Big Issue Invest is hailing the success of Belford-based home care provider Bell View Help at Home, following its launch earlier this year.
Bell View Help at Home is a social enterprise dedicated to providing high quality home care to older people in north Northumberland and was launched with the help of a loan from Big Issue Invest.
Big Issue Invest (BII) is the social investment arm of The Big Issue. It supports and extends the work of The Big Issue, with self-help and prevention at its core, by backing business-like solutions to help tackle poverty and inequality.
Rod Jones, regional director for Big Issue Invest, said: “We are here to help worthwhile social businesses like Bell View Help at Home access the funding they need to grow and develop, so that they can help more people and communities.”
And Bell View Help at Home has already shown how an investment can make a real impact. The new service has only been going since February but is already delivering over 300 hours of care a week, which has allowed over 25 elderly people to remain independent and live more flexibly in their own communities.
Jane Field, service development manager at Bell View, said the Big Issue Invest investment was what was needed to make a new business idea a reality.
“We wanted to deliver an innovative way of providing care for older people,” she explained. “Not like the old kind of home care, chucking breakfast in front of you and going out the door. We wanted to offer an integrated package of support to people in the community.
“Although, in many ways, a social enterprise is just like any other type of business, it can be difficult for traditional lenders to see that our aims go beyond profit, and they are sometimes wary to lend to us. That’s where Big Issue Invest came in.”
Mr Jones added: “Bell View Help at Home is a revolutionary service providing real care for elderly people, allowing them to remain independent and live more flexibly in their own communities, and Big Issue Invest is pleased to have been able to help them.
“At a time when many small businesses are struggling to access finance, Big Issue Invest is here to support social businesses in the north east, be they charities, co-operatives or social enterprises like Help at Home.”