayor of Dacorum and her consort, The Mayor of Tring and her consort and the Mayor of Berkhamsted and other local dignitaries. We had 147 guests including business leaders from large and small companies, state organisations and charities.

The annual lunch was sponsored by Shenddish Manor Hotel, NGK Spark Plugs, UK Power Reserve, B&M Care, Osborne and Maylands Business Centre, without which we would not have been able to put on such a fabulous event.

The Mayor of Dacorum, Cllr Rosie Sutton welcomed everyone and talked about the importance of businesses, statutory organisations and charities working together as a community which helps create a better life for all in the Dacorum area. She also talked about some of the pleasureable activities she has taken part in since becoming Mayor such as recently judging a children's Christmas card competition.

Our guest speaker was Rachel Parsons, Head of PR and Communications at Warner Bros Studios Leavesden who have a great reputation in the area for helping the community. Rachel talked about their involvement with Connect Dacorum and also their connections with other local charities. 

Th studios have a world class collection of some of the UKs largest soundstages and tanks and many high profile films have been made there such as Fantastic Beasts, Paddington, The Legend of Tarzan, Justice League, Wonder Woman and Ready Player One among many others.

Warner Bros Studios Leavesden believe that helping others is a vital part of being a successful business and their staff have been committed to volunteering their time and helping build much needed resources like a sensory room and mobile classroom.

During 2018 they also held an inspiring "Ability in Disability" event at their offices and invited local businesses to come along. Many of them pledged to do something to help in the future, whether is it to take on someone for work experience or to change their policies to encourage more applications from people with disabilities.

Cindy thanked all the guests for their involvement with Connect Dacorum and DCT over the past year and Claire Furnell-Williams from DCT talked about the important work they do within the borough.

Companies who were at the lunch and who have supported the two organisations during 2018 were

Abode Bed                 EcoService (UK) Ltd        MBS Workplace Solutions      Sopra Steria

Aubrey Park Hotel     Furnell Transport              NGK Spark Plugs                   St James Place Finance

B&M Care                Glow Training                     Osbornes                               Swan Youth Project

Berko Chamber       Herts Chamber                   Paul Jenkins Connection   Sweet Charity

Business Buzz        HH Comm. Church             Peggy Barnard & Co           Ten2Two  

CAP                        Hunton Park Hotel               Purple Swan Ltd                 The Hospice of St Francis

Collett School         Indigo Tree Digital               Ruth George HR Consultant   The Business Ghost

Cornergate             Just2Connect                     Raydens Solicitors                    The Hospice Lottery

DBC/Maylands         Karate Kids                         SEN HR Consulting                 UK Power Reserve

DENS                      Kings Langley School         Shendish Manor Hotel              Venue Queen

DEMAND                Kris Gruber Photos               Sheng Nuo Ltd                        Warner Bros Studios Leavesden

Druglink                  Liberty Tea Rooms                SJ Locks                                Waterways Experiences

EIC Insurance         Machins Solicitors                Squire Estates                        Workspace Technology

Others who couldn’t make the lunch but definitely deserve a much appreciated ‘Thank You’ are:

AFCC Ltd, Blue Shield Fire Protection, Braceys Accountants, Capricorn Security and Training Ltd, Eckoh, Epson, Greenfleets Vehicle Leasing, Hemel Hempstead School, Hemel Hempstead Holiday Inn, Jade Advisory, Kingston Smith LLP, Longdean School, Lorica Insurance Brokers, Martin Brower UK Ltd, Pendley Manor Hotel, Riverside Shopping Centre,  Satellite Creative, Storax Racking Supplies, The Laureat Academy, The Healthy Working Partnership, The Snow Centre, West Herts College

cindy smallJulie smallme and david smallmike commanding room smallmayor smallall small

christmas lunchPlease find attached the invite to the annual Connect Dacorum & Dacorum Community Trust’s Christmas Lunch. This is the 10th year we have been running this hugely popular joint event and this year it is being held at Shendish Manor Hotel in Apsley on Friday 14th December at 12.00 midday. The lunch is sponsored by Shendish Manor Hotel, Osbornes, B&M Care, NGK, Maylands Business Centre and UK Power Reserve.

With usually around 130-150 attendees including 3 Mayors, 2 MPs and our guest speaker who this year we are delighted to have Dan Dark, Senior Vice President of Warner Bros Stuidos in Leavesden, this event is very popular and is an ideal event to invite some of your key staff or valued customers along with you. In honour of Dan this year we will be naming the tables after Warner Bros Leavesden films.

Tickets remain this year at only £30.00 each (or a table of 10 for £275) and include a traditional 3 course Christmas lunch.

Please send your reply slip with payment to Dacorum Community Trust, The Forum, Marlowes, Hemel Hempstead, Herts. HP1 1DN.  Do please let us know of any special dietary requirements.

It would be great to see you all there to celebrate another great year for our community.

If you are able to offer any raffle or auction prizes please do let me know, this would very much be appreciated.