PNE Group Founders Reunite for Responsible Business Workshop


A PNE Group workshop has reunited the founders of one of the leading social enterprise agencies in the North East.

David Grayson and David Irwin, the founders of PNE Group, were both in attendance at an inspiring workshop on Sustainable Enterprise and Responsible Businesses which took place last week.

Grayson, Professor of Corporate Responsibility at Cranfield University, led the workshop which was delivered as part of a day-long promotional event for Grayson’s new book, ‘Take Care: How to be a Great Employer for Working Carers’.

The book, which was released last Monday, is a practical guide that enables employers to better understand and support employees with carer responsibilities. It includes practical examples from more than fifty employers from around the world, including Aviva, Sainsburys and BT.

PNE Group also hosted a special reception at Northern Print to celebrate the book’s launch.

Chi Onwurah, Labour MP for Newcastle City Council, Mary Coyle, Non-Executive Director at Gentoo and Chris Tighe, North East Correspondent for the Financial Times, were among those who attended the exclusive event.

Tim Smith, current chairman of the PNE Group board and Employment Consultant at Ward Hadaway, introduced Grayson, who, since starting PNE Group in 1980, has become a leading spokesperson for responsible business and sustainable leadership.

In his introductory speech, Smith highlighted Grayson’s achievements, notably his featuring on The Guardian’s top ten tweeters on sustainable leadership list, and his academic work at Cranfield University as Director and Professor of Corporate Responsibility.

Smith also addressed the successes of PNE Group, which was founded by David Grayson and David Irwin back in 1980 as a response to the rising unemployment rates in the North East.

Grayson later took to Twitter to comment on the day’s events, writing: “Wonderful to meet current PNE Group team and to find such energy & enthusiasm! Thanks for hosting me and arranging a reception for me to talk about TAKE CARE.”

He added: “Fab to see the progress PNE Group has made. Feeling very proud of what David Irwin and I started.”

Dr Dawn Cranswick, Chief Executive of PNE Group, said: “The event was a great success. PNE Group staff, members of the PNE Group Board, and members from local organisations and council were brought together for the very first time to celebrate what it means to be a responsible business and employer.

“Since Grayson and Irwin started PNE Group in the 80s, it has been our goal to promote responsible business and sustainability, and to take a lead in developing the region’s business base to support the North East economy. This event was a great reminder of PNE Group’s work and achievements over the years.”

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