Golden Lane Housing (GLH), Mencap’s housing arm is a nominated finalist in the Charity Times Awards 2015 for the GLH Retail Charity Bond, issued in July last year.
The Bond was the first ever charity bond to be listed on the London Stock Exchange and raised £11 million, closing early and heavily oversubscribed after less than two weeks. It was issued through the Retail Charity Bonds platform, created by Allia in association with Canaccord Genuity to raise unsecured loan finance for charities.
The money raised through the Bond is enabling Golden Lane Housing to invest in much-needed housing for people with a learning disability who are currently living in housing that does not meet their needs.
Among the people who have benefited from the Retail Charity Bond include Vicky (pictured above with her parents), who was able to move into a specially adapted bungalow.
Her parents Steven and June explain: “The beauty of GLH is they took on all our concerns about Vicky and her bedroom. They agreed to convert the garage into her front bedroom. The day they told us we were beaming. She loves her room! There are two lovely big windows so she can people watch, she finds it relaxing and it’s the first thing she does when she gets home.”
Alastair Graham, director of GLH, said: “Having the right home and environment is important to everyone. With the money raised from the bond we are making this a reality for over 100 people with a learning disability in 30 houses and bungalows across the country. So far 24 fantastic properties have been bought or are in conveyancing providing specially adapted homes for 89 people with a learning disability in an area of their choice supported by Mencap. We have got a pipeline which will buy the remaining properties during the summer. These will be home to people with a learning disability for generations to come.”
Tim Jones, chief executive of Allia commented: “Allia created the Retail Charity Bonds platform to provide charities with a new source of loan finance to enable them to deliver their mission. So we are really delighted that the first bond issued by the platform for Golden Lane Housing has been shortlisted for Social Investment Initiative of the year. It’s a great recognition of the innovation and effort behind the creation of Retail Charity Bonds, and we look forward to seeing many more charities benefitting from the platform.
All the winners will be announced at the Charity Times Awards ceremony which will take place on 7 October at the prestigious Park Plaza, Westminster Bridge, London.