Investment saves key dementia support centre from closure
Dementia support centre Reflections Wigan CIC has secured its future thanks to a £325k loan from Unity Trust Bank. The bank for social impact provided the investment alongside £100k from local social investor The Key Fund to enable Reflections Wigan CIC to purchase a new property and avoid closure.
Reflections Wigan is a Community Interest Company (CIC) running a day care centre for people with dementia. After just two month’s notice from its previous landlord to take back the property, the loan from Unity meant that the centre was able to be fully operational the day after its relocation to new premises.
Duncan Molyneaux, Director at Reflections Wigan CIC, said: “At a time when many local services are closing down, people with dementia along with their families and carers absolutely rely on the care and support provided by Reflections. Thanks to the loan funding, we were able to buy a new property nearby and move our service overnight, meaning the move didn’t impact our service users, a big priority for us.”
Reflections Wigan CEO and registered nurse at the local A&E Mandy Molyneaux, said: “Reflections is a unique environment. We operate out of a family home and have gardens, a dog, chickens, a pub and a patio. We focus on providing social activities to improve quality of life for those with dementia and to give a well-earned break to the loved ones often caring for them. Our service users come here and take part in cricket, arts and crafts, tai chi, zumba, and dancing as well as darts and dominos in the pub.”
Since the move, Reflections Wigan CIC, which is now two years old, cares for around 23 service users a day, two and half times what they had projected for their third year operation targets.
Mandy continued: “Since the people that come to us are active all day taking part in communal activities it helps them to get a good night’s sleep when they return home, something dementia patients often struggle with. We are very much a community for everyone touched by dementia. Carers, relatives and friends are always popping in for a chat and we have some wonderful volunteers supporting us too. Wigan Council has also been so helpful by providing community transport for people to get here. We’re all about making people happy, and that’s what we prioritise more than ever at our new premises.”
Margaret Porter, Unity Trust Bank Relationship Manager for the North West, said: “Reflections Wigan CIC came to us because we are specialists at lending to community interest companies creating a direct impact in their local communities. Unity is here to make sure organisations have the access to finance they need to continue making a difference in the communities that need it most. Reflections provide such an important service that touches the hearts of not just those who use it, but their families and the wider community, it therefore made absolute sense to invest from both a business and social impact perspective.”
Garry Brown, Head of Investment at Key Fund, said: “We passionately believe in the importance of locally focussed and delivered services like this, as they provide support that really puts the person at the centre, focussing on their needs as individuals, which often leads to better results. As a social enterprise ourselves we are driven by a similar desire, to improve the lives of people in need, and so we are delighted to have been able to support the continuing work of Reflections Wigan CIC.”
Unity Trust Bank often lend to and work in partnership with local social investors and Community Development Finance Institutions, ensuring their financing is spread as far as possible into the areas where demand is not being met by mainstream finance.
For information and advice on sustainable finance and banking services, please contact Unity Trust Bank at email@example.com or visit its website at: www.unity.co.uk.