NatWest Social and Community Capital (S&CC), an independent charity funded and supported by NatWest Group, approved over £1 million to social enterprises and community businesses in 2022, an increase of 128% on the previous year.
The charity, which has published its impact report for 2022, offers loans to social enterprises, charities and community businesses that might otherwise struggle to obtain mainstream funding. Last year S&CC approved ten new loans to nine enterprises, including a charity that provides early intervention support to school pupils, and a climbing wall supporting excluded youth. The report reveals the positive impact of S&CC’s lending, which helped its customers to support cover 165,000 people and created 91 new jobs across the UK in 2022.
Since it was founded in 1999, S&CC has provided over £10m in loans to over 80 organisations across the UK who have applied and been successful in their loan application. Offering funding of between £30,000 and £500,000 dependent on the purpose of the borrowing, S&CC aims to support its customers to make a lasting social impact. Loans that are repaid early are recycled back to the charity for further investment.
Victoria Papworth, S&CC’s Chief Executive, said:
“Social & Community Capital offers flexible lending to support the great work of social enterprises across the UK, in particular those that struggle to access mainstream finance – this report is about the impact of our work last year. But more importantly, it’s about the groups we’ve supported – their communities, their stories, and the difference they’re making.”
Download the latest NatWest Social & Community Capital Report
The Ledge (SCIO) is a community-focused climbing centre with a social mission. Based in Inverness, it’s a home for the Highland climbing community. But it’s also a charity designed to help people overcome life challenges through the shared therapeutic experience of climbing.
With parts of Inverness listed among the most deprived areas in Scotland, there’s a real need for the community support The Ledge offers.
As their Social Impact Director, Marc Peart, explains:
“We support people who are struggling with their mental health, with drugs, with crime, and young people who are finding their relationship with education a challenge. We have programmes that can help all these groups find a real sense of their own self and their place in the community.”
The Ledge is a self-funding charity where customers who can afford to pay do so, and any additional profit goes to support the team’s social impact work. But getting set up and building this world-class climbing centre was a financial mountain to climb of its own.
The team got support from other funders. But they needed some additional borrowing as part of their overall funding package, and that’s where S&CC came in.
How S&CC helped
The S&CC team provided the flexible funding needed to build this fantastic climbing centre and make The Ledge’s community project a reality.
As their Chief Financial Officer, Alasdair Lawton, put it:
“The loan from S&CC made this whole thing possible. We’ve managed to build a climbing wall out of what was originally just a plain old retail metal box, and we now have a facility that will be part of the community in Inverness for years to come.”
Now The Ledge can reach out to a whole new generation, share the love of climbing, and provide long term mentoring for vulnerable young people. They’re helping people from all backgrounds find a sense of belonging and social purpose. Through the shared challenge of climbing, they’re giving them the confidence to discover their goals and find the next crucial footholds to get them there.
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About Social and Community Capital
Social and Community Capital (S&CC) is an independent charity supported by NatWest Group. Our mission is to help social enterprises to make a difference in communities up and down the UK. We do this by providing flexible finance and wider support to groups who might otherwise struggle to get funding.