This year’s results were revealed on 5 December at the Third Annual RBS SE100 Awards. The RBS SE100 Index is designed to forge a better understanding of the many pioneering organisations engaged in enterprise for a social purpose. The index looks at the growth and impact of a wide spectrum of social businesses.
MP Nick Hurd presented the award and said “I’d like to congratulate Social adVentures on receiving the Growth Champion award and for all their hard work in the past year in getting into the RBS SE100 index. It’s fantastic to see a social enterprise winning this award that is also a Public Service Mutual. Social AdVentures demonstrates how employee-led social enterprises have a key role to play in the way Public Services will be delivered in the future”
Social adVentures is a wellbeing social enterprise jointly owned by service users, staff and local people whose aim is to inspire people to lead happier and healthier lives. With a wide portfolio of services they specialise in public health and social care contract delivery alongside social businesses such as garden centres, managed workspace and community cafes.
The team who work with some of the communities most hard to reach groups left the NHS under the government Right to Request Programme to becoming one of the countries ground breaking public sectors mutual.
As a guaranteed social enterprise with the Social Enterprise Mark, the team have the freedom to create and develop services in the way that they want, without having to go through a long and involved decision making process, as well as accessing different funding streams.
One example, is Garden Needs, a commercial garden centre which is jointly owned by Social adVentures and Mind in Salford. The links between horticulture and mental health are well known, so when the opportunity to buy the centre became available in 2009, both were eager to invest. The scheme offers clients with complex health needs, such as depression and anxiety, the chance to spend the day in the fresh air, honing their gardening skills.
Social adVentures has also been able to rapidly yet sustainably increase the turnover of the organisation through a range of income streams. Nearly 40 per cent of their income now comes from outside the NHS.
They have also generated a financial surplus, which has been invested into new services for the local community. One such programme has been the development of a crisis management counselling service to support clients to be mentally resilient in the current economic climate.
Scott Darraugh, CEO of Social adventures said “I am honoured and delighted to be recognised alongside the countries best social businesses. The growth and resilience of the social enterprise sector in tough economic teams is testament to the enthusiasm, passion and endeavour of these organisations. This shows how ready people are for a new way for doing business where society rather than shareholders profit”.