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23rd July 2020

NPIF & CBILS provides silver lining for psychology specialists

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Northern Powerhouse Investment FundSheffield City Region LEPNPIF - BEF & FFE Microfinance

A Matlock-based clinical psychology services specialist, which has helped local authorities to save more than a million pounds to date has received a six figure investment, jointly funded by Finance For Enterprise and BEF & FFE Microfinance, which is part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund to roll out its life-changing work across the UK.

At a time when LifePsychol faced the prospect of furloughing some of its workforce due to the impact of Coronavirus, the £152,000 of loan funding, backed by the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), has enabled the business to adapt to a changing business environment as well as providing the financial support to continue the company’s unique research.

Founded in 2011 by Dr Miriam Silver, LifePsychol has developed a new approach designed to improve the life chances of children living in care, whilst crucially helping local authorities and NHS providers make significant cost savings.

The Coronavirus pandemic threatened to disrupt LifePsychol’s pioneering programme, at a time when the associated mental health issues and emotional distress caused by lockdown measures would add further burdens to already over-stretched resources. At that stage, Dr Silver approached Finance For Enterprise for help.

Working with experienced investment manager Tim Daniels, a finance package was put together, backed by the British Business Banks  CBILS. The support provided has helped the business to invest in new technology to support secure video consultations, as well as continuing to invest in the development of its BERRI platform, making it directly available to parents and carers.

Such has been the success of LifePsychol’s work that Dr Silver has presented her findings to a Government Select Committee and specialists at the Department for Education. She firmly believes her pioneering work can ultimately transform care for vulnerable children and help local authorities to make cost savings in excess of £100 million per annum – approximately a tenth of the UK’s social care budget.

Dr Miriam Silver, Director, LifePsychol said:  “The impact of Coronavirus has forced us to review many of our working practices and placed a question mark over whether we could continue key elements of our work, I approached Finance For Enterprise to see whether my business would be eligible for financial support. At a time when I thought it would have been inevitable for us to furlough staff and scale back some of our operations, we have been able to continue developing our BERRI programme enabling us to roll out our work across the UK.

“Demand for mental health services has risen sharply in recent years, yet with many services already stretched, it can lead to people facing lengthy delays in receiving support.

“Our work could bring about significant changes in the way mental health support is delivered, potentially helping to improve the life chances of some of the most vulnerable members of society, whilst also reducing significant cost pressures on local authorities and NHS providers.

Tim Daniels, Senior Investment Manager, Finance For Enterprise said: “The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme was created to help businesses directly impacted by the pandemic to adapt and evolve. As a result of the funding we have provided LifePsychol has been able to successfully adapt its business model, ensuring it can maintain delivery of its core services, whilst also continuing its unique research.

“At the same time, the services provided by LifePsychol are not only helping to give some of the most vulnerable members of society an opportunity to receive vital help and support as they enter adulthood, but the ongoing research work could help to bring about significant changes to the way in which mental health services are delivered across the UK.”

Finance For Enterprise provides a range of tailored loans up to £250,000, aimed at supporting SMEs throughout Yorkshire & The Humber and the North Midlands. The company is a delivery partner for the British Business Bank-backed Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and acts as fund manager for the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund and Start Up Loans UK.

Mark Wilcockson, Senior Manager at British Business Bank  said:  “Investment in businesses such as LifePsychol exemplifies the work that NPIF is doing across the North of England. By supporting businesses with the funds to continue operating in this difficult time, we are ensuring the delivery of vital service that will improve lives and make huge potential cost savings in the public sector. Vital investments such as this will help to create a more prosperous economy for the future, Northern businesses will play a key role in achieving that goal.

The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.

Business Enterprise Fund is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN: 726237)

Donbac Limited t/a Finance For Enterprise are Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority under FRN 718612. Information Commissioner Office Registered Z153621X

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