Our ‘Client Spotlight’ feature is a new addition to the newsbrief highlighting the work of our clients within the charity and social enterprise sector. This new feature will give others the chance to read about similar organisations, how they have reached their current status, what the future holds and the people behind the efforts of the organisation.
In this edition we are highlighting Balance CIC, a leading social enterprise based in London, jointly owned by Stockport based charity Pure Innovations.
Balance is a spin out from the Royal Borough of Kingston Adult Social Care, with current Chief Executive Andrea Biggs leading the spin out in 2013. Prior to the set up of Balance, Andrea managed the in house services that she eventually led to spin out. The services revolved around (and continue to do so) employment support for people with learning disabilities and mental health conditions. Balance CIC also has a field-leading Asperger Syndrome support team, which was one of the first established in the UK. The social enterprise places a strong emphasis on enabling individuals that they support.
The creation of Balance CIC
2011 saw many charities subjected to reductions in services as a result of the economic downturn. Balance faced these challenges positively by taking the opportunity to become a social enterprise, starting the journey in late summer 2011. Andrea and the team explored and created a viable business model to prepare for the challenges ahead, and fast forwarding to 2013, the capabilities of the team and business strengthened and expanded.
Balance started out as a team of 17 employees and in July 2014 the organisation was successful in winning a competitive tender to deliver learning disabilities services in Kingston. This led to rapid growth for Balance within the first fourteen months of trading.
Chief Executive Andrea said upon winning the tender “We were thrilled that we were given the opportunity, so Balance could continue to build on the excellent services and choices offered to people in Kingston and ensure in these austere and difficult times we continue to improve lives.” The social enterprise’s mission is to become a sustainable deliverer of high quality support, to enable people to become less reliant on services, and also reach their potential.
The team behind Balance
Andrea and the team have built up a reliable and efficient organisation and have been re-commissioned by the EU and London Councils on three successive occasions to provide mental health employment support in the Royal Borough of Kingston – they’ve successfully expanded their remit each time and continue to strive to achieve their mission.
Balance CIC is a certified social enterprise with the Social Enterprise Mark and is partnered with Job Centre Plus, Mind, The Princes Trust and Social Enterprise UK to name a few. Hempsons has advised Balance CIC on a range of issues, including contracts, property, and employment matters, both as it span out of the council’s organisation and as it has won new contracts since.
“I am very very proud of what Balance represents and how we conduct our business with integrity and transparency. We have experienced rapid growth through hard work and determination; we are now focused on bedding down the new services and instilling Balance’s culture and ethos. Being a social enterprise is a liberating experience, it allows the opportunity to be creative and innovate in service delivery. This is something close to my heart and drives me to develop Balance’s services to be of the highest quality and be a provider of choice to our customers, ultimately this is why Balance exists.”
Andrea Biggs, Chief Executive, Balance CIC.
Simon Lee, Associate at Hempsons, works closely with Andrea and other social enterprises across the UK, “We have really enjoyed working with Andrea and her team over recent years and to see Balance grow in that time – we look forward to doing so again in the future.”
If you’re interested in finding out more about Balance, please visit their website or follow them on Twitter. Similarly, if you would like to feature in the Client Spotlight section of this newsletter, please contact Simon.
Continue reading other articles: Charities and Social enterprise round up, Top tips for collaborations, Client spotlight – following the journey of Balance CIC, Competition Law – what do you need to know? Minimum wage – counting the cost for charities and Promoting legacies – how effective is your website?