Inside Unity Campus: in conversation with Jess Harvey-Bowman, Community Engagement Manager
If you’ve been to, or work at, Unity Campus, you will have probably met Jess. As Community Engagement Manager at Unity Campus Jess Harvey-Bowman supports the community outreach and events programme on Campus and is an integral point of contact for Unity Campus company members.
We took 10 minutes out of her very busy day to find out about her role, how she supports the companies based on Campus, and the importance of social value.
Q: Can you share more about your job role at Unity Campus?
A: My role primarily revolves around organising, facilitating, and hosting a variety of events at Unity Campus. This includes everything from personal development programmes like British Sign Language lessons and wellbeing consultations to more practical events such as car valeting and Excel/IT training sessions, and industry-wide topics such as net zero and sustainability.
Essentially, it’s an account management role where I listen to and understand the needs of the individuals and companies based at Unity Campus, bring people together, and deliver positive enhancements to make Unity Campus the best place to work.
Q: How do you collaborate with the Unity Campus members?
A: I work closely with the Unity Campus members’ site leads, one for each company based here. We aim to foster collaboration and communication, ensuring everyone’s requirements – both necessities and the ‘nice-to-haves’ – are met.
My mantra is, ‘if it’s realistic, we’ll deliver it’, it’s as simple as that!
We have various initiatives like the Operational, Governance, and Management groups which coordinates things such as equipment sharing, supplier recommendations and discounts, waste management, and enhancements to the Campus environment.
The Campus fortnightly newsletter and app are also my responsibility. This is where the latest news, events and offers for Campus members are shared.
Q: Could you tell us more about the community initiatives at Unity Campus?
As well as a newly created ‘net-walking’ group, I also host a social committee with representatives from each company which organises more informal gatherings, and the popular ‘Meet Your Neighbour’ events. For example, charity events, marked occasions such as the King’s Coronation and the Campus Summer Party.
We also encourage car share lunches to facilitate discussions about potential lift shares and host open days for local residents, businesses, and community groups.
Q: How does Unity Campus contribute to social value?
A: Social value is very important at Unity Campus. It’s demonstrated through initiatives like fundraising for Children in Need, Campus litter picking walks, and sponsorship of the Sawston Fun Run.
We help to facilitate CSR events for individual member companies with local charities, schools, and community groups. For example, we recently teamed Sawston Village College up with Domainex who worked on a gardening project for the school.
The Campus community works closely with Cambridge Foodbank and this year we’ve pledged to raise 45 hampers towards their Christmas Hamper Appeal Campaign
We also put our real estate to good use by offering local charity Sawston Shout space at Unity Campus every Friday for its arts and crafts sessions for vulnerable people in the area.
Q: What are the benefits of being part of a family business-run Campus?
A: Firstly, for me personally, working for Howard Group is a pleasure. It’s wonderful being part of a team which lives and breathes its values of integrity, respect and honesty, and being part of a business which puts positive societal impact at its core.
Secondly, the values and purpose of Howard Group are intrinsic in everything we do at Unity Campus and bring significant advantages. We work hard to create a supportive and flexible working environment that creates, nurtures and values lasting relationships.
The Howard Group team, including directors and board members, frequently work from the Campus, ensuring high visibility and accessibility. Our members really value this close interaction and ability to chat to senior members of the team so easily. I think this is quite unique.
My work at Unity Campus is a tangible, everyday expression of Howard Group’s core values and purpose, making the Campus a unique and enriching place to be.