Voluntary Action LeicesterShire (VAL) has been awarded £18,200 through the £3 million Connect Fund programme to promote social investment, a means of funding which could be vital to the future of the local Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector.
The Connect Fund is managed by the Barrow Cadbury Trust in partnership with Access – the Foundation for Social Investment. It is designed to strengthen the infrastructure of the social investment market in England to better meet the needs of a wider range of charities and social enterprises.
Social investment is a type of funding where approved social investors offer funds directly to VCSE organisations to enable them to deliver social good in local communities. These funds can be used to buy assets, provide key services and work towards generating a surplus, at which point the investments can be repaid. With charities increasingly struggling to find income through traditional sources like grants and public sector contracts, social investment could be key to the survival for many.
VAL will be working with CASE to develop an East-Midlands-wide network to promote social investors and investments to the local VCSE sector. The funding awarded from the Connect Fund will enable VAL to train its staff to better support VCSE organisations in creating social enterprises, developing trading strategies and using social investment as a tool for organisational growth.
Kevin Allen-Khimani, VAL’s Voluntary Sector Support Manager, said:
“We know our voluntary sector does some amazing things, and VAL is here to make sure that charities in Leicester and Leicestershire can continue delivering vital services for our local communities.
The Connect Fund gives us a great opportunity to promote the benefits of social investment to the VCSE groups we support. We’re looking forward to opening up a whole new area of potential funding for many groups, and we’re excited about the impact social investment could have for our local voluntary sector.”
VAL will begin to deliver training and support around social investment for charities and community groups from March 2019.