|Fund:||Business Support in Scotland|
|How the money was used:||
Hear Me was founded in 2013, in recognition of a gap in provision, providing an outreach service for survivors of recent or historical sexual abuse (men, women and children) in the Angus area.
The counsellors do the travel, to a place of convenience to the client. Unlike many other similar services, they do not limit the length of time for a referral, but offer an open-ended service to better meet the needs of their clients. As well as counselling services for adults, they also support young people from the age of 8 through 1:1 counselling support and group sessions to overcome emotional challenges and express issues of concern, in order to better their wellbeing and confidence.
How we helped
There was no doubt that Hear Me was valued and appreciated local support service for a vulnerable cohort. They had no core funding, and instead relied upon grant income from one source or another. The service they offered was very much tailored to the needs of the individual.
The focus of the business support was to look at how the organisation could get itself onto a firmer financial footing, and move away from being totally grant dependent to operating more as a social enterprise. We therefore helped Hear Me to look at what services they could offer on the open market, as well as looking at reducing their costs, contracting, and donations and legacies.
During the discussions, we also identified a knowledge gap in finance, both within the staff team and the board, and so we looked at ways of improving this. Some issues around employment also surfaced, in terms of how to deal with employment contracts and associated legal requirements.
What was the outcome?
Hear Me quickly took on board the social enterprise concept and identified income-generating products that they could offer. The applied for some funding to get these products off the ground, and while they were not successful in their application, they are continuing to progress. They are also moving forward with registering for GiftAid in order to maximise the income they get from donations.
Upon our suggestion, Hear Me contacted some other third sector organisations to see if they had any capacity within their finance teams to take a part-time financial management contract. One of the organisations they already had good links with was able to offer them a support contract.
We provided Hear Me with information on contracting opportunities and what to look for and where. We also made them aware of employment regulations so that the Board was properly informed about any action they would need to take and when, should the funding for the paid posts come to an end.
"Impact Hub Inverness were a great support. Helped us recognise that what we were already doing was great work. They put together a very succinct report of recommendations which was helpful particularly around the potential for us to operate more like a social enterprise for future sustainability. Thank you!"