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MP praises networking group for its role in cutting jobless figures

South West Bedfordshire MP Andrew Selous described LB Connect’s growth as one of the contributory factors that has resulted in local unemployment claimant levels plummeting by two thirds in the last five years.

Mr Selous was speaking at a special celebration to mark the fifth anniversary of the founding of the Leighton Buzzard-based group, which has grown from a handful of businesses to a thriving 25 members from a diverse range of industry sectors.

He said: “Having been invited to officially launch LB Connect in September 2010, I am delighted to be back and to offer my congratulations on its success. I am looking forward to that success continuing during the next five years.

The highlight of the celebration was the presentation of a cheque for £4,140.50 to Kids in Action, LB Connects nominated local charity for the 2014/15 year. The money will be used to open an IT room for its young members.

Chief executive Paul Bowen-James is pictured receiving the cheque from LB Connect chairman Bob Chandler (centre) and MP Andrew Selous.

Mr Bowen-James said: “This is a fantastic amount of money. I am not only very grateful to LB Connect for its fundraising, but also for the fact that a couple of members are now regular volunteers with our charity.

Also at the celebration at Astral Park were Leighton-Linslade Mayor Cllr Ray Berry and Cllr Alan Brandham.
LB Connect meets every Friday at The Hare in Linslade and has donated more than £14,000 to local charities over its five years, including to Buzzer Buses, Kids Out, Leighton-Linslade Homeless and PTSD Resolution.

The fifth anniversary came at a time when LB Connect is fast approaching a significant milestone: £1 million worth of business conducted between members of the group.      


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