The Royal Society for Blind Children

RCBS provide a range of services in London and across England and Wales for blind and partially sighted children and young people, their families, and the professionals who work alongside them.

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Duration 
3 years
Cost of capital 
0% first year, 6.5% from year 2
Turnover 
£4,100,000
Amount invested 
£250,000
Product 
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)
Resilience and Recovery Loan Fund (RRLF)

Challenge

Supporting blind children with a range of services including family support, further education, social inclusion and independence skills.

 

Solution

The Charity has been established for 180 years, during which time The Royal Society for Blind Children has been educating and supporting blind and partially sighted children and young people and their families. The founder, Thomas Lucas, set up a school to teach blind children to read in 1838. 

Nearly two centuries later, his vision to support blind children to fulfil their potential lives on. Today, the team works across a range of services including family support, further education, social inclusion and independence skills. Their work is influenced by world-class educationalists, psychologists and ophthalmologists.

 

Social Investment

The £250,000 was received from the Resilience & Recovery Loan Fund, a £25m loan fund that has been established to make an existing government scheme (the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme) more accessible to charities and social enterprises.

The loan was sought to support the business as a result of the COVID-19 Outbreak. The funding has helped the organisation to be more confident about its liquidity in the short term. It meant that the charity could have a clear line of sight for 24 months, so rather than downsizing and cutting back, were able to expand theirr reach, reduce the cost of service delivery and increase customer engagement.

The cost of capital is 9% per annum for the first twelve months to reflect the higher risk to the fund during the capital repayment holiday (this is covered by Government and no charge to the borrower). It is 6.5% per annum from year 2 (after principal payments start). 

 

Impact

"Rather than downsizing and cut back, we expanded our reach, cut the cost of service delivery and increased impact per pound delivered. We would not have been able to do that without the backing of the Government loan, the RRLF, and our friends at Charity Bank." Dr Tom Pey, Chief Executive, RSBC