Lancaster social enterprise for women chosen to work on national programme

A Lancaster social enterprise for women has been chosen as one of 10 in the UK and Ireland to collaborate on a Changemakers programme.

Friday, 3rd September 2021, 4:55 am
A Lancaster social enterprise for women has been chosen as one of 10 in the UK and Ireland to collaborate on a Changemakers programme.

With a committed £1.5m over three years, the project will support social enterprises including The Growing Club CIC that have created bold and innovative ideas to improve resilience and protect against life shocks, such as illness, divorce or change in income.

15.9m UK adults are more financially vulnerable as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. One third of those attributed the increase in financial vulnerability to a reduced income and one in five (19%) had a lack of savings to fall back on in the pandemic, according to new research from mutual insurer Royal London.

To help improve financial resilience in the UK, Royal London has launched its Changemakers programme, with selected organisations. 73% of social enterprises work directly with individuals facing disadvantage, putting them in a strong position to drive meaningful change and use business as a force for good.

Royal London has worked with the School for Social Entrepreneurs to identify 10 changemakers: social enterprises creating unique solutions to build people’s financial resilience.

From providing sustainable employment to refugees on bread stalls across London, these changemakers are already making a difference.

27% of adults in the north west feel more financially vulnerable than they did in March 2020. Of those, 36% attributed this to a reduced income, 30% had a lack of savings to fall back on in the pandemic, 23% had to use government pandemic support (e.g. furlough, business loans), and 17% said their employment was irregular.

When thinking of the future and being able to respond financially to a change in life circumstances, just 14% say they feel very financially resilient. 11% say they know they’ll need financial support in place but don’t know where to start.

Jane Binnion, founding director of The Growing Club, said: “I am absolutely gobsmacked and so excited, that our tiny, but mighty, social enterprise has been chosen as one of just 10 changemaker organisations in the UK to get this brilliant support for work around life shocks.

“We have been reporting since May 2020 the impact of the pandemic on women both economically and emotionally, but of course for years we have been witnessing the devastating impact of significant life events, be that divorce, ill health, redundancy, or becoming a carer.

“The grant that comes with this support means that we can now design and deliver a much needed Money Matters to Women programme.”

Sarah Pennells, Consumer Finance Specialist at Royal London, said: “We know that the pandemic has affected millions of people’s financial resilience and that’s why investing in these inspiring Changemakers is so important.

“Each social enterprise has either direct lived experience, or experience by association, of the problem they’re trying to solve and this comes with the passion to make a difference. We believe that these social enterprises can create real change and innovation is at the heart of it.

“We are delighted to support people who are looking at new ways of improving financial resilience.”