Friday, 18 March 2011


A very busy and interesting week.

Today I’m running a CPD session for the MA Youth and Community students funded by the CWDC. They are a great group to work with, and I hope to provide some “after care” as  this very valuable funding stream now comes to an end. I was on leave on Wednesday, catching up with my MA (Theology). So the week has sped by.

I want to concentrate on the workshop in London yesterday (Thurs) about Social Finance. This was one of three such workshops run by the national experts – Social Finance, and The Young Foundation. Each one was evidently attended by about 150 people, and were sold out immediately. It’s true they were free, but there is a massive interest in social impact bonds nationally. The London event was attended by funders - social entrepreneurs(Sir Ronald Cohen), bankers and equity fund managers, commissioners – from central, not local government interestingly, and the voluntary sector. So who doesn’t get it?

The Ministry of Justice and Social Finance gave detailed briefings on the Peterborough prison sib (3,000 prisoners, £5 mill of support to them, and an analysis over six years of the impact of the sustained pre and post release support to the prisoners with the aim of reducing re- offending rates (65% reoffend within one year currently).

There was much talk of scaling up pilot projects once it was known “what works”. There is Big Lottery and social investment fund interest in this. The significant change is to “payment by results”, in other words to outcome based commissioning and delivery that is shown to make a difference.

My abiding impression is that there is a potentially huge amount of capital out there to invest in social projects that will make a proven difference. It is easy to be cynical about corporate social responsibility, but I detect a sea change.

Personal disclosure: Did a 21 mile South Downs walk last Saturday in “benchmark time” of 7.5 hours in preparation for my Y to Y Charity Marathon (26 mile) Walk on Sunday 27 March. The finds raised will go to Redhill YMCA for their project of working with disabled young people. You can sponsor me on

Thank you!

Enjoy the week- end! Saturday 5.00pm. -The last match.

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