MY new FitFlops arrived at the weekend and I was struck by the packaging and messaging that accompanied my shiny footwear.

It seems that my Love & Hope sandals are part of a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative; £15 from every pair sold will support the work of Habitat for Humanity Great Britain, a charity which helps homeowners build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage.

CSR is a requirement for major corporates, but many other companies are appreciating the value of working with the community or giving to local charities.

Kier Construction, in conjunction with the British Army and support from the Department of Work and Pensions, Ayrshire College and hub South West, rolled out the Armed Forces Employability Pathways (AFEP) initiative for a number of Ayrshire men.

The aim of the programme was to improve the likelihood of participants securing apprenticeships or employment industry, as well as providing the opportunity for candidates to enlist in the Army reserves. As a result, eight local long-term unemployed Ayrshire men are all now in full-time work.

Brian McQuade, managing director of Kier Construction’s Scotland and north-east England business, said: “The employability prospects of all those taking part has greatly increased. Figures from a similar scheme in the north-east of England found 70 per cent attending the course went on to employment, full-time education or further training, with 72% also applying to join either the regular army or the army reservists.”

But you don’t have to be at the helm of a large organisation to make a difference to your local community.

Amanda Mulgrew is owner and florist at The Floral Design Boutique in Dumbarton. Mulgrew gave up a corporate job in banking to launch her business and now celebrates her business birthdays by selecting a charity to work with and give back to.

For her first anniversary she volunteered with Shelter Scotland. Last year, she worked with a local community project in Renfrewshire supporting 100 people who would otherwise spend Christmas Day alone. You might think it challenging, as a small business, to find time and resources to launch your own CSR initiative, but it doesn’t have to be monetary. Mulgrew says: “Your time is a valuable asset too and boy, do I know how much that is stretched when you are running a business. But show me someone who can’t spare an afternoon or an evening here or there? I’ve spent Monday mornings at a local charity building sheds to give young adults with learning disabilities a place to learn new skills and a Saturday afternoon painting fences for a nursery school for kids with special needs. There is always something you can do. It will be appreciated and make a big difference to someone’s life.”

Michelle Rodger is a communications consultant