Human beings have certainly developed the ability to adapt to changing circumstances over the centuries. From world wars to climate change – people show resourcefulness and a singular knack for survival. So we would expect to see human ingenuity kicking in across all levels of society, with the arrival of COVID-19, despite the fact that it is so new and the lockdown in the UK has only been in action for just a few weeks (feels like much longer I know)!
How the world has changed in such a short time. Formula One teams, car makers and vacuum manufacturers have adapted their production lines to build ventilators for the NHS. One innovative packaging company in Coventry, took just a week to devise, design and supply 10,000 units of a new protective face visor. And as individuals we see grandparents across the country receiving crash courses in the use of video chat apps, and schoolchildren adapting to receiving lessons online instead of face to face with their teachers.
So unsurprisingly, many of our wonderful social enterprise investees have or are working to adapt their business models, in order to keep operating and continuing to deliver impact, despite all the challenges. Here’s a few of their stories:
Supporting Key Workers
Raised in Bristol is an Ofsted registered nursery provider offering early years education and childcare services to sustain community owned spaces. They received investment last year in order to open two new nurseries during 2020. Those plans have slowed for now but they are very pleased to be open for key workers’ children, ensuring that they have one less thing to be concerned about. They are also paying full rent to their community partner hosts so that what they do is sustainable too. The operating model was adapted quickly, as other parents are paying a percentage of their average monthly fees to enable Raised in Bristol to do this. It’s them who are supporting their community and each other.
Support for the NHS
YMCA Plymouth - As Nightingale hospitals are being opened across the UK in order to support the rising numbers of people needing respiratory support, space for the NHS is very important. That’s why YMCA Plymouth, which received investment from the Health & Wellbeing Challenge Fund, has offered the use of its premises to the NHS should it be needed.
Domiciliary Care Enterprises Karrek Community and Health & Care at Home, both social enterprises that have received investment for their domiciliary care provision also from the Health & Wellbeing Challenge Fund, are finding their time and revenue is being redirected to meet more immediate needs. Whereas prior to the outbreak they may have been receiving income in order to shop for a number of hours a week, or take someone out for a few hours, more of their time is being directed to look after people coming out of hospital. This could be folk who are recovering from COVID-19, or simply supporting people to return home from hospital safely thus protecting them and supporting their rehabilitation, while freeing up hospital beds for people most in need.
Several social enterprises have adapted to providing online services where they can no longer provide face-to-face activities. Jump with Jo offers active play sessions and space targeting under 5s in Cornwall, with the aim of increasing childhood activity levels. Musica Music and Wellbeing provides support for healthcare professionals and family carers to provide meaningful music activities for people living with dementia. Dangerous Dads run fun activities for fathers and male carers with children of all ages. All three are now providing video resources online to their communities -keeping in touch during this difficult time. For example, Dangerous Dads are doing 'Boredom Buster' each day and are also planning regular, on-line Dad Dancing Fit Club exercise classes for all the family so people can keep fit and have fun during lock-down. They are also looking at a Virtual DadFest where people camp in the house or garden and they will offer activities each hour, which will include homemade bows & arrow-making, a bed-time story (via Zoom) and a virtual 'dad dancing' championship.
Support for a Community
Bristol 24/7 is a website, monthly print magazine and daily newsletter celebrating Bristol and covering local news and social issues, giving marginalized communities more of a voice in Bristol. It also offers new skills and opportunities in media for underserved groups. Bristol 24/7 believes that with the outbreak of COVID-19, vulnerable people across the city are at greater risk and need to feel connected and have access to vital information and support more than ever. Charities who are responding to the crisis are struggling to reach those who could benefit from their work and those who could offer volunteering or financial support.
So, Bristol 24/7 intends to assemble a team of outreach personnel and freelance writers and install them as community reports across Bristol. They will use their existing partnership and targeted digital campaigns to connect with communities to source and deliver interest, area and community specific content to those who would benefit from it.
The reporters would work with community leaders, community groups, local social forums (down to street specific Facebook and Whatsapp groups) to engage communities, source hyper local news, human interest stories and vital information to be disseminated to their new and existing audience.
This is a bold initiative which would see Bristol 24/7 completely adapt their business model to the current situation, in order to provide a strong, and much needed service to its readership.
We wish all our wonderful social enterprises the very best in their endeavours during these difficult times. For more information about the support available to our social enterprises from Resonance, government and other organizations, please visit our COVID-19 Resource Centre.
Sign up today and keep up to date with all our latest social impact news, innovations and insights so you never miss a thing.
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.
Disclaimer: This website does not contain, constitute, nor does it form part of, an offer to sell or purchase or a solicitation of an offer to sell or purchase, any securities, investments or financial instruments referred to herein or to enter into any other transaction described herein. Resonance is not providing, and will not provide, any investment advice or recommendation (personal or otherwise) to you in relation to any securities, investments or financial instruments or transactions described herein. Whilst all reasonable care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this website, neither Resonance nor its officers accept any liability for its contents or for any errors or omissions.