Yesterday, the Guardian reported that, according to the National Audit Office (NAO) there has been a 14% increase in the number of children in care (Baby P effect takes children in care numbers to 25-year high, says NAO). More clearly needs to be done to tackle the challenges around children in care, which leads to a range of poorer outcomes for those children, not least far lower educational attainment.
“Yet across the gulf of space, minds that are to our minds as ours are to those of the beasts that perish, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us.”
― H.G. Wells, The War of the Worlds”
I sometimes think applying for social investment is like standing at the bottom of the Three Gorges Dam with a small cup, and asking for some water to make a cup of tea. You shout up at a person standing at the top of the dam to ask for some water. “Hang on a minute” they say, and go off to turn a wheel to release some water from the dam. What you get is a huge gush of water out, at great speed, surging out with the potential energy of the water behind the dam. It sweeps away your little cup and if you are not careful, takes you with it.
The second trap we fall into with social investment is using a broad word to describe a number of quite different things. We then assert that social investment is just one of them – the investment part. To me, social investment is actually four quite different things which do overlap with each other, but are quite distinct. It’s not surprising therefore, that in a “can you explain social investment to your esteemed relative” test, we end up getting slightly confused ourselves.
The old challenge is, can you explain your job in a way that your otherwise highly capable elderly relatives would understand? Most of my esteemed elders are dead, so I admit, that is a bit of a barrier to communication, but let’s not have reality stand in the way of a good metaphor in social investment.
Today we’re launching the Business Impact Challenge - an opportunity for corporates to develop high-impact social purpose investment ideas and receive matching funding of up to £15 million and support from Big Society Capital.
Those of us working in the social investment market have often been teased about the creation of a whole new language in an attempt to blend the financial and social sectors. But in the last few months I have read two quite different views on the state of the social investment market as we approach the end of 2014. And it has left me wondering – what do we all mean when we say ‘social investment market’?
The journey towards helping individuals address the financial needs of social organisations has sped up considerably today. In today’s Autumn statement, the Chancellor’s announced that Government intends to seek approval for a significant increase to the size of investments that are eligible under Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR) to £5m per organisation per year from its previous limit of approximately £290,000 over three years. This is what charities and social enterprises asked for and Government has clearly listened. This should be a big boost to the sector, which could help address persistent capital needs, and potentially transform the nature of the social investment market.
Social Enterprise Day saw a range of initiatives across the UK that celebrated and raised awaresness of social enterprises. In today's guest blog, we hear from Jane Pritchard, Enterprise Director at Business in the Community, about arc, their partnership with Social Enterprise UK.
The Winterbourne View problem has been defined by the c. 3,250 people with Learning Disabilities around the country who are residing in inpatient facilities where personal, health system and societal outcomes are very poor. Five hundred people have been in these institutions for over ten years, and 60% for over one year. It costs around £600m each year for people to remain in these institutions. Numbers are rising, and it appears that there are complex and entrenched barriers to individuals moving back into alternative housing and supported provision in community settings, which would be better for the individual and could also, over time, cost less.
Preferred bidders were announced last week in the Ministry of Justice’s (MoJ) Transforming Rehabilitation (TR) programme. TR is the outsourcing of probation services for low and medium risk offenders in England and Wales with an annual contract value of £490 million.
In a written Ministerial Statement, the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice Chris Grayling has today announced the Preferred Bidders for the 21 Community Rehabilitation Company contracts as part of Transforming Rehabliation - the programme to reform probation services.
Furnistore is a charity that provides good quality furniture and households goods at affordable prices to individuals and families in Redhill. The charity is mainly staffed by volunteers who collect unwanted items from local residents which are then sold to the public. A discounted or free service is available to help those families who may not otherwise be able to afford basic household goods or have been referred by social agencies.
Following positive feedback from last year's Social Investment Compendium, we have today published an updated Social Investment Compendium 2014 - a collection of key pieces of research and information from the social investment market, brought together in one single document that tells a story about the market.
Energise is a programme delivered by charity Adviza, that works with 14 to 15 year olds across the Thames Valley to build resilience, confidence and aspiration among vulnerable young people, and prevent them from becoming unemployed.
This week, some of the world’s most powerful leaders of non-profits, businesses, foundations, social enterprises, and governments are gathering in New York City to commit to creating social change around the world through public-private partnerships. At this year’s Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting, Big Society Capital is making a CGI Commitment to Action to catalysing private sector demand for social investment in the United Kingdom by launching a Challenge Prize.