Opening a new specialist school in the South West for vulnerable children excluded from mainstream education has been made possible with a £180,000 loan into Community Mentoring and Support (CMAS) from the Resonance South West SITR Fund.
This investment will support the opening of CMAS’ third independent school in the South West and enable the organisation to continue the growth of its dedicated team which delivers education and community outreach to vulnerable children and their families across Devon and Gloucestershire. Further, the investment will see CMAS open a new, more suitable centre for its existing offering in Gloucester.
CMAS’ essential work supports children who require personalised provision to ensure their individual learning needs are met, while working with them to develop their wellbeing. Through its independent community-based schools, outreach and intervention programmes, this social enterprise provides bespoke services to support these vulnerable children with Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH), Autism and Anxiety needs.
Additionally, as the pandemic has presented challenges in delivering its services safely, CMAS has also been awarded an Access COVID-19 Emergency Grant to support the organisation with lost income, additional ongoing costs and income risk in the short term.
Like so many teachers across the country, CMAS’ growing team have been working tirelessly throughout the pandemic, bringing activities and challenges literally to the doorsteps of students. Even with the huge barrier to learning that COVID-19 has created, the children are being prioritised and supported. Before the pandemic, CMAS delivered almost 80,000 hours of face-to-face learning to young people every year through its schools alone. Continuing to offer that crucial daily contact between students and teacher while ensuring the safety or adults and children has been exceptionally challenging, but this new investment means a COVID-secure environment will continue to be open to students, helping them build confidence, independence and get back to learning in a safe way.
CMAS has broken down pandemic-related barriers to learning through a number of channels, including the development of an outstanding online platform, self-isolation ‘survival packs’ (which include everything from seeds and soil for growing vegetables and herbs at home,to journals and books), doorstep visits by mentors, even including doorstep cooking challenges on portable stoves and provision of a ‘Home Learning Questionnaire’ so the team can provide a personalised package of support during this challenging time.
James Evans, CEO at CMAS, said: “We are delighted that the loan has enabled us to open a new centre for the CMAS School, Gloucestershire. There is an increasing need for the services CMAS provides across the county, particularly at time when vulnerable children face isolation because of the pandemic. We are now able to provide more space for crucial and ongoing face-to-face education in Covid-safe environments for our students and staff.”
Resonance’s Senior Investment Manager for this Fund, Katalin Juhasz, said: “I am delighted to see CMAS benefit from a second investment from the South West SITR Fund, which will enable it to continue its plans to expand its provision for young people in the South West - which is even more impressive against the backdrop of the challenges presented by the pandemic. The team at CMAS have shown incredible resilience, ingenuity and creativity in continuing to bring their incredible services to young people and their families, but we know that there are many more young people in the region in need of specialist learning support. This investment enables CMAS to continue their services and increase their offer in the region in an improved and COVID-safe way.”
In his video opposite, Dann Tipp, Director at CMAS explains how crucial SITR investment has been for the growth of the organisation.
About Social Investment Tax Relief
Resonance’s South West SITR Fund provides a vital support scheme for social enterprises and charities that are working hard to improve vulnerable people’s lives in our communities across the country, providing solutions to some of their region’s most significant social problems, including:
The Fund has pioneered the use of Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR) which was introduced in 2015, which simultaneously lowers the cost of loans for enterprises and enables the potential for competitive returns to investors. This important source of subsidy to the social enterprise sector is currently under threat – read more in our Save SITR Call for Action article.
Resonance also operates a SITR Fund in the West Midlands
For more information about investing in our SITR Funds click here
If you’re a social enterprise based in the South West or West Midlands and are looking for investment click here
SITR has enabled many outstanding and crucial social enterprises to access the investment they need to grow on an unsecured and affordable basis. The majority of these organizations would not have been able to secure this support had it not been for SITR. Unfortunately, though, SITR will be retired by April this year, meaning that other social enterprises in desperate need of investment in order to grow, will be unable to benefit from its vital tax relief. To remove this tax relief that benefits the most vulnerable and disadvantaged, without any replacement in place, would be incredibly damaging - both directly to social enterprises and the people they support. This is particularly detrimental at a time when social enterprises and charities are on the frontline, with staff and volunteers risking their own lives to help others through the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
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Resonance Limited is a company registered in England and Wales no. 04418625
Resonance Impact Investment Limited, a subsidiary of Resonance Limited, is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Firm number 588462.
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