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Social Impact Bond in East Midlands supports over 400 young homeless people to transform their lives

Three charities who collaborated in order to deliver to the Fair Chance Fund programme a across the East Midlands, have reported that they managed to support over 400 young homeless people over the past three years.

Ambition East Midlands, driven by the three delivery partners, P3, The Y Leicester and YMCA Derbyshire, worked with 409 homeless young people across the East Midlands from January 2014- December 2017.

The charities reported that 90% of the 409 young people they reached moved into accommodation. Of those who moved into accommodation, close to two thirds (64%) sustained their accommodation for at least 12 months.

In addition, 37% of the young people they worked with entered into education and over a third (34%) entered into employment. Of those who entered into employment, 62% sustained employment for at least six months.

Big Issue Invest, the social investment arm of The Big Issue, as lead investor, alongside Key Fund, invested £255,000 and Key Fund invested £125,000 into the Social Impact Bond (SIB). The three delivery partners invested their own money into the SIB in the form of equity, which they expect to be returned in full with a share of profit.

Ambition East Midlands was also the first example of Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR) investment into a SIB.

Paul Brown, CEO of The Y said “I am really proud to have been part of this proactive partnership and would like to thank my fellow directors, the independent chair and the staff for their hard work and commitment in both the delivery and outcomes of this challenging project. Over the three years we have managed to make a real difference to the lives of some very challenged and vulnerable young people, a difference that will hopefully set foundations for their future successes. I would also like to thank Big Issue Invest, Key Fund and the private investors for their faith and confidence in our ability to deliver.”

Gillian Sewell CEO YMCA Derbyshire, said: “It was such a privilege demonstrating in partnership with social investors the positive impact YMCA Derbyshire through Ambitions East Midlands can have on the lives of young people, especially those furthest away from both housing and employment markets.

“There were many challenges to overcome especially around the complexity of the clients needs and indeed meeting predetermined targets, However the freedom to operate without prescriptive guidance literally paid dividends to both the client and the investor! In many areas targets were exceeded thanks to the longevity of the programme giving time for our committed and dedicated staff to build both a positive relationship with the client as well as working to minimise the negative and at times destructive influencers on the clients lives. Looking forward to the next SIB!”

Rebecca Harrington-Leigh, P3 Assistant Director of Operations, said: “Ambition has been life-changing for the people we have supported. Working with each young person for three years has enabled us to create trust and truly go for it. There were no short-term time restrictions or the need to address move on from the service at the outset. P3’s link workers have been able to break down the barriers in people’s lives by being consistent, tenacious and by fundamentally being there for them even during the most difficult times. This has allowed people to begin the process of reconnecting with family, community and so much more.

“We have seen people go on to access education, gain employment or volunteer, and most significantly move into and maintain their own tenancies, breaking the cycle of negativity and alienation that was so difficult to get out of. These positive outcomes, whether large or small have been huge for each person supported.”

Carolyn Clifton, Independent Chair, said: “At a time when rising homelessness is causing concern and new legislation comes into effect on 1st April, the results delivered by Ambition East Midlands are pertinent and impressive. The project demonstrated that when particularly troubled young adults are provided with long term, dedicated and appropriately challenging support, they can turn their own lives around. This level of support was made possible by the courage of the three partners (P3, the Y and YMCA Derbyshire) in entering into an SIB, the faith of the investors (Big Issue Invest and Key Fund) in supporting Ambition and the pragmatism of DCLG in the management of the overarching performance related contract.

“As Independent Chair, it was a privilege to work with the talented and dedicated leaders and staff of the three partners, with the investors and with DCLG. The individual stories of the young people and the enormous difficulties we helped them overcome were inspirational. This is a model for addressing homelessness which should be encouraged and replicated.”

Ed Siegel, Managing Director at BII, says, “We are delighted to have supported these three fantastic organisations, in order to help young homeless people to access housing and employment, education and training opportunities.”

SIBs are a commissioning tool that can enable organisations to deliver outcomes contracts and make funding for services conditional on achieving results. Social investors pay for the project at the start, and then receive payments based on the results achieved by the project.

BII has made several SIBs and outcomes-based investments since 2012, supporting people with complex, multiple needs to achieve outcomes including sustainable accommodation, employment education and training, improved mental and physical health and well-being.

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