What does it mean to be part of the Business against Poverty movement? Can membership make a tangible positive difference to your company, your team and your future?
In our latest member interview, we speak with Patrick Moss, Director of Moss Naylor Young, a long-standing Business against Poverty member. Patrick tells us how making a commitment to ‘give back’ has helped his company to grow even during the toughest of times.
Can you tell us a little about your business – who are you, where you’re based and what you do?
Moss Naylor Young is a small – but growing – consultancy, based in Frome, Somerset, that works in the fields of town planning, transport planning and inland waterways. Our consultants have substantial transport planning experience at all levels, while our involvement with inland waterways has led to us working on a host of innovative schemes for the transport of passengers and goods by water. We launched in 2011 and are getting set to host a 10th anniversary celebration event next month, where we’ll be making a very special announcement to mark this milestone.
What does Moss Naylor Young do best?
We work on canals and rivers, providing consultancy and expertise on issues from regeneration and restoration to irrigation and tourism studies. We work nationally and now even internationally too, yet most of what we do is within 30 miles of Frome: we are the local experts.
My true passion lies in our work on canals and rivers; enjoying canal walks and boats is how I spend most of my spare time. We now have a team of seven within our experienced team, and we continue to grow – going into lockdown last year, it was hard to anticipate where the business would be now, but we’ve seen a big in-crease in demand for our services, with more people appreciating and enjoying open spaces during the course of the pandemic.
What types of customers do you work with?
Our focus is always on wanting to do a good job for people who need a good job doing; we are here to simply help and aid those with a need to secure the necessary planning permissions. Much of we do is directly with parish councils, and a project we are particularly excited about right now revolves around planning consent for a special needs school in Somerset. For us, it’s not about the money: what we do best is work for people who need a service that will ultimately support a community.
A lot of our waterway work supports small charities, canal societies, canal trusts or similar bodies. We developed this offering after seeing a need for canal societies and trusts, who haven’t got vast resources: we use our experience to provide a highly personal and focused service, and also offer a fundraising advice service to these charities when that’s needed.
How long have you been a Business against Poverty member?
We’ve supported Business against Poverty for a decade now; I’ve personally sponsored two children – now families in Romania – via People against Poverty for even longer than that, which has been a real privilege. When I set up Moss Naylor Young, I knew that, fundamentally, the business wasn’t about me but about what I could give back through the business. Ever since joining, I’ve seen Business against Poverty as fundamental to identifying who we are, what our values are, and aligning this with the kinds of organisations we wish to work with: bodies that want to make life better for other people – giving out as well as taking in.
Why did you choose to join the Business against Poverty movement?
I established Moss Naylor Young with a ‘get by and give back’ mindset, and it’s been with that ethos in mind that the business has grown over the last ten years.
I encountered some real personal challenges shortly after setting up the business – but making the commitment to Business against Poverty served, and has continued to serve, as a guiding light for me: the thought that others in the world less fortunate need my support is a powerful motivator to do a good job and work hard.
What would you say are the biggest benefits of being part of this community?
For me, membership gives strength to the identity and feeling of what we stand for as a business: it gives a powerful impression and makes it clear what we believe in ethically. It’s also a good way to gather together and meet like-minded people, and to have fun doing so at the various events that Business against Poverty hosts for its members.
I also know that the more we openly promote Business against Poverty ourselves as a company, the more we can drive others towards the charity and help grow its impact around the world.
Would you recommend Business against Poverty membership?
Yes I would: for me, it comes down to the feeling of being part of an organisation that shares our social agenda. I care deeply about poverty, especially the situation in Romania where I have been lucky enough to visit several times so far with People against Poverty.
If you are a business owner that is motivated to do good for others, then I’d definitely explore it: Business against Poverty exists as an organisation that pushes benefits out to others, so if this is where your conscience leads you then BaP is the place to be: they are making positive change happen.
Lastly, as a successful business owner, is there any advice that you’d give to other businesses right now?
Keep the faith: remember that this time will pass and things will get better. Weather the current storms by being fleet of foot, get the resources in place that you’ll need in the future and look for opportunities for growth, understanding how you can capitalise on them – and then be very quick to respond. Your business needs to be flexible and adapt, as the world will be very different in the future.
Business against Poverty is an accredited membership community. Its members directly support the humanitarian work of People against Poverty – a registered, independent charity that aims to help alleviate poverty and suffering around the world. People against Poverty’s projects are designed to empower greater self-sufficiency, give new hope and build a more sustainable future. Join a movement for change today.
Interview conducted by Ben Veal, Founder of Second Mountain Comms and Trustee for People Against Poverty.