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Care FInance

Affinity Trust repays SASC’s social investment loan and expands work in children’s services

Affinity Trust, a charity that supports people with learning disabilities across the UK, has repaid its £150K social investment loan from Social and Sustainable Capital (SASC) early.

The loan enabled the charity to successfully move into delivering children’s services for the first time and become a leading provider of Positive Behavioural Support (PBS)[i] in England.

Affinity Trust took on the loan, its first social investment, in 2018 after winning a payment by results contract* with Bradford Council to provide support programmes for young people (aged 7-14 years) with learning disabilities and challenging behaviours who are at risk of entering residential care.

Using the loan, the charity recruited four key workers and a service lead. Four children in Bradford were initially supported by key workers who provided up to 30 hours of support each week at home, in school and in the community. This enabled them to better manage their behaviour, improve their quality of life and remain in their family homes rather than move into residential care.

The programme positively impacted their education attendance, with the children attending more regularly because of the support given by key workers to their teachers.

As a result of the project’s success, Affinity Trust now delivers PBS programmes in Coventry and Warwickshire, Gloucestershire, Greater Manchester, Wakefield and Luton. The charity also delivered free PBS training to 250 healthcare professionals, social workers, parents, teachers, and other social care teams.

Affinity Trust received a PBS Excellence in Practice award from the British Institute for Learning Disabilities in 2019. In the same year, Matthew Hodder, the Bradford service lead wrote a research paper on their experience offering PBS support for The Tizard Centre, a leading UK academic centre working in autism, learning disability and community care[ii].

One of the first children supported by Affinity Trust’s PBS service in Bradford was seven-year-old J**. At the time of the referral, he was presenting high levels of distress at home, including property damage and frequent attacks on his mother, Gillian. “My son’s behaviour escalated. He was attacking me up to 15 times a day, pushing me down the stairs. It just gets to the point where you do really need support.”

Gillian commented, “My son has autism. He is a bright young boy but with very obsessive behaviour. He likes a rigid routine.”

After the charity started working with J, Gillian said J was no longer aggressive and noticed a real change in his behaviour. In January 2019, she said: “Me and my son, it’s like a different world now. I’ve not had aggressive, violent behaviour for probably seven months now.” Read more here.

Nicola Brittle, Development Director, Affinity Trust, said, “Our Bradford service was a huge success and enabled us to support eight children in total. We now have a high performing, award-winning delivery model that is being replicated in other areas. The loan from SASC provided funds up front that enabled us to set up and deliver the Bradford project. They supported us throughout and we were pleased the loan terms were flexible, so we could pay it off early.  The social investment model has worked well for us, and we are partnering with SASC again to undertake our PBS work in Gloucestershire.”

Ben Rick, Co-Founder and CEO of SASC said, “Affinity Trust’s use of social investment to deliver a payment by results contract demonstrates why this kind of finance can be invaluable for charities and social enterprises in this situation. With our loan, they have moved into children’s services and delivered work that has made a tremendous impact on the lives of children and families in Bradford. We are pleased they feel confident to take on a second loan to extend their work and support children and families in Gloucestershire.”

For more information on Affinity Trust visit: www.affinitytrust.org

*Affinity Trust receives payments that are linked to their level of success in keeping children out of expensive residential care placements. The SASC loan financed a portion of the costs associated with this contract prior to those payments being received.

The outcome payments for this service are funded by the National Lottery Community FundBradford Council, and NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups for Bradford City, Bradford District, and Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven.

** Not his real name.