Moving towards financial resilience through diversification of funding and income streams
Credu was created in 2004 to support carers of all ages throughout Powys and young carers in Conwy, Denbighshire and Wrexham. Its aim is to empower all carers and to work with them to improve their wellbeing. Credu uses outreach workers and volunteers to deliver a range of supportive services for carers including counselling, advocacy, one to one support and regular drop in sessions.
Why was the grant needed?
1. Expansion of services and creating a sustainable increase in services offered to carers
Credu needed a physical presence in town centres and the grant would allow it to invest in its first shop and recruit a shop/information manager. Because carers can often feel isolated it was felt that ‘drop in’ facilities would allow them to access information more easily and offer a social hub. It also meant that Credu could expand its services to providing coffee mornings, carers groups and use the retail element of the space to generate a financial surplus. This surplus could then be used to fund more outreach and carer services.
2. Raising awareness of Credu to both service users and volunteers
A strong high street presence would raise awareness of the services that Credu can provide and this would mean that carers could be reached and supported before they were at crisis point. Volunteers are extremely important to its current model but a stronger volunteer base was needed and a physical presence would help to attract more volunteers and enhance the capacity of its outreach team.
3. Diversifying funding sources and increasing community fundraising
Credo recognised that it needed to look at a range of funding sources to help it move towards financial resilience. A physical space in town centres would not only provide retail opportunities but would also allow community fundraising initiatives and attract an increased level of donations.
Key achievements following the grant
The grant given to Credo helped it to open its first ‘Shop and Pop In’ facility. This enterprise has ensured that a number of positive objectives have been reached by the charity:
- The first retail shop has been opened and is generating enough income to cover costs
- A second suitable high street premises has been found and work is in progress to identify more suitable towns, locations and events for its pop up and mobile shops from 2018 onwards. A third shop is planned in 2019
- Significant income is being generated from community fundraising and events and a fundraising action plan is in place to raise money in addition to the income generated via the shops
- The high street presence of Credu has led to an increase in carer referrals who have benefited from its services. Feedback from shop managers shows that carers are reporting a reduction in their sense of isolation
Additional benefits from the grant
In addition to increasing revenue for Credu and improving carer wellbeing the grant has also raised awareness of the charity within the community and its volunteer base has increased significantly during the year. The shops have been able to offer valuable work experience opportunities to young carers from school and college and overall Credu have been able to offer more carer activities such as social events, wellbeing sessions and courses for carers.