Our Story

Connect Reading : Our Story

Our story

From 2003 to now

Connect Reading started as Reading Business Community Partnership in 2003. First established by local businesses to broker relationships and resources between charities and businesses. We use an innovative and cross-sector approach to in-kind support.

Over the years we have become the go-to place for organisations looking for bespoke CSR advice, information and guidance and how to get involved in local initiatives. 

Those who’ve led us through the years have won awards for their contributions to business and the community. 

  • Ruth Spicer (CEO from 2003-2010) received the M&S Sieff Award in 2007
  • Clare Wright (MD from 2010-2016) was nominated (as was Connect Reading itself) for a Pride of Reading award in 2013
  • Kirsti Wilson (MD from 2016-2019) was nominated for a Pride of Reading Award in 2019
  • Lorraine Briffitt (current MD) received the Alice Driver Award for Inspirational Women in 2020

OUR VALUES

Local

Our local community and our local environment are our first priorities

Equality

We give businesses & charities an equal voice

Social Value

We make it easy for you to create social value

Long-term

We create long-term impact with the potential for long-term partnership

Innovative

We are innovative and creative, seeking to continuously
learn

What makes
us tick?

From initiating conversations over a pastry and cup of coffee to planning team days, we love creating meaningful connections.  

We are committed to having a long-term impact through all that we do. We get to know our members so we can meet their actual needs and believe that together we can create a better Reading for everyone! 

"Being MD at Connect Reading gives me the opportunity to bring together my passion to help people with my belief that a thriving economy is best rooted in a thriving community. Over the next year I'm looking forward to building new partnerships and continuing to serve our members to help make Reading a better place... for everyone!"
by Lorraine Briffitt
Reading Town Centre

Meet the Connect Reading team

Lorraine Briffitt

Managing Director

Photo of Lorraine Lorraine has worked in Reading for almost 20 years, in roles ranging from one-to-one contact with complex client groups, to management and directorship of teams and projects.  Being at Connect Reading, I can bring my network of relationships from previous roles to help build up the positive impact that Connect Reading seeks to have in our town. 

Annie Willmot

Head of Communications & Events

Photo of AnnieAnnie has lived in Reading for 4 years and leapt at the opportunity to work in a role so focused on the town she’s grown to love. At Connect Reading, I love that I get the opportunity to utilise my experience and passion for creating community and connection. 

Find out how you can get involved

Learn more about what it looks like to become part of the Connect Reading community and how you might get involved.

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