Susan Elan Jones is the Labour MP for Clwyd South, having been elected at the 2010 General Election. As Susan explains, she was concerned about the business issues facing her constituents and in 2016 decided to begin a Fellowship in Corporate Social Responsibility and Community Investment, containing on from her many years’ work in charity sector before becoming an MP.
We asked Susan a few questions about why she decided to sign up to the IPT Fellowship Programme and what she has gained from it.
Why did you sign up for the IPT Fellowship Programme and how did you first hear about it?
I had attended a couple of IPT events on topics that were of interest to me and relevance to my constituency. I heard about the Fellowships at those events. One big local concern to me was bank branch closures. I approached IPT about whether I could look at that subject as part of a Fellowship. This broadened out into a Fellowship in Corporate Social Responsibility and Community Investment
What were your highlights during the IPT Fellowship Programme?
For me, the highlights were making visits to a wide range of companies, community projects and organisations that facilitate CSR and community investment. I undertook visits in my home area and in London. There was plenty of opportunity to ask questions and reflect.
How has the IPT Fellowship Programme helped you in your role as a parliamentarian?
It helped me in two main ways. I worked in the voluntary sector for 15 years before I became an MP and I am now co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Charities and Volunteering. CSR is a hugely important form of partnership for most charities, so it was good to have been able to think about this subject.
Also, crucially for me as a constituency MP, the visits and discussions have helped me to think of new ideas to support the communities which form of my 240 mile square North Wales constituency. Undertaking an IPT Fellowship has been an excellent experience - I would warmly recommend it.