Resonance is proud to invest in and support high impact social enterprises making a difference in their communities, so this Mental Health Awareness Week we are celebrating some of the amazing social enterprises we work with, who are tackling a range of social issues and having a positive impact on the mental health of the people and communities they work with.
The Resonance West Midlands Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR) Fund is a social investment fund, providing an innovative solution to some of the major challenges facing the West Midlands region including poverty, mental health and wellbeing issues and lack of education or employment opportunities. SITR enables investors to build a portfolio of investment with the potential for attractive returns and tax benefits whilst also helping to dismantle poverty in the region by backing high impact, mission-driven social enterprises. The West Midlands SITR Fund has recently announced its fifth close, taking the total raised to date through this fund to just over £1.8 million.
The West Midlands is a region of the UK facing persistent poverty and inequality with three in every ten children classified as living in poverty. And at the heart of the region, Birmingham is ranked as the sixth most deprived of England’s 319 Local Authority Areas.
Poverty and inequality are just two of the key social and economic factors that, alongside insecure housing and financial stress, can lead to mental health problems and negatively influence life chances and social mobility. Equally, some of these issues such as homelessness, poverty, social isolation, unemployment and discrimination can also be a consequence of mental ill health.
A 2017 mental health report by the University of Birmingham found that nearly a quarter of adults living in the West Midlands Combined Authority (just over 4 million people) were experiencing a mental health problem at any one time and estimated that the financial impact of poor mental health on the region to be over £12 billion per year.
With mental health crisis care provision in the region being both inconsistent and inadequate there are literally thousands of people not receiving support or treatment they need to help them improve their mental health. And because experiencing poor mental health often leaves people feeling unable to cope with their circumstances it can lead to them being even less likely to seek help and access to mental health services.
However, the West Midlands is resilient and a hive of innovation, action and creativity with an estimated 5,000 social enterprises providing transformational social impact in the region.
To date Resonance has invested in four mission-driven social enterprises in the West Midlands through the West Midlands Social Investment Tax Relief Fund. Three of these social enterprises provide mental health provision, programmes, support and awareness:
Jericho Foundation helps people with barriers to employment, such as mental health issues, to gain skills working in their range of social enterprises. Katie Webb Deputy CEO explains:
“The Jericho Foundation changes lives through enterprise. We provide in-house supported-employment, volunteering and training opportunities for people with barriers to social inclusion and economic participation. Our social businesses provide real work, in a real business and we underpin these opportunities with lots and lots of personalised support to help our beneficiaries recognise, reduce and wherever possible, remove the issues that affect them. A significant proportion of the people we help have experience of mental health issues and we support them by helping them access the support they need, providing a therapeutic working environment and being a listening, compassionate employer.
“Despite some progress in public awareness and perception, we still live in a society where mental health issues are stigmatised and where people are afraid to talk about it in the workplace and in wider society. Mental health problems are extremely common, and no one should feel ashamed or fearful of the issues they experience. At Jericho we believe everyone deserves support and understanding, help and compassion and our social businesses provide a place where people with experience of mental health issues feel safe to work and supported to succeed.”
Challenge Academy contributes to positive mental wellbeing in particularly deprived areas through their range of educational outdoor programmes. These are often offered to vulnerable groups such as young offenders or people who have been excluded from mainstream education.
Wildgoose Rural Training offers access to land-based activities, training, education and work experience for people with learning disabilities, brain injuries, mental health issues and school-excluded children, boosting independence and confidence.
Social Investment Tax Relief
The Resonance’s SITR Fund in the West Midlands 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:
Resonance also operates an SITR Fund in the South West.
For more information about investing in our SITR Funds click here.
If you’re a social enterprise based in the West Midlands or the South West and are looking for investment click here.
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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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