Pioneering fundraising project celebrated with Parliamentary reception

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02 Jul 2013
by Neil Skinner

A pioneering project which gives savers the chance to support the building of homes for homeless people is at the forefront of a new social investment strategy to address the shortage of specialist accommodation for homeless people in the East Midlands. 

The project – believed to be the first of its kind in the UK – is being delivered through a partnership between the homelessness charity Framework and the leading regional building society The Nottingham.

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The scheme is the first step towards Framework’s strategy to raise £10m through social investment to provide 150 units of move-on accommodation for homeless people across the East Midlands over the next three to five years.

The strategy was launched at the House of Commons on Thursday 27th June at a parliamentary reception sponsored by Lilian Greenwood MP and attended by Mr Nick Hurd MP, Minister for Civil Society at the Cabinet Office, whose department includes the Government’s Social Investment Team.  

Lilian Greenwood MP sponsored the event in support of homeless and vulnerable people.

The Nottingham has agreed to lend Framework £800,000 on commercial terms out of a total of £1.1m needed to provide 14 units of crucial move-on accommodation in Lincoln and Swadlincote, Derbyshire.  These self-contained one bed flats will accommodate homeless people on their journey to living independently whilst freeing up much-needed space in emergency accommodation.

Nick Hurd pictured with Framework Service users. He later spoke of how they provided a powerful example of our work.

The cost of the loan, provided by The Nottingham, will be partly offset by savers’ investment in special Framework savings accounts provided by The Nottingham – where the lower the interest rate paid on their savings bond, the cheaper the loan to Framework will be.

Savers can choose from four accounts on various fixed rates and terms, investing in all four accounts if they wish. The Nottingham has also waived its administrative and usual lending fees for a loan of this type. 

You have my genuine congratulations individually and collectively for some genuine innovations....you have clearly stitched together something that is genuinely innovative and you are to be congratulated. I wish you every success.”

Nick Hurd MP, Minister for Civil Society

Minister for Civil Society Nick Hurd said: "Social investment allows us both to transform the funding environment for charities and social enterprises, and give socially minded investors and savers the opportunity to do more with their money. It is early days, but I hope ambitious projects like this one will go on to show more people how important affordable finance is for social innovation."

Durng his speech he added: "As you might expect as minister for civil society I have met a lot of voluntary organisations, and I hear a lot of blah blah blah and I read a lot of glossy brochures, and I always believe in going to speak with the  beneficiaries of an organisation to find out what they are really about so I would like to thank Michelle, Kirstie, Amanda and Ewa for the time they have just given me to talk to me about what Framework means to them and if you have any doubts [about that work] they are here in this room because it is very very powerful.

"Amanda I know won’t mind me repeating what she said to me is that Framework has been a lifesaver. You have my genuine congratulations individually and collectively for some genuine innovations....you have clearly stitched together something that is genuinely innovative and you are to be congratulated. I wish you every success.”

Framework’s Andrew Redfern said: “We were delighted that the Minister attended the launch of this innovative initiative of Framework and Nottingham Building Society. This is a great example of partnership working between two organisations which exist to benefit the communities they serve – one with a charitable ethos; the other as a mutual. 

“In presenting the vision behind our £10m campaign it was therefore entirely fitting to share the platform with Nottingham Building Society and to celebrate their part in getting our investment programme underway.  We hope that other social investors will be inspired by their example. 

“We know that the quality of outcomes for vulnerable people is linked closely to the quality of their accommodation. In difficult economic times such accommodation is needed more than ever but finding the money to provide it is an increasing challenge. 

 “Challenging times require radical new approaches and so Framework is becoming involved in social investment for the first time.  This new development of our partnership with The Nottingham represents a visionary and pragmatic solution and is an excellent new way of bringing social investment to the high street. 

“By investing in Framework in this way The Nottingham and its customers are also investing in the long-term futures of many hundreds of vulnerable people – both now and in times to come.” 

The Nottingham’s David Marlow originated the idea of a loan backed by a range of dedicated savings products and has driven the project forwards; he has also participated in many other of the initiatives to support Framework.  He commented: “One of the founding principles of The Nottingham was to help provide homes for people who otherwise could not afford them. This package of investment and support is an ideal way to show that we are as committed to that ideal today as the Society’s founders were more than 160 years ago. 

“This arrangement provides a double benefit for supporters of the excellent work that Framework does – allowing them to know that their savings are doing good for people in need but enabling them to retain their investment in a reputable Society with all the protection and flexibility this brings.  We are delighted to be able to set up this win-win situation which benefits charity supporters and homeless people.  

“What started out as a very traditional relationship between a business and a local charity has developed into something ground-breaking.  Hopefully others will follow this lead in the future.  We are delighted that this scheme has now been launched and that we are able to provide additional support for Framework’s invaluable work. 

“Homelessness is an issue that has really struck a chord with our staff, many of whom have taken the opportunity to view at first hand the life-changing activities of Framework.” 

If you wish to find out more about the special savings accounts please visit www.thenottingham.com or to find out about the investment strategy overall contact chris.senior@frameworkha.org

 

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