You can find out more about our recent activities through our press releases. For media enquiries please email Alisa Helbitz or call her on 0207 667 6388.
New research shows value of greenspaces, as MPs debate the future of parks
Post date: 25 October 2016
New research by Vivid Economics published today  reveals the true value of a large city’s network of public parks and greenspaces – and shows that cutting parks budgets is counter-productive, costing more than it saves.
This evidence comes as MPs on the influential House of Commons Communities and Local Government Committee today begin hearing evidence for their inquiry into the funding crisis facing public parks . Recent Heritage Lottery Fund research showed that many councils face unsustainable cuts to their parks budgets of up to 20% – with some councils facing very large cuts of 50-100% by 2020 .
The Vivid Economics research was sponsored by National Trust, and looked at the economic contribution made by Sheffield’s greenspaces to society. It found:
• Parks provide benefits worth £1.2bn, not a liability of £16m as they appear in conventional public accounts;
• For every £1 spent on public parks, society receives £34 worth of benefits;
• Around 60% of the benefits of public parks in a large city arise from their contribution to physical and mental wellbeing.
Robin Smale, Director at Vivid Economics, said: “Parks generate a large surplus for society in contrast to the financial liability that they appear to be in Local Authority financial statements. It’s essential that decisions about our parks are based on comprehensive and balanced financial accounts, which incorporate the full value of public services. Reliance on the very partial expenditure and revenue records available to Local Authorities will be against the public interest.”
The launch of this research comes days after a major conference for local government on the crisis facing public parks held on Thursday 20 October by Winckworth Sherwood, Social Finance and the National Trust.
The conference saw the launch of www.futureparks.org, a new National Trust toolkit for local authorities to help those wanting to transform their parks across a whole city or place . The toolkit brings together the essential expertise and practical guidance for Councils wanting to consider a Parks Trust as a strategic option for their parks portfolio.
Helen Ghosh, Director-General of the National Trust said: “We need to act now to secure great parks for people for the next 100 years. Public parks matter, not only as much loved spaces for millions of people to relax and play for free, but also for their role in the health, prosperity and resilience of our towns and cities.”
Despite the scale and urgency of the challenge, the message from the conference was that bold change was possible, with inspiration and optimism from those local authorities already transforming their parks.
Joanna Bussell, Partner at Winckworth Sherwood, said: “We have the know-how to help local authorities transform their parks. We should take confidence from those who are blazing a trail. We are encouraging all our local authority clients to explore alternative delivery models for their parks. There is real scope to build solutions for parks sensitive to each place and its communities.”
The conference also discussed the opportunities from social investment to protect and grow public benefits, for example, community enterprise to generate income for parks or developing new health services from parks.
David Blood, Chairman of Social Finance, said: “Social Finance is pleased to be partnering with the National Trust to further the ambition of both protecting and enhancing our public parks through new financial models. We believe these models have the potential to remove parks from the insecurity of annual public budgeting cycles, protecting them for generations to come.”
The conference heard from speakers and delegates calling on central government to support local authorities in making the transition to a new future for their parks services. There is currently no help available from national government or agencies.
Simon O’Brien, Chair of the Liverpool Green and Open Spaces Review , said: “The amazing parks in our cities are often the result of ordinary people’s contributions and passion for their local places over generations. We must do everything we can to protect and grow their legacy. The traditional parks model is broken. We need the Government to support local authorities in developing alternatives that stand the test of time. Cities like Liverpool are ambitious for their parks and their people, they are prepared for bold solutions, but they need a little bit of help to build them.”
For further press information contact: Alisa Helbitz Alisa.Helbitz@socialfinance.org.uk
Notes to Editors
 Vivid Economics assessed the overall value of Sheffield’s public parks and greenspaces, distilling the weight of evidence into a coherent and impactful economic case, using a ‘natural capital account’ method. The work was commissioned by National Trust for Sheffield City Council and Sheffield’s citizens. A summary report is available.
 The Communities and Local Government Committee Inquiry on Public Parks is open, with the first oral evidence session on Monday 24th October
 The Heritage Lottery Fund State of UK’s Parks report 2016 was published on 7 September 2016. The report showed that if parks are starved of funding, they risk a terminal decline, becoming “no-go places” at greater risk of being sold off. https://www.hlf.org.uk/state-uk-public-parks-2016
 www.futureparks.org has been developed through partnership between the National Trust, Social Finance and Shared Assets, working closely with local authorities, local communities and with expert contributions from Britain Thinks and Vivid Economics. It is the result of two years innovation work, started as part of the Rethinking Parks programme, to find new, diverse and sustainable sources of finance for parks.
 The Liverpool Strategic Green and Open Spaces Review Board report was published on 6 October 2016 http://liverpool.gov.uk/mayor/mayoral-commissions/strategic-green-and-open-spaces-review-board/ The Review was led and Chaired by Simon O’Brien on behalf of the Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson.
With over 20 years’ experience of investing money raised through the National Lottery, HLF realises the urgent need to identify and explore sustainable new approaches to funding and managing the UK’s public parks. We are delighted to see this toolkit being made available to all and look forward to seeing how it can be used to help protect ours, and others past investments in the UK’s parks and green spaces.
Drew Bennellick, Head of Landscape & Natural Heritage, Heritage Lottery Fund
The State of UK Public Parks 2016 report highlights a growing number of local authorities are now exploring alternative management models for their parks and green spaces. Parks Trusts and Endowments offer important options to consider and this toolkit provides a useful set of resources to inform this process.
Peter Neal, Parks Consultant and author of State of UK Public Parks
The National Trust cares for more than 250,000 hectares of countryside and 775 miles of coastline across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It looks after more than 300 houses and gardens, from workers’ cottages to stately homes, preserving not only buildings but the stories of the people who lived there.
2015 saw The National Trust launch the 10-year strategy ‘Playing our Part’. One of the key areas of this is the ‘Places where People live’ focus which looks at the importance of local heritage and green space, celebrating why these places matter and how people can help look after them. The Trust’s objective is to find innovative new ways to manage local parks and heritage and provide support in this area to the local authorities, charities and communities. For more information, see www.nationaltrust.org.uk or follow the National Trust on twitter @nationaltrust.
Social Finance is a not for profit organisation that partners with the government, the social sector and the financial community to find better ways of tackling social problems in the UK and beyond. Since its formation in 2007, Social Finance has mobilised over £100 million of investment and helped to design a series of programmes, including the Social Impact Bond model, to improve outcomes for individuals with complex needs. It has sister organisations in the US and Israel and a network of partners across the world.
In the UK, our work includes support for 2,000 short sentence offenders released from Peterborough Prison, 380 children on the edge of care in Essex, 4,500 young people at risk of dropping out of school, and 1,400 homeless youth and rough sleepers. Internationally, Social Finance is working with the Global Fund, World Bank, Grand Challenges Canada, the Inter-American Development Bank, USAID, DfID and others to address challenges in low and middle income countries.
Winckworth Sherwood is a dynamic law firm committed to providing its clients with market leading advice that helps them achieve their objectives. The main practice areas and sectors of the firm include Commercial and Corporate, Dispute Resolution, Real Estate, Employment, Family and Private Client, Education, Ecclesiastical, Parliamentary, Social Housing and Transport.
Tomorrow’s unemployed youth already known to Children’s Social Care
Post date: 12 July 2016
Social Finance and Newcastle City Council, and in partnership with Impetus-PEF, launch a report today on youth unemployment in Newcastle. An analysis of 8,000 17-19 year olds in Newcastle, shows that 67% of unemployed youth in the city had had repeated contact with Children’s Social Care. This, despite the fact that only 25% of the total population of 17-19 year olds in the city, had been in contact Children’s Social Care.
While care leavers are widely acknowledged as a high risk group for unemployment and a range of poor social outcomes, the analysis concludes that vulnerable young people – those on a Child Protection Plan or even those who have only had six interactions with Children’s Social Care – spend more than three times as long in unemployment or out of education.
Key findings include:
- New research shows that 67% of unemployed 17-19 year olds in Newcastle come from the 25% of 17-19 year olds who have had multiple contacts with Children’s Social Care
- Young people who face personal challenges warranting social care support, spend more than three times longer Not In Employment, Education or Training (NEET) – Earlier intervention, including family support, could help young people move successfully into adulthood
- We must look beyond the 70,000 Looked After children in England. Half a million children in regular contact with social care are at high risk of unemployment.
These findings have real significance for the wider population. In England, there are nearly 70,000 children who are Looked After by the state. The government recently launched the Care Leavers covenant to make their transition to youth adulthood smoother. But if the data from Newcastle is representative of the unemployed youth population across the country, there are an additional 440,000 children under Children’s Social Care plans who are at very high risk of unemployment and other negative outcomes in the future.
Social Finance launches Social Impact Bond white paper and global Impact Bond database
Post date: 05 July 2016
The Social Finance Global Network launches today (5 July) its latest white paper, Social Impact Bonds: The Early Years.
Key highlights of the report:
- 60 Social Impact Bonds have launched in 15 countries, raising more than $200m in investment to address social challenges.
- 22 projects have posted results, 21 of which have posted positive outcomes for beneficiaries.
- 12 programmes have made outcomes payments and 4 Social Impact Bonds have repaid investors in full with a return on their investment.
The white paper reflects the shared lessons from the Social Finance Global Network, across sister organisations in the UK, US and Israel—which, together, represent the largest pool of Social Impact Bond expertise globally, across multiple jurisdictions.
In 2010, Social Finance pioneered the Social Impact Bond, an innovative public-private partnership model that aims to measurably improve the lives of people most in need by driving resources towards better, more effective programmes. Six years later, Social Impact Bonds have gained significant global momentum.
Alongside the paper, Social Finance is also launching its live global database of Social Impact Bonds. The database can be sorted by country, issue area, investor, payor and service provider, providing a comprehensive overview of Social Impact Bonds launched to date and a snapshot of the many in development. This is an important open platform for the community of global practitioners and others who are actively following this rapidly evolving field. User input will be critical to develop this living, collaborative resource.
Please download the attachment for the full press release.
David Blood appointed Chair of Social Finance
Post date: 22 February 2016
Social Finance is delighted to announce that David Blood has been appointed as its chair and will take up the post in April 2016, following the retirement of Bernard Horn.
Bernard Horn will step down in April 2016. He has chaired Social Finance from its inception in 2007 and has led its growth over eight years. Under his leadership, Social Finance now has more than 70 staff in London, two sister organisations in the US and Israel and a global network of partners in Canada, Australia, Brazil and Europe.
David Blood is one of the co-founders of Social Finance and has been a leading advocate for impact investment on the global stage for well over a decade. David is also co-founder of Generation Investment Management. Generation is a mission driven partnership with an investment philosophy based upon the strong belief that sustainability factors materially affect the dynamics that drive and influence the long-term performance and profitability of companies.
David Hutchison, Chief Executive welcomed the appointment, “David Blood has been a tremendous supporter of Social Finance over many years both here and in the US. We are delighted that we will benefit from his guidance and leadership in the years ahead. At the same time, we will be very sorry to say farewell to Bernard Horn. His contribution to Social Finance has been invaluable. Bernard has given of his time unfailingly and he has always been the most effective advocate for our approach in tackling complex social issues.”
For more information, please contact Alisa Helbitz, Director of Communications on 07500 433044 or email@example.com
Notes to editors:
1) Social Finance is a not for profit organisation that partners with governments and NGOs, social sector and financial community to find better ways of tackling social problems in the UK and beyond. Since its formation in 2007, Social Finance has mobilised over £100 million of investment and helped to design a series of programmes to improve outcomes for vulnerable individuals. Social Finance is the originator of the Social Impact Bond model.
In the UK, our work includes support for 2,000 short sentence offenders released from Peterborough Prison, 380 children on the edge of care in Essex, 2,500 young people at risk of becoming NEET and 1400 homeless youth and rough sleepers. Internationally, Social Finance is working with the Global Fund, World Bank, Grand Challenges Canada, the Inter-American Development Bank, USAID, DfID and others on Development Impact Bonds and other innovative outcomes-based financing mechanisms to address challenges in low and middle income countries. www.socialfinance.org.uk 2
2) Bernard Horn had a varied career with NatWest spanning 30 years, including six years as a Main Board Director. His roles included five years as Chief Executive of the International Businesses, and a similar period as Executive Director, Group Operations. He led significant acquisition and disposal activity whilst with the bank. He is a graduate of the Advanced Management Programme at Harvard Business School. Since leaving NatWest he has developed a portfolio of activities acting both as Chairman and non-executive director, concentrating on smaller, entrepreneurial companies in consulting and software development, (some with Private Equity backing). He is Chairman of Magic Bus UK, and a member of the Magic Bus Global Council. He was a member of the Commission on Unclaimed Assets.
3) David Blood is co-founder and Senior Partner of Generation Investment Management. Previously, he spent 18 years at Goldman Sachs including serving as co-CEO and CEO of Goldman Sachs Asset Management from 1999-2003. David received a B.A. from Hamilton College and an M.B.A. from the Harvard Graduate School of Business. He is on the Board of New Forests, Dialight, SHINE, The Nature Conservancy and Ashden, as well as a Life Trustee of Hamilton College.
New approach to domestic abuse: Drive Project launched
Post date: 17 February 2016
Leading social sector organisations, Respect, SafeLives and Social Finance are working together with Police and Crime Commissioners and Local Authorities in Sussex, Essex and South Wales and the Lloyds Bank Foundation to launch the Drive project.
The project will develop and evaluate a new approach to hold perpetrators of domestic abuse to account in order to keep victims and children safe.
To reduce the number of domestic abuse victims, perpetrators must be challenged to change their behaviour, say specialist charities and three leading Police and Crime Commissioners
- Two women die a week as a result of domestic homicide
- 100,000 people a year are at high risk of being murdered or seriously harmed every year
- Fewer than 1% of perpetrators receive a specialist intervention to change
The response to domestic abuse in the UK has always focused on expecting the victim to leave and start a new life in a new community, causing major disruption and taking them away from their support network of family and friends. Often the perpetrator is left to continue their life as normal and frequently repeats the same behaviour with new partners, creating more victims.
Starting in April 2016, the pilot will test an innovative approach to challenge the behaviour of perpetrators, and co-ordinate the response they receive across all agencies. For the first time in England and Wales, Drive case managers in these three areas will work with some of the most dangerous perpetrators, on a one-to-one basis, to reduce their abusive behaviour.
Bright Futures SITR Fund Launched
Post date: 24 November 2015
Today Social Finance and Kin Capital announce the launch of the first UK- wide fund to take advantage of the new Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR). The £3 million Bright Futures SITR Fund will invest in charities and social enterprises working to improve the lives of children, young people and vulnerable groups across the UK. It is an exciting prospect for investors as it offers the opportunity to drive social good whilst achieving a solid financial return.
Please download the attachment for the full press release.
£12 million Care and Wellbeing Fund launched to invest in community care
Post date: 16 November 2015
The Care and Wellbeing Fund announces today that it has launched with £12 million of investment from Big Society Capital and Macmillan Cancer Support. The fund will be used to develop and scale new and existing community care services for people affected by cancer and other long term conditions. Its first investment will tackle loneliness and social isolation in Worcestershire.
Please download the attachment for the full press release.
The Shared Lives Incubator
Post date: 29 September 2015
Social Finance announced today that it has successfully raised £1.1 million to support the expansion of Shared Lives schemes across the UK. Shared Lives offers personalised, high quality care for adults with learning disabilities and other needs, where carers share their lives and often their homes with those they support. The fund has made its first two investments into Shared Lives schemes in Lambeth and Manchester and initially it will work with three other local authorities across the country to support more vulnerable adults to return to the community.
Please download the attachment for the full press release.
FIA Foundation report calls for social impact bonds funding to link road safety investment to health outcomes
Post date: 16 July 2015
Social impact investing could herald a new era of safer road investment by making transparent the links between road safety measures and public health outcomes.
A new report by Social Finance and Impact Strategist, two leaders in policy development in the burgeoning ‘payment for success’ Social Impact Bond (SIB) market, argues that private sector financing through a road safety Social Impact Bond framework could bring new funding sources and new rigour to transport investment. The funding for the Social Impact Bonds is provided at risk by social investors whose financial return is aligned to the positive social impact of meeting pre-agreed social outcomes.
More than 1.2 million people are killed and up to ten million seriously injured on the world’s roads every year. Reducing this toll by 50% by 2030 will be the aim of a stand-alone target included in new United Nations ‘Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)’ later this year. Published to coincide with the 3Rd International Conference on Financing for Development, the report ‘Breaking the Deadlock: A Social Impact Investment Lens on Reducing Costs of Road Trauma and Unlocking Capital for Road Safety’, commissioned by the FIA Foundation, highlights the need for increased financing for global road traffic injury prevention to achieve this target, but points out that significant improvements could be made if the billions of dollars of existing road infrastructure investment is deployed with the priority objective of realising social and financial savings from reduced injuries and fatalities.
Please download the attachment for the full press release.
Worcestershire awards UK’s first innovative contract to tackle loneliness
Post date: 15 July 2015
Worcestershire County Council and Worcestershire’s three Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) have awarded the country’s first Social Impact Bond to help 3000 older people overcome loneliness in the county – to Reconnections Ltd.
The Reconnections Social Impact Bond service will be delivered by Age UK Herefordshire and Worcestershire, together with local voluntary and community organisations. The contract was let in May and the service will be fully operational in August.
Social Impact Bonds (SIBs) are payment-by-results programmes. Through a Social Impact Bond, social investors cover the upfront costs for social enterprises and charities to deliver new and exciting programmes to address the needs of vulnerable groups. The investors in the Reconnections Social Impact Bond– Big Society Capital and Nesta Impact Investments – only receive a return on their investment if the programme achieves agreed positive outcomes. The Reconnections Social Impact Bond will be managed by Social Finance.
Please download the attachment for the full press release.
First Social Impact Bonds to return investor capital
Post date: 14 July 2015
Social Finance announces today that both the Teens & Toddlers and Adviza Social Impact Bonds have performed above expectations and delivered outcomes sufficient to return investor capital earlier than expected. Full results will be published in 2016 when the projects come to an end.
In October 2012, the Department of Work and Pensions Innovation Fund awarded two Social Impact Bond contracts worth £7m to fund positive social outcomes for young people on the Adviza and Teens & Toddlers programmes. The Social Impact Bonds are managed by Social Finance. Unlike typical social service delivery, the funding for the Social Impact Bonds is provided at risk by social investors whose financial return is aligned to the positive social impact of meeting pre-agreed educational, training and employment outcomes.
Teens & Toddlers and Adviza deliver innovative programmes to address the root causes of young people becoming NEET (not in education, training or employment). The two projects work with 14-15 year olds who are identified as having on average three to four risk-of-NEET indicators, including poor school attendance, disruptive or antisocial behaviour, family or mental health issues and low educational attainment.
Social investors provided the money needed to run the programmes and are rewarded by the DWP if the adolescents achieve a number of defined targets, including improved attitude, behaviour and school attendance, educational and life skills qualifications and employment. Outcomes payments from the Innovation Fund may be claimed over the three and a half years of the programme.
Please download the attachment for the full press release.
Social Finance launches 2 new Social Impact Bonds for vulnerable young people and people with mental health issues
Post date: 19 March 2015
Social Finance announced today the launch of two new Social Impact Bonds for vulnerable young people and people with severe mental health issues. Social Impact Bonds (SIBs), developed by Social Finance in 2010, raise investment from social investors to fund interventions to improve social outcomes. If outcomes improve, a public service commissioner will pay the investors for their investment. If no success is determined, investors stand to lose their investment. The announcement today brings the number of SIBs developed by Social Finance to eleven investments.
Social Finance is incubating a new initiative, Health and Employment Partnerships (HEP), to support people with mental health problems into lasting employment. One of the most powerful ways for people with health conditions or disabilities to experience recovery is by achieving fulfilling and sustained employment. By integrating health treatment and employment advice engagement with both of these services should improve. Health and Employment Partnerships will bridge that gap. It will support commissioners to source and commission evidence based programmes, provide management, advice and analytics to service providers and will raise social investment in the form of working or risk capital to scale successful interventions.
Please download the attachment for the full press release.
Social Finance launches three Social Impact Bonds to tackle youth homelessness
Post date: 11 December 2014
Social Finance announced today that it is launching three new Social Impact Bonds through the Fair Chance Fund to tackle youth homelessness in Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham, West Midlands and South London.
The Social Impact Bonds will fund interventions for over 600 young people who do not have a permanent and stable home. Social Finance has raised £2.2 million from social investors to fund interventions delivered by three charities, Depaul UK, St. Basils and Local Solutions to provide intensive and tailored support to find the young people accommodation and get them ready to undertake training courses, begin work or go back into education.
There are approximately 60,000 young adults aged 18-24 in England who experience homelessness each year. The majority receive support from statutory services, housing associations and through existing supported housing. However the needs of the young adults who are homeless are often complex.
- Around 40% of homeless young adults are also not in education, training or employment
- Substance abuse and mental health issues affect around 1 in 5 young homeless people
- 73% of homelessness organisations indicated that there were not enough support services available for young adults with high support needs
- 6 in 10 homelessness organisations were unable to support a young person due to limited capacity last year
The 18-24 year olds who will be offered support through the Social Impact Bonds, cannot be currently housed in state supported accommodation because of a range of issues, including a history of substance misuse, mental health problems and past evictions. None of the young people are in Education, Employment or Training.
Please download the attachment for the full press release.
Social Finance raises £1.7m for 4Children to expand its UK children centres and nurseries operations
Post date: 13 October 2014
Social Finance has raised £1.7m loan financing for 4Children, the leading national not-for-profit operator of children’s centres and nurseries. £1m has been provided by HSBC bank and a further £700,000 has come from the FSE Group Social Impact Accelerator Fund to fund the growth of 4Children’s activities across the UK.
4Children is one of the UK’s largest children’s charities generating nearly £30m per year in revenue from its trading operations. With a national network of over 150 settings across the country, it supports more than 100,000 families in some of the most disadvantaged communities through its children centres, nurseries and out of school clubs.
With the investment announced today, 4Children hopes to open and manage at least 50 new children’s centres and nurseries over the next three years, offering affordable nursery places and free children’s services to more than 15,000 new families each year. The surplus generated from the trading operations financed through the loan will be reinvested into 4Children’s charitable policy and campaigning work.
Please download the attachment for the full press release.
Peterborough Social Impact Bond reduces reoffending by 8.4%; investors on course for payment in 2016
Post date: 07 August 2014
Results for the first group (cohort) of 1000 prisoners on the Peterborough Social Bond (SIB) were announced today, demonstrating an 8.4% reduction in reconviction events relative to the comparable national baseline. The project is on course to receive outcome payments in 2016. Based on the trend in performance demonstrated in the first cohort, investors can look forward to a positive return, including the return of capital, on the funds they have invested.
The momentum in the project reflects the significant advantages of the model – that long term funding provides the scope to build a deep understanding of the complex needs of offenders and the flexibility to invest in meeting them.
The Ministry of Justice and the Big Lottery Fund will make payments to investors in 2016 if there is a reduction in reoffending of more than 7.5% ; but the project does not qualify for a payment at this early juncture.
The results were compiled by independent assessor Professor Darrick Joliffe and his team from Qinetiq and the University of Leicester, for the Ministry of Justice, using the PSM methodology. The independent assessor calculated that there were 142 reconvictions per 100 prisoners in Peterborough compared to 155 reconvictions per 100 prisoners in the control group.
“We are very encouraged by the evidence of the positive impact of the support the SIB has provided in the first cohort and are encouraged by continuing improvements in our work with offenders on the second cohort. The SIB has given our delivery partners the resources and the freedom to meet the complex needs of our prison leavers very effectively,” said David Hutchison, CEO of Social Finance.
Sara Llewellin, CEO of the Barrow Cadbury Trust and SIB investor said: “We are delighted with the progress made in the first cohort of the Peterborough Social Impact Bond. As investors, we wanted to prove that by doing something differently, and by being more flexible, we could indeed create a different outcome. An outcome which is a ‘WIN, WIN’; a win for the taxpayer as the volume of repeat crime falls and a win for prisoners and their families when they take charge of restabilising their lives.”
“Resettlement of short term prisoners has long been a blind spot of criminal justice and social welfare systems. The independent funders who came together to invest in the first Social Impact Bond saw an opportunity to move beyond temporary gap-filling towards developing and testing a whole sustainable system. There are many lessons that we need to learn from this bold experiment, from its data driven rigour, to its clear value base, to its ability to contend flexibly with complex social issues. The prospect of getting our investment back with a return is an exciting indication that thorough-going resettlement can create enough cashable savings to make a new system affordable when done properly,” said Julian Corner, CEO of the LankellyChase Foundation and investor in the Peterborough SIB.
“The One Service has helped me with a training course, housing needs, food, electricity and someone has always been on the end of the phone even if it’s just someone to talk to. I have rung them so many times even if it is just to rant and vent what I’m thinking. If it hadn’t have been for this I would be back in prison by now.” Mr Flattley, One Service client, with 24 prison sentences and no previous rehabilitative support.
Please download the attachment for the full press release.
Social Finance welcomes the Secretary of State for International Development’s support for Development Impact Bonds
Post date: 31 July 2014
Social Finance welcomes the Secretary of State for International Development’s support for creating a market for Development Impact Bonds, including researching and designing a Development Impact Bond (DIB) for preventing sleeping sickness in Uganda.
Development Impact Bonds are a new financing instrument that could bring together investors, governments, the private sector and civil society to provide public services in developing countries. In a DIB, money from investors is channelled to local public and private service providers. If independently verified evidence shows that intended results have been achieved, the government and donors repay the investors their principal plus a financial return linked to performance.
Development Impact Bonds were pioneered by Social Finance and the Center for Global Development, through a working group co-chaired by Toby Eccles, co-founder of Social Finance, Owen Barder, Director for Europe for CGD and Elizabeth Littlefield, President and CEO of OPIC.
DIBs are an adaptation of Social Impact Bonds, originated by Social Finance, which are an innovative way of financing public services that have garnered worldwide attention. The main additional characteristic of Development Impact Bonds is that in countries whose governments cannot yet afford the full cost of additional public services, donors provide some or all of the repayment to investors when the results are proven.
DIBs are especially relevant at a time when tightening public budgets and the shortcomings of traditional funding models have generated more interest in results-based approaches to aid. The last decade has seen donor money shift towards newer, more adaptive and more flexible results-based mechanisms. However operational, financial and political constraints on donors have limited their widespread adoption. Development Impact Bonds are an innovative instrument that could help overcome some of those obstacles.
Notes to editors
- The Secretary of State for International Development was speaking at the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation summit in Mexico: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-development-bonds-will-combat-global-poverty
- For more information about Development Impact Bonds please contact Social Finance on 0207 667 6389.
- The final report of the Development Impact Bond Working Group is online at: http://www.socialfinance.org.uk/resources/publications/investing-social-outcomes-development-impact-bonds
- Social Finance is a not for profit FCA regulated social investment intermediary. Its original team, established in 2007, developed the blueprint for the social investment bank. Social Finance is the originator and foremost developer of Social Impact Bonds in the UK and abroad, in partnership with local organisations
- The Center for Global Development is an independent, non-partisan think tank which works to reduce global poverty and inequality through rigorous research and active engagement with the policy community. CGD combines world-class research with policy analysis and innovative communications to turn ideas into action
- The key characteristics of a Development Impact Bond are:
– Some or all project financing is provided by investors who assume risk for project performance
– An outcome funder (such as a government or a donor agency) must be willing to pay for pre-defined results after they are achieved
– Financial returns to investors are based on the achievement of social outcomes
– Outcome funders do not specify interventions – strategies for achieving outcomes are agreed between investors and service providers, usually through an intermediary or coordinating agency, with some flexibility for adaptation through the duration of the programme
– Contract outcomes and outputs are independently verified to ensure that both investors and outcome funders are confident about the extent to which results have been achieved
UK’s largest energy company teams up with social enterprises to build a £60m pipeline of solar energy projects to benefit local communities
Post date: 17 July 2014
The solar division of British Gas, Generation Community and Social Finance announce their partnership today to build a pipeline of solar energy projects worth up to £60m to benefit local communities. For the first time a commercial energy partner, British Gas Solar, is working with a community benefit society, Gen Community, to offer solar panels for local government sites such as schools and town halls across the country. The partnership will seek out energy projects where the financial benefits of solar energy from the government’s feed in tariffs are re-invested back into the local community. It is estimated that the solar panels will save up to 40% of the electricity bills for potentially 8,000 rooftop sites. Revenue from the feed in tariffs will flow back into the community to support local social enterprises and educational services targeting fuel poverty. Social Finance will raise up to £60m of institutional loan capital to finance the pipeline. Alongside this, members of the community will be able to invest in the solar projects by purchasing shares and will receive a fair financial return, in addition to social and environmental benefits. Gen Community will oversee the projects, liaising with local authorities and engaging with community organisations. British Gas Solar will be the contractor for the installation of the projects ensuring excellent quality assurance on deployment and will continue to operate and maintain the systems. Social Finance is the lead arranger of the 20 year inflation linked, amortising, asset-backed Social Solar Bond. “This is an exciting chance to deliver renewable energy both professionally and to a commercial standard, whilst keeping community ownership and values at the core of the project. We hope that local authorities and housing associations come forward to take advantage of this new partnership”, said James Mansfield, Director of Gen Community. Mike Chessum, Head of Energy Construction Services at British Gas, said:” Our partnership with Gen Community signals a breakthrough in the delivery of community energy across the UK. We are proud to be the first commercial energy partner working alongside social enterprises that will provide new ways of delivering power to communities.” Richard Speak, Head of Sustainable Communities at Social Finance, said: “Community energy deals can act as catalyst for mainstream investment markets to align financial returns with tangible social impact. These deals help alleviate fuel poverty for our poorest households and bring the financial benefits back in to the communities.” Nick Hurd, Minister for Civil Society, said: “It’s great news that the grant from our Investment and Contract Readiness Fund helped Generation Community to grow and develop such innovative projects. The partnership with British Gas is a significant endorsement of the role that social enterprise can play in delivering services alongside benefitting communities. We hope that this will be the first of many similar partnerships.” This announcement comes as the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) looks to promote its community energy strategy, encouraging commercial developers to work with community energy groups. ENDS Contact details; www.gen-community.co.uk/laha/ webpage for project partnership Gen Community: Andy Heald: Director – 07899891667 Andy@gen-community.co.uk James Mansfield: Director – 07747335841 James@gen-community.co.uk British Gas: Katie Alloway, PR and Strategic Planning manager – 07789 575915 firstname.lastname@example.org Social Finance: Alisa Helbitz, Director of Communications – 07500 433044 email@example.com Notes to Editors:
- Social solar bonds will accelerate installations of solar panels on the roofs of schools and council buildings across the country, bringing social, environmental and financial benefit. Local authority contracts are expected to be between £5 and £10 million (a minimum of 5 Megawatts) and will not require local authorities to make any capital outlays.
- Organisations can take advantage of a free consultation on the potential for solar PV on their rooftops by contacting Gen Community.
- Earlier this year, Gen Community was awarded the Cabinet Office Investment Readiness and Contract Fund grant, which funded work with Social Finance, a social investment intermediary to develop the first project. The partnership with British Gas Solar is an extension of this project.
- Gen Community was introduced to British Gas Solar through Ignite Social Enterprise LP, an impact investment fund backed by Centrica.
- Despite the legislative changes, the UK solar industry has been growing steadily, with 77MWp installed in 2010, 1GWp by 2011 and 2.2 GWp by the end of 2013. The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has considerably increased the ambition for UK solar, with a target 22GWp install target by 2020 and the inclusion, for the first time, of PV as a core renewable energy technology.
- The Feed-in-Tariff for UK Solar PV was introduced in April 2010. , The scheme is designed to make small scale renewable energy generation economically attractive and stimulate market demand. The FiT is a UK statutory legal instrument that places an obligation on electricity supply companies to pay a guaranteed, long term subsidy to the owners of small renewable energy generating assets.
About Generation Community – http://www.gen-community.co.uk Gen Community installed over 200kWp of solar photovoltaic (PV) on fuel poor homes in Newport, South Wales, funded through a community share offer. The Newport project received the 2014 Community Energy Award by the Renewable Energy Association .In total, Gen Community have raised over £1 million in community share offers. Gen Community’s aim is for the low-carbon economy to be developed by maximising social benefit through mutual ownership of energy generation, public engagement and retained community benefit. The legal form adopted by Gen Community is a Community Benefit Society The Society is registered with the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) – number 31214 R. About Social Finance – www.socialfinance.org.uk Social Finance is a not for profit organisation that partners with government, the social sector and the financial community to find better ways of tackling social problems in the UK. Earlier this year, Social Finance raised a £10 million loan note for Empower Community to provide access to free daytime solar energy for social housing in Sunderland. Founded in 2007, Social Finance has raised over £20m in social investment and is the originator of the Social Impact Bond model. About British Gas Solar – www.britishgas.co.uk British Gas Solar, part of British Gas, provides bespoke solar PV and thermal panel installations and financing packages for homes and businesses across the UK Established in 1994, British Gas Solar’s team of experts has installed thousands of solar panels and worked with hundreds homes and businesses to help them save money and reduce their carbon footprint. The company is invested in developing a market leading range of solar energy solutions, enabling customers to benefit from our energy expertise, world leading engineering capabilities, health & safety, and quality assurances. British Gas is the UK’s leading energy supplier, and serves around 11 million homes in Britain –nearly half the country’s homes – as well as providing energy to around half a million UK businesses. British Gas provides value for money, dedicated customer service, innovative energy solutions and the highest quality Home Services expertise in the country. Find out more at www.britishgas.co.uk. About Ignite – www.ignitesocialenterprise.com Ignite is the UK’s first impact investment fund with a focus on energy. Ignite believes that energy entrepreneurs have a vital role to play in building a better society and the fund was established to support them achieve their potential. Ignite invests people and money into emerging and mature organisations that have a clear vision of how they benefit society. By focussing on energy, Ignite is driving innovation at every point of the energy chain – from sourcing and generation through to supply, service and saving energy. And by investing in social enterprises Ignite is making a positive impact on employment, income, housing and local communities. With Backing from Centrica, Ignite is providing funding of £10 million over the next ten years, and will make investments of between £50k and £2m
Changes to Peterborough Social Impact Bond
Post date: 13 May 2014
As announced today, the Ministry of Justice has proposed an alternative funding arrangement for Peterborough Social Impact Bond (SIB) in light of the expected introduction of a new approach to UK probation and rehabilitation services at the end of 2014. The proposal will enable the Peterborough intervention (the “One Service”) to continue but will change the way the service is funded and remove the outcomes payments for the third and last cohort of prisoners to be released from June 2014. Details of the alternative funding arrangement are still being discussed but the Ministry of Justice is keen to ensure that the same level of rehabilitation support continues to be provided to this group through until the new regime is established and a new provider is in a position to establish supply chain arrangements for rehabilitation. The support to prisoners in the second cohort will continue to be funded by social investors as anticipated until June 2015 and the investors will qualify for outcomes payments on the same basis as the first cohort. We are very proud of what we have achieved so far. The social value of the Peterborough Social Impact Bond lies in its flexibility to offer a well-resourced and responsive service to prisoners in custody, through the gates and in the community. Offenders have found that the offer of support that is voluntary, pro-active, non-judgemental and flexible to be invaluable. The figures released today suggest that there is a continued drop in reoffending by the first cohort of prisoners that we were charged with working with. Our focus, together with our delivery partners, is to ensure that the One Service under the new arrangement will continue to be delivered in the same manner to support prisoners on release and we will endeavour to share our learnings from the programme widely. ENDS For more information, please contact Alisa Helbitz on 020 7667 6388 or 07500 433 044 or firstname.lastname@example.org Notes for Editors: 1) The Peterborough SIB was set up in 2010 and is an outcomes based model. Social investors provided £5m to fund interventions to reduce reoffending among three cohorts of 1000 short-sentenced male prisoners leaving Peterborough prison. Investors will receive a return if we reduce reoffending by 10% per cohort compared to a national control group. The service was due to last until 2017. The Big Lottery Fund and the Ministry of Justice are providing the outcomes payments. 2) The Peterborough Social Impact Bond will continue in its current form until June 2015 when the delivery of support for the second cohort is due to end. Results and related outcomes payments are expected in the summer of 2014 (first cohort) and in 2016 (second cohort). 3) The Peterborough interventions are managed by Social Finance and are collectively known as the One Service. It offers tailored support to prisoners for one year after release through the St Giles Trust, Ormiston Families, Sova, MIND, YMCA and John Laing Training. We are also an integral part of the Safer Peterborough Partnership and work closely with the Police, Probation, Integrated Offender Management Teams, the Prison, the local authority, local statutory providers and the voluntary sector. 4) The Peterborough Social Impact Bond was the first financial investment that aligned successful social outcomes with financial returns. Following its launch in 2010, there are now 14 Social Impact Bonds in the UK, 5 in the US, 2 in Australia, 1 in the Netherlands, 1 in Belgium and more than 100 proposals world-wide. Over $100m has been raised in social investment to fund Social Impact Bonds. 5) Interim figures for the Peterborough cohort were released today by the Ministry of Justice. For more details, please link to: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/305776/annex-a-payment-by-results-apr14.pdf 6) An independent evaluation by RAND Europe was published today. For the report, please link to: www.gov.uk/government/publications/phase-2-report-from-the-payment-by-results-social-impact-bond-pilot-at-hmp-peterborough
Social Finance announces new board members
Post date: 07 April 2014
Social Finance Ltd announces the appointments of Derrick Anderson, Ciarán Devane and Robert Gillespie as Non-Executive Directors to the Social Finance Board.
Bernard Horn, Chairman, said: “I am absolutely delighted that Derrick, Ciarán and Robert are joining the Board. Social Finance is one of the most imaginative organisations in the impact investment arena. Our work has been enhanced and encouraged by the engagement of an outstanding Board since we started in late 2007. The addition of these new directors, all pre-eminent in their fields, is further testament to our ability to engage with individuals of the highest calibre in the furtherance of our mission.”
Derrick Anderson, CBE, is Chief Executive of Lambeth Council since March 2006. He has over thirty years’ senior management experience in local government and more than 30 years in the public sector. Derrick was voted Public Leader of the Year in the Guardian Public Services Awards 2012. He was awarded a CBE for services to local government in January 2003.
Ciarán Devane joined Macmillan Cancer Support as Chief Executive in May 2007. Ciarán co-chairs the National Cancer Survivorship Initiative and is a trustee of the National Council for Voluntary Organisation and the Makaton Charity. In January 2012, Ciarán Devane was appointed as a Non-Executive Director of NHS England.
Robert Gillespie is the former Director General of the Takeovers and Mergers Panel, senior Managing Director of Evercore Partners and former Global Head of Investments at UBS following a 27 year career in the investment bank. Currently Robert serves as Chairman of Somerset House, Durham University Council and the Boat Race Company.
Social Finance is a not-for-profit financial intermediary developing new models for driving systemic social change. Social Finance is the originator and foremost developer of Social Impact Bonds in the UK and abroad, in partnership with local organisations.
For more information, please contact Alisa Helbitz (t: 020 7667 6388 e: email@example.com)
Visit www.socialfinance.org.uk or follow us on Twitter @socfinuk
Social Finance Advises Enfield Council to Set Up Company to Buy Homes for Local Families in Need
Post date: 07 April 2014
Enfield Council approved plans on 12 February to set up a property company to buy and manage homes for local families in need. The company hopes to attract institutional investment to build up a local property portfolio to serve the growing numbers of families who do not have a permanent home. Increasing pressures on the supply of decent, affordable housing in London has led to more people moving to the outer boroughs such as Enfield. However as demand has grown locally, rents have been raised leading to more and more families presenting as homeless. In December 2013, there were over 2100 homeless families in the borough, ranking Enfield as the 7th highest council nationally for the number of households in temporary accommodation. Enfield allocated an additional £1.6 million to the temporary accommodation budget in 2013-2014 to meet the increased costs of temporary accommodation. Reasons for the higher costs include the higher numbers of homeless families and increased pressures on market rents, making it difficult to find accommodation that is affordable at local housing allowance benefit levels.
Enfield Council, supported by Social Finance, has developed a financially robust model to increase the supply of long term, well managed, private rented accommodation for homeless households. Last night the Council approved plans to establish a wholly owned local authority company to own and manage a portfolio of houses which will be available to residents primarily with housing need or at risk of homelessness. As the Council has complete control of the company, it can select and allocate properties appropriately and fix rents at levels which remain affordable for local people.
The company will adopt a phased approach to buying properties to manage the financial risks and to test the effectiveness of the model. Properties will be purchased on a case by case basis meeting strict financial viability criteria and using funding either from the Public Works Loan Board (PWLB) or from external finance, such as pensions funds and other institutional investors. There may be opportunities in the future to use funding for new build developments.
Nick Salisbury, Director at Social Finance, commented that “Enfield has demonstrated that through taking an innovative and proactive approach, it is possible to make a meaningful difference to local residents. If successful this approach has the ability to deliver a well-managed, better quality, affordable home to a significant number of households, with significant improvement in security of tenure compared to temporary accommodation, alongside delivering financial savings to the council.”
For more details, please contact Alisa Helbitz, Director of Research and Communications on 07500 433 044 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Empower community issues a £10 million loan note to provide solar energy to social housing in sunderland
Post date: 31 March 2014
“We’re always looking for new ways to make a positive difference and influence change”
Empower Community will use the funds to acquire and manage existing solar photovoltaic installations on 2327 Gentoo social homes and 6 corporate buildings in the Sunderland area. It will continue to provide thousands of tenants with access to free daytime energy, which can reduce bills by up to 40% and will reduce carbon emissions with clean solar energy. With the refinancing of Gentoo’s solar panels, Gentoo plans to roll out PV panels to an additional 3000 homes in Sunderland.
Empower Community Management’s Alex Grayson says “The beauty of this deal is that everybody’s interests are aligned: the investor makes solid financial returns, with measurable social and environmental impact; tenants enjoy access to free daytime power, which helps them escape fuel poverty; Gentoo enjoys an ongoing return and financing to continue their exciting developments and the community receives funding for local initiatives from the profits.”
Peter Walls, Chief Executive, Gentoo Group said: “We’re always looking for new ways to make a positive difference and influence change – this innovative deal with Empower Community does just that. Fuel poverty is a genuine concern with rising energy costs – ‘heat or eat’ is a reality that many vulnerable individuals in our society are now facing. This is a unique way to deliver more solar solutions to our customers, at no cost, with the additional benefits that the local community fund will bring.”
Since the introduction of the Feed-in Tariff in 2010, despite some reviews along the way, the stable, long-term and index-linked nature of revenues from these projects have been attracting increasing interest from the UK institutional investment markets, but this is the first at-scale ‘balanced stakeholder’ model to arrive.
Peterborough interim figures – October 2013
Post date: 31 October 2013
The Ministry of Justice has published interim figures for Peterborough this morning (31 October 2013). The figures track the frequency of reconvictions events over twelve months of the first 16 months of the first cohort of the Peterborough Social Impact Bond for the first time. This is compared to a national frequency rate.
The figures suggest that there has been a 12% decline in the frequency of convictions events per 100 prisoners since 2008 in Peterborough alongside a 11% increase nationally.
We cannot infer from the figures whether the pilot has been a success or whether an outcome payment will be triggered because the measurements used are distinct from those which will be used for the Peterborough Social Impact Bond. The Peterborough cohort will be compared by an independent assessor with a statistically compiled control group.
The first results of the Peterborough Social Impact Bond are expected in April 2014.
Social Finance notes the suggestion that the progress of the Peterborough Social Impact Bond supports the case for the Transforming Rehabilitation initiative.
The Peterborough Social Impact Partnership was established to test the proposition that providing additional sustained support to short sentenced male offenders pre and post release. This would address a clear and unmet need and improve their lives in a way which would reduce their tendency to re-offend and thereby generate benefits for society and the taxpayer.
Short sentenced male offenders are a specific segment of the prison population who currently receive no support from probation or any other statutory body. We are encouraged that as part of its plan for Transforming Rehabilitation, the Government plans to extend statutory support to this vulnerable group and that the Peterborough Social Impact Partnership may have played a role in highlighting the importance of addressing this unmet need.
However, although the precise details are not yet clear, Transforming Rehabilitation also envisages a much wider restructuring of the delivery of existing probation services which support the broader prison population. The success or otherwise of the Peterborough pilot is of limited relevance to assessing the merits of these changes.
For more information, please contact Alisa Helbitz, Communications Director, on 07500 433 044 or www.socialfinance.org.uk / @socfinuk
Interim re-conviction figures for Peterborough Social Impact Bond pilot
Post date: 13 June 2013
Today, the Ministry of Justice released interim re-conviction statistics for the Payment by Results pilots in HMP Peterborough and HMP Doncaster. These figures show that there has been more than 6% decline in the frequency of reconvictions events per 100 Peterborough prisoners from 2008-10 to 2010-2012. This compares to 16% increase nationally from 2008-10 to 2010-12.
First Local Authority Social Impact Bond awarded to improve outcomes for vulnerable young people on the edge of care
Post date: 21 November 2012
Social Finance has been awarded a contract by Essex County Council to deliver a Social Impact Bond to provide therapeutic support and improve outcomes for adolescents at risk of going into care. Essex County Council is the first local authority to commission a Social Impact Bond in Children’s Services.
Social Finance has raised a total commitment of £3.1m to fund interventions for 11-16 year olds at the edge of care or custody so that the young people can safely remain at home with their families. The investment is provided at risk by social investors, such as cornerstone investors Big Society Capital and Bridges Ventures, whose financial return is aligned to the positive social impact of delivering a better future for vulnerable adolescents.
Social Finance is awarded two contracts from the DWP Innovation Fund to support 2,500 vulnerable young people in the Thames Valley and the North West of England
Post date: 31 October 2012
The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) today announced that it has awarded two contracts worth £7 million from the Innovation Fund to two social investment partnerships established by Social Finance. The Social Impact Bonds will fund interventions to work with around 2,500 14-15 year olds who are disadvantaged or at risk of disadvantage to help them participate and succeed in education or training and thereby improve their employability.
The programmes will be delivered by Adviza in the Thames Valley and Teens and Toddlers in the North West of England. This is an exciting opportunity to engage a wide range of social investors and work with social organisations who deliver effective programmes to raise the aspirations of young people.
The DWP Innovation Fund is part of a series of government measures to tackle youth unemployment. The DWP has identified a number of outcomes against which the contracts will be measured including improved behaviour, school attendance, educational qualifications and employment opportunities. Outcomes payments from the Innovation Fund will be paid over three and half years. Unlike typical social service delivery, the funding is provided at risk by social investors, including Bridges Ventures, Big Society Capital, Barrow Cadbury Trust and the Impetus Trust, whose financial return is aligned to the positive social impact of meeting pre-agreed educational, training and employment outcomes.
ONE* Service contracts SOVA and YMCA for volunteers to mentor ex-prisoners
Post date: 09 June 2011
Social Finance report highlights value of Jam Jar Accounts for UK consumers
Post date: 14 May 2011
Social Finance, confirms the value of Jam Jar Accounts to UK consumers in a report for HM Treasury. The UK’s biggest providers of accounts with Jam Jar features, Secure Trust Bank and Think Banking, were today awarded the first ever Fairbanking Marks in recognition of their contribution to the financial wellbeing of UK consumers.
Social Finance Inc. to bring Social Impact Bonds to the US
Post date: 17 February 2011