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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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