Richard Venables VSL becomes Chair of local Oxford responsible business group – Reciprocate



Richard Venables, Director of Commercial property specialists VSL and Partners, has become the new Chair of Local Oxford Responsible Business Group - Reciprocate.

Taking over from fellow local businessman Tony Stratton who set up the group in 2016, Richardhas ambitious plans to help Reciprocate grow and to build on Tony’s legacy.

Reciprocate is a collaboration of businesses who meet to discuss corporate social responsibility, its social impact, and charitable giving.

Hosted by the Oxfordshire Community Foundation (OCF), Reciprocate aims to strengthen community resilience by building stronger, more sustainable capabilities within local charities and increase awareness of the positive impact responsible businesses can have within Oxfordshire.

Richard says: “I am delighted to carry on Tony’s amazing work leading Reciprocate. I think there is huge potential to grow Reciprocate and make better use of the talent around the whole county, and to do more good for Oxfordshire. I trust in OCF’s commitment to Reciprocate going forward.

“For me, membership of Reciprocate is all about what businesses can give, not what they get – and we’ll be working with members to figure out in more detail exactly what they are hoping to give back to the community in the form of an ‘impact pledge’. I hope this will help us truly harness the public-spirited approach that is already present within the business community.”

Tony initiated the Reciprocate responsible business group after his year as High Sheriff of Oxfordshire in 2013. His High Sheriff's Challenge brought around 20 businesses on board with a series of hospitality events that raised over £303,000 for charity. Tony subsequently worked with OCF to set up Reciprocate, as a way of keeping the business community in Oxfordshire engaged with the charitable sector.

Tony said: “I’m delighted to say that Richard Venables will be taking over as Chair of Reciprocate. I’m very grateful for the support I’ve had from OCF, from Unipart and from Tim Stevenson, the Lord Lieutenant. It’s a great initiative that I am personally very proud of – but we’ve only just started, and it will go on from strength to strength.”

New Chair Richard Venables is a director at VSL and Partners, which was one of the founding members of Reciprocate. He is a well-known figure in the Oxfordshire business world, with a strong focus on helping the community via his involvement with various local charities and boards. He grew up in Oxford, but speaks of how unhappy he is to see the types of injustices and inequalities there are in the town he calls home. He represents businesses on the board of the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, and is working to promote greater participation in sport in Oxford.

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