Taking on Social Investment was a big change but it’s been worth it! | Big Society Capital

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Taking on Social Investment was a big change but it’s been worth it!

For International Day of Charity, charity Child Dynamix talks about the valuable work they do in deprived communities and the role that social investment has played in achieving their vision to see communities where children and young people thrive.

Child Dynamix is a children, young people and family charity working in deprived communities in the North of England. Established as a charity in 2005, Child Dynamix’s focus from the outset has been about social regeneration in areas of deprivation in East Hull. 

Early beginnings

Before becoming a registered charity, Child Dynamix’s first piece of work in 2001, was to develop a children’s day nursery at the heart of the Preston Road estate. The aim was to support parents to gain training and work opportunities whilst their children accessed quality childcare helping them to be better prepared for primary school. Further projects focusing on improving the lives of children and their families were developed from 2001 to 2005. The Charity further expanded in 2009 when it took on the local youth centre and its team of youth and sports workers. This enabled us to develop a greater range of initiatives in the pursuit of our vision.

What we do

We use our experience and skills to provide early intervention and prevention strategies working with families across local communities. These include: family support work, youth work, sports coaching and play work to provide learning and development, employability and volunteering opportunities, mentoring, advocacy, advice and guidance, access to small grants, parenting courses, and supported housing for young people as well as 1:1 home based support. Child Dynamix can align its services alongside the family journey.

Child Dynamix Child Dynamix Child Dynamix

The charity measures the quality of its services to better understand the interventions and impact made on outcomes for families and the organisation constantly challenges itself to do more. Child Dynamix’s vision is to have communities where children and young people thrive. In order to achieve our vision we focus on the family and the issues that arise for them in providing a stable and vibrant future for their children. We work to improve parenting and family life; and address problems that can occur in the physical, mental and emotional development of babies, children and young people as a result of poor parenting, poor housing and living in poverty.

Child Dynamix has dedicated, enthusiastic and talented teams delivering community Play and Sport provision as well as Youth and Community workers. Our skilled family workers offer a range of family support and parenting services through a number of mentoring projects and the Charity’s Children’s Centre and through partnership arrangements.

Our services also include three day nurseries which operate as part of the main charity and are social enterprises with any surpluses re-invested back into the charity and community.

As the Head of Childcare Services at Child Dynamix, I hold responsibility for all childcare projects across the organisation including the three day nurseries, crèches and holidays schemes. I joined the organisation in 2001 as a nursery officer and have built my career on delivering exceptionally high quality childcare to some of the country’s most disadvantaged children.

Why we took on social investment

We took on social investment from Social and Sustainable Capital as a means to purchase our third Community Nursery to provide the charity with an asset and to eliminate the ongoing gaps in Early Years Provision in the city of Hull and particularly the St Andrews ward. The ward is ranked the 11th most deprived ward nationally scoring 1 in the Index of Multiple Deprivation, families and children suffering poverty and in the most need for nursery places for disadvantaged two year olds.

The social investment and a grant from Power to Change provided the charity with the funds to purchase and renovate the property to ‘Ofsted’ standards.

The investment has enabled us to work with over 140 children in our first 18 months of service providing high quality early years provision. The nursery offers a bright and stimulating environment with the children who attend making great progress in their learning and development.

The Future

Child Dynamix aims to consolidate and improve its family support offer. We want to improve outcomes for families with children of all ages from 0-19 and up to 25 - in particular those families that are living with the effects of poverty in Hull.

Child Dynamix has learnt that the way to create real change and improve children’s and young people’s life chances is to work with them in the context of their family. We remain committed to putting the child/young person at the centre of our thinking and planning however we must also ensure we consider the family and how other members of the family can be involved in our work with their children.


International Charity Day

International Charity Day is focused on raising awareness of the vital role that charities play in the betterment of our world - particularly in eradicating poverty. It was established to mobilise people and organisations around the world to help others through volunteer and philanthropic activities. To learn more about its agenda, visit: www.un.org.

Learn more about social investment

Social Investment is financial tool that can help support charities to create or sustain impact. For charities interested in learning more, there are resources to help:

  • Good Finance: visit this dedicated website for charities and social enterprises to find out how social investment works and if it could be relevant to your charity.
  • GET INFORMED – Social investment for boards: get free support and resources including mentoring for trustees and board members who, like Child Dynamix, are exploring whether social investment could be a useful tool for their organisation. If you haven't already, sign-up to find out more.
  • Let's Talk Good Finance: attend one of our events around the country where you can hear from charities and social enterprises who have taken on social investment as well as from investors working in your region.
Last updated | 
4 September 2018

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