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 Simon Long, Managing Director of SLTS (South West) Limited, a Platinum Business against Poverty member. Simon tells us how a deeply personal trip to Romania changed his outlook and made a lasting impression.
Q: Can you tell us a little about your business – who are you, where you’re based and what you do?
“SLTS is a training provider based in Frome, Somerset, offering a wide range of bespoke and accredited solutions. We work all over the UK across many industrial sectors, including construction, food production and telecoms, offering all manner of training services and courses – everything from construction plant equipment to confined space rescue training to manual handling and First Aid training.”
Q: What does SLTS do best?
“We offer very good customer care and support: we are an extremely customer-focused business and we always try to be adaptable with the training solutions we provide. It’s important to me that our customers are happy with the service they receive from SLTS, and we look to work ethically in all that we do.”
Q: What types of customers do you work with?
“We have an extremely varied and wide customer base, which means every day is interesting and different – and we get the chance to work in some amazing places with great people. We really appreciate our customers, as our entire business has been built up around word-of-mouth recommendations: that’s the best advertising you can get. We also get a lot of repeat business, and that’s really nice, because it’s proof that we’re doing a good job.”
Q: How long have you been a Business against Poverty member?
“I joined Business against Poverty back in 2014, after having the incredible opportunity to go to Romania on an Awareness Trip. It was on this trip that I met Florenta, an elderly lady who’d had a stroke, was unable to talk and was bed-bound – and was living in a disused rail-way station: it absolutely broke my heart. I remember just holding her hand and praying, with tears streaming down my face – and I knew, there and then, that I had to do something about it – and so, via People against Poverty, I was able to pledge funds to help cover rent, facilities and a carer for this remarkable lady. That was amazing to be able to do that, and I’ve felt blessed to support the charity by being part of Business against Poverty ever since.”
Q: Why did you choose to join the Business against Poverty movement?
“I feel, as human beings, that we should all be compassionate and care for one another: business, for me, is about helping and enabling others, and all of us have the power to do that in small ways every day. There’s great power in just giving with no expectation in receiving anything back.”
Q: What would you say are the biggest benefits of being part of this community?
“For me, it’s just quietly knowing that I’m helping others through my business: it’s as simple as that and not about kudos. I’m blessed in many ways and Business against Poverty provides a simple way to give back to others – and the great thing is that you know exactly where the money goes, as the charity is run so transparently and ethically. Our team also always really enjoys the annual Business against Poverty gala ball: that’s a highlight of our year and a great opportunity to come together and celebrate with the wider business community.”
Q: Would you recommend Business against Poverty membership?
“Absolutely – I have done many, many times now! I actually have our vans, work shirts and PPE branded with the Business against Poverty logo, and it features at the beginning of all of my presentations too, as an opportunity to kickstart a discussion and raise awareness of Business against Poverty. For me, that’s always an easy conversation to have: I describe it a community of like-minded ethical businesses who care about sharing their success with others.”
Q: Lastly, as a successful business owner, is there any advice that you’d give to other businesses right now?
“Times are difficult, but you can, even in hard times like this, still do good – whether that’s donating financially or doing good deeds locally. My advice for other businesses is stick with it, continue with the graft and things will get better. Ultimately, if your business is successful, you will be able to bless and benefit others in need, so just keep going – and keep going with a smile on your face!”
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: businessagainstpoverty.com
Interview conducted by Ben Veal, Second Mountain Comms