Jeremy Ince, Regional Manager at Charity Bank has recently achieved the personal milestone of helping charities and social enterprises access over £100m in social investment during his 15-year career with Charity Bank. 

Jeremy Ince, Regional Manager at Charity Bank

We at Good Finance asked Jeremy to share his insights and reflections on this monumental milestone and the difference these loans have made to individuals and local communities.

He shared with us, “When I first started in my role, very few charities considered taking on a loan (social investment) and did not fully appreciate the benefits that this might bring in helping them to expand social impact, diversify income and support the long-term sustainability of the organisation.”

One of our goals as Good Finance is to support charities and social enterprises on this journey, so we were keen to find out more from Jeremy and share his valuable insight with our users. If you’re currently wondering if social investment may be right for you, check out our handy Is It Right For Us tool

Let's Talk Good Finance: planting the seeds

He continued, “Working in partnership with the team at Good Finance and other Social Investors we were proud to support a programme of workshops called "Let's Talk Good Finance" which aimed to address the challenges faced by social enterprises in Yorkshire and beyond to increase awareness and understanding. Traditional lenders often struggle to understand the unique social and financial objectives of these businesses. Recognising this gap, the program aimed to raise awareness about social investment, a financing approach that considers both financial return and social impact.”

You can watch previous Let's Talk Good Finance events on demand here, and sign up for our next event, Let's Talk Good Finance: Scotland on Tuesday 30 April at 10am.  

One of the early organisations, who Jeremy worked with, was Foresight North-East Lincolnshire, a charity based in Grimsby that provides accommodation and activities to people with disabilities. Over the past 10 years they have successfully utilised Charity Bank loans to expand their mission and support growth. This early success story exemplified the potential of social investment to address critical social issues while creating a sustainable business.

Memorable Deals and their impact

Jeremy highlighted the impact charities and social enterprises have had; “I have been privileged to work with some fantastic people and organisations during my career at Charity Bank. As a rule, most people who work in the voluntary sector are motivated by desire to make a difference rather than for financial reward. I feel tremendously proud to have worked in the sector and to have helped secure funding for some amazing projects that will deliver a legacy across the region. These are just a few examples of how social investment has empowered diverse social enterprises to address a wide range of social and environmental challenges across Yorkshire and beyond.”

St George’s Crypt: A Charity Bank loan helped St George’s Crypt further develop their Growing Rooms initiative, an addiction recovery programme to provide people with the support and tools they need to break addiction and re-enter society. Offering men safe, stable accommodation would greatly increase their chances of recovery.

The Light Church: Based in Bradford the Light Church, used a Charity Bank loan to purchase the building they were renting. This has secured the future of the Light Church within the heart of the community. The Light Church’s food bank and other services have proven vital to families, particularly during the pandemic when requests for food parcels increased. And the Light Church doesn’t just cater for people’s physical needs, it meets their spiritual needs too, by offering a welcoming, inclusive religious community.

Transforming Lives for Good: Charity Bank has worked with TLG since 2010. In that time, TLG have supported over 10,000 children and young people through their wide-ranging programs. With 94% of young people who progressed to school, further education, training, or employment, are still progressing 12 months later.

You can read more case studies from Charity Bank, via the Good Finance case study collection, including organisations like Central YMCA and Outside the Box. All of their case studies are also linked from their investor profile

Looking Forward: The Future of Social Investment

“The concept of Social Investment is now much more widely understood along with the risks and benefits of repayable finance. Blended finance (mixture of grants and loans) is now seen as the norm for asset purchase & development within the sector, as such, demand for loans has increased significantly over past 15 years. I am busy helping new clients as well as working closely to support existing borrowers. The Cost-of-Living crisis has been tough for everyone, so one of my key challenges is working with charities to ensure that finances remain on track and that they can continue to deliver much needed services.”

We'd like to say a huge thank you to Jeremy for all of his support over the years and to the whole team at Charity Bank for their support in providing this blog.

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