Forum-minutes-23-3-11 by keralaguest

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									                             Southwark Forum Minutes

Location
Inspire
The Crypt at St Peters
Liverpool Grove
London
SE17 2HH

Wednesday 23rd March 2pm – 4pm


Attendees

Name                     Organisation
Barbara Scott            Dulwich Helpline
Casey Lord               Venturesome
Clive Pankhurst          Volunteer Centre Southwark
Esther Igbinehi          Widow's Rendezvous
Gabriela Rozman          London School of Economics
Jessica Spyropoulos      Link Southwark
Jim Wintour              United St Saviour's Charity
Joan Baxter              WPF Therapy
Jonathan Petherbridge    London Bubble Theatre Company
Neil White               Southwark Pensioners Centre
Sally Causer             Southwark Legal Advice Network
Stuart Hearne            Cambridge House
Tina Farage              Peckham Settlement
Wilma Nelson             Southwark Council
Henry Nicholson          ORAC
Deborah Boyd             Home Start Southwark
Peter Cox                UBS
Les Alden                People Care Association
Ade Adebambo             Local Accountancy Project
Margaret Falogi-Musa     Rapid Solution Community Link
Chris Sanford            Community Action Southwark
Jamal Ettetuani          Community Action Southwark
Megan Knox               Community Action Southwark
Andy Boaden              Community Action Southwark
Sally Bagwell            Community Action Southwark
Celine Rotcajg           Community Action Southwark
Roda Mbonde              Community Action Southwark
Akua Dankwa              Community Action Southwark
Neeraj Sharma            Community Action Southwark
1. Welcome and address

Chris Sanford, Chief Executive of Community Action Southwark, welcomed all guests to the
Southwark Forum. CS explained that the theme of the meeting is Achieving Sustainability:
Models for success. He stated that due to the impending cuts it was a strange time for the
voluntary and community sector (VCS) and the sector faced a number of challenges within
the borough.

2. Presentation: Our business model for sustainability, Joan Baxter.

Joan Baxter, Chief Executive of WPF Therapy, gave a presentation on the business model
of her organisation that has enabled them to become sustainable. JB started off by
explaining that, as an organisation, they have always found it difficult to generate income
from charitable donations and have limited grant funds. JB declared that last year, only 0.5%
of their income was derived from charitable sources. The organisation only has 2 small
grants, worth in total just over £3,500 per annum that do not fully cover the cost of service
delivery.

JB stated that WPF Therapy is a part of a national network of 28 counselling centres, which
helps limit some of the risks their organisation faces. Yet, all charities involved in the network
are independent.

The business model they have developed, over a 40 year period, which has enabled WPF
Therapy to become sustainable from other sources of income. JB explained that their
income can be broken down into four main streams:

   1.   Training
   2.   Therapy
   3.   Voluntary
   4.   Other

JB explained that through Surplus, Subsidy, Mutuality the organisation is able to meet its two
‘primary tasks’ – both charitable objectives:

       to provide therapy
       to train therapists

All clients that receive therapy must pay a fee for the service. The organisation operates a
sliding scale and the fee clients pay is based on their income. This scale allows the
organisation to charge less (£10 min) for those with lower incomes as those on higher
incomes to an extend subsidise those who pay less. JB explained that operating a sliding
scale helped to keep unit costs down and reduced the number of missed appointments by
clients. However, clinical services at WPF Therapy run at a loss.

As part of the organisation’s objective to train therapists, JB stated that WPF offer a wide
range of training. The courses are competitively priced and trainees pay their own fees. As
part of the training programme clinical hours are provided onsite and advanced trainees
provide ‘free’ therapy. JB informed the group that fees from training generate a surplus for
the organisation and allow them to fund other services that are run at loss. At any one time
there are 450 trainees on the books.

The organisation also offers training to those who do not already have degrees, which allows
them to generate income from another market.

JB explained that whilst the current funding model is suitable for WPF Therapy, the
organisation is working hard to find other sources of income and reach as wide an audience
as possible:
     The organisation is currently is currently looking at ways to work with GP
       commissioning consortiums to gain contracts.
     Our demographics reveal that we are not reaching all the groups we should be
       reaching….we need public sector partnerships/contracts to do this
     Scope for us to work more collaboratively with other VCS organisations: user focus,
       signposting, reaching harder to reach people
     Scope for the organisation to diversify to take the pressure off training.

Ade Adebambo asked whether WPF Therapy had any competitors?

JB confirmed that WPF Therapy competes with a number of other organisations. The cost of
therapy is half price compared to NHS rates and they are constantly updating therapy
techniques.

CS thanked JB for her presentation and praised the organisation for the direct relationship
they have with customers.

3. Presentation: Financial support for charities, Casey Lord.

Casey Lord introduced herself to the attendees and explained that social investment is
essentially loans to charities, which can look like normal loans or a standby loan. CL asked
the audience to provide reasons why organisations need funding:

Running Costs:
    Staff
    Rent
    Delivery of project
    Marketing

Capital:
    Fundraising
    IT/Equipment
    Assets purchase/refurbishment

CL stated that capital is different to revenue. Revenue funding has different objectives to
capital funding:

   Revenue
        covers the costs of expenditure of on-going work (service provision, projects etc)
        suppliers of income = purchasers of the organisations work
   Capital
        money and other resources that enable you to deliver your service / project / work
        capital funders = investors in the organisation

Venturesome only provides loans towards capital costs rather than revenue costs as these
should already be built into the business plan.

CL explained that capital loans fell under 5 main categories with 1 representing the lowest
risk and 5 the highest risk:

    1.   Physical equipment
    2.   Bridging finance
    3.   Pre-funding fundraising
    4.   Development
    5.   Rainy days

She stated that the success to any social investment is matching the risk of the company’s
need with the right social investment product. Venturesome has given 270 loans, worth in
total approximately £20 million and the default rate is 3%.

The rate of interest on all loans is between 5% – 7% but this goes on covering salary costs
etc... as Venturesome are a not-for-profit organisation. They are able to provide loans to any
charity providing they are registered.

Neil White asked what is the process an organisation would have to go through if they
wanted a loan?

CL stated that Venturesome look at a variety of factors before a decision is taken to provide
a loan to an organisation. They look at the finances of the organisation, reason for the loan
and the management team in place at the charity. Once these have all been assessed a
decision is then made.

Jim Wintour explained that his organisation, United St Saviour's, is looking to provide loans
to organisations involved in the Department for Work and Pensions Single Work
Programme. He asked whether CL were aware of any other organisations offering this?

CL commented that Venturesome provide loans to all charities along with another dozen
other social investment firms.

NW asked what the terms of a Venturesome loan would be?

CL explained that Venturesome would work with organisations for about 7 weeks up to a few
months to help reduce the risk, which is beneficial to both parties. Organisations have to
maintain regular contact with Venturesome, so meetings are held once every quarter. Most
loans are paid back within a 3 – 5 year period.
CS thanked CL for presenting at the Southwark Forum. He felt that many private
organisations were struggling to get loans and it was refreshing to see loans available for
charities. This type of finance will become more popular in the charity sector.

4. Presentation: Sharing back office services, Akua Dankwa.

Akua Dankwa explained that Community Action Southwark is launching a new initiative for
local charities and voluntary groups that offers organisations a fully serviced back office at a
reduced cost. She explained that such a service would relieve frontline staff from back office
duties and increase networking with voluntary organisations through Shared Hubs. AD
stated that tailor-made packages could be designed to suit organisational needs.

AD elaborated further by listing the types of packages on offer through shared services to
reduce costs for organisations:

Organisations that do not have premises or would like to reduce overhead costs could join
Shared Hubs, which are fully serviced Community Hubs providing:
    PC’s ,telephones, photocopiers and printers
    Desks
    Access to meeting rooms
    Service delivery spaces

Organisations keen to reduce administration could, under shared services, outsource
finance responsibilities:
     Management of day to day finances
     Source and identify relevant funding for your organisation
     Analyse the application
     Follow progress of all applications submitted

To reduce communication costs but ensure organisations reach as wide an audience as
possible, charities can receive support for:
     Website updating
     E-bulletins
     Marketing
     Database management

The final package allows organisations to reduce human resource costs:
    Manage employee records;
           o Annual leave allowance
           o Absence recording
    Recruitment administration
    Payroll changes

AD concluded the presentation by stating that organisations that joined Shared Services
would benefit from reduced running costs. The four packages available can be tailor-made to
suit the needs of individual organisations. It also allows for organisations to maintain their
identity and crucially continue delivering services to the Southwark Community.
Deborah Boyd explained that organisations that join would loss an element of control of
those services. She asked what systems will be in place to assist with this?

AD confirmed to address this issue an organisation would be given a service level
agreement upon joining Shared Services, which will allow them to retain control. She also
emphasised that regular contact will be maintained with all organisations to ensure progress
could be tracked and any issues resolved promptly.

CS thanked everyone for attending the Southwark Forum and stated in the current climate
organisations should be working together to find ways to make the most of what resources
they have available.

								
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