The chance to understand more about mental health and an opportunity to give back to the community were key reasons for Vineet Khurana, Chief Financial Officer at IBM UK & Ireland, to get involved with Twining Enterprise.
Vineet was already aware of the impact of mental health challenges on people’s lives: “You come across mental health issues in the workplace and I have dealt with this at a personal level as well in my extended family and I thought that’s a matter I’d like to get more involved with,” he explains.
Supporting Twining through Social Business Trust (SBT) is proving to be a good way to do that. Twining is already a leading provider of ‘back to work’ mental health advice and support services in London. Now with help and guidance from Vineet, as Twining’s SBT Investment Director, and support from many other IBM colleagues, as well as other SBT business volunteers, it aims to increase its beneficiaries by a further 70% over three years.
Visiting Barnet Hospital early on, along with Jack Alcock, Investment Professional at Permira, Vineet saw first-hand the impact of Twining’s work: “We met a couple of people who had benefitted directly from Twining’s help. They were very candid in describing how their Twining contact had helped them extensively through their search and securing suitable employment, supported them as required even past this stage and in general how Twining’s support and securing employment had helped them tremendously with building their confidence about being contributing members of society.”
As an example, one individual who was currently employed by a charity retail shop was aspiring to build on his experience and ultimately secure a higher-profile retail role in an upcoming new shopping mall nearby. “The individuals Twining supported were getting up and getting to their workplace, dealing with their issues and you could clearly see the confidence in their eyes,” explains Vineet, “These individuals were perfect examples of the value Twining brings to the table.”
But as a finance professional, Vineet’s interest extends beyond the personal stories: “Scaling the business comes with growing pains. As their Investment Director, I can bring forth my experience and help them think through and navigate some of the stumbling blocks on the path to growth.”
He’s been impressed by Twining’s response so far: “They’re incredibly passionate and hungry for advice to grow their enterprise and reach more people.”
Vineet’s advice to other business leaders considering volunteering through SBT is clear: “Your input and experience is invaluable and its value gets multiplied many times over. Do it if you can, it’s very rewarding.”