Adult social care – Rochdale MBC
As part of the Council, Rochdale Adult Social Care team delivered a range of services to the local community, primarily focused on people with Learning Disabilities and Older People. The team decided to become a public service mutual through the Cabinet Office’s Mutuals Support Programme, which funded the support of the Mutual Ventures team.
There were some compelling reasons for the service to spin out of the Council, including:
- To have the freedom to be innovative and creative in service delivery
- To enable staff and service users to have greater involvement in how the organisation is run, with the intention of boosting productivity
- To allow any surplus to be reinvested for the benefit of the community
- To safeguard jobs by seeking additional income streams
- To access new funding streams currently unavailable to a council-based service e.g. charitable grants
- To be able to provide services to people with personal budgets (you cannot sell services to personal budget holders from within a local authority)
- To create more efficient systems and processes
Mutual Ventures supported the team to develop a robust five year business plan and financial model, test the viability of the service as an independent social enterprise and develop a detailed transition plan. The new organisation launched in April 2014 as PossAbilities. Since then Mutual Ventures has provided support to o help help the company develop and grow sustainably through the Investment Contract Readiness Fund*.
Amanda Chandler, Mutual Ventures Consultant: “I am always amazed by the dedication and resourcefulness of staff who decide to take control of their own destiny, and what they can achieve within a short space of time. As part of the ICRF support, we are now helping PossAbilities plan new services for people in the community, secure new contracts, and measure their social impact. I am inspired by the team’s passion and determination to improve outcomes for their service users and contribute to the vision for a healthier and happier society.”
Rachel Law, Chief Executive, PossAbilities: “Mutual Ventures’ support to develop our business plan, and then turn it into reality, has been invaluable. Their team were able to quickly and effectively continue with the work already undertaken and generate a feeling of confidence and trust amongst staff. Their robust and practical approach, coupled with their impressive knowledge and experience and a continual focus on delivering on their promises, was greatly appreciated by the team and was a major factor in the success of the project. I would highly recommend Mutual Ventures.”
*The ICRF fund is now closed but similar support can be accessed through the Social Investment Business’s Big Potential Advanced Fund. Mutual Ventures are approved providers to this fund.