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Organisation:Spraoi agus SpórtCharity Reg no. :200771051. Tell us about the issue(s) this social enterprise is tackling and why it's important
2. How does the social enterprise go about tackling these issues?
- Why was the social enterprise set up? What is it trying to change or do? Why is it important to do this? In 2010, friends Helen Nolan, Ailbhe Hickey, Louise Grant, Helen Doherty and Kathleen Gallagher were young mums in Donegal who were desperately in need of a social outlet, as were many of their friends. We dreamt of a family hub and in June 2010, we made that dream a reality. Taking over the lease of a local retail unit, we set up S&S to address the lack of activities for young families. S&S has in response to community need, evolved to include teenagers and adults with a broad range of activities, opportunities, and services. From 10 families to start we now cater to 2,000 families and have 15 staff in full and part time roles. We innovate to meet need – seen in our pandemic response- Project Cineál.
3. Tell us about a case where the social enterprise has made a positive difference.
- Explain your social enterprise 's approach to solving the issues you identified in your previous answer. If it has had to alter its activities in response to COVID-19, how did it do this?S&S was created by the families in the community to meet the needs of families in the community. We have done this effectively for nearly ten years through listening to what people need and quickly adapting to provide it. Our response to Covid-19 showed our model to capture what the community needs and quickly respond to it. Due to Covid, S&S were forced to stop all face-to-face services and within a week we had designed and delivered Project Cineál. Project Cineál involved: - A helpline providing contact and practical assistance – 898 calls - Inishowen Food Bank established providing healthy food parcels – 50 families - Delivering classes for children and teenagers with a disability and/or autism – 293 hours - Producing PPE using our digital fabrication lab- 1,000 visors
4. What has the overall impact of this work been and how do you measure it?
- This is your chance to talk about impact in qualitative terms. Provide a case study to illustrate the impact of the social enterprise’s work. We will accept anonymous case studies if you need to protect the identity of a service user or individuals under 18 years of age. You can include a quote or endorsement if you wish.Cathy has four children. When her third child Lucy was one year old, she was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. That same year, 2010, Spraoi opened and Cathy’s cousin, with a child Lucy’s age, brought her along. Cathy was a bit reluctant as the needs of Lucy were more complex than the rest of the group. On talking to Helen, she suggested starting a group for children with special needs. Before then there was nothing. The activities made sure nobody was excluded, so Lucy and her older brothers could all attend the groups, camps, go on days away. Cathy met other parents, whom she would never have met without Spraoi. S&S showed her how Lucy could have a full future. Sharing information and experiences, being involved in others’ lives reduced the isolation Cathy was feeling. ‘It was nice to know you weren’t the only one going through it.’ From the first encounter with S&S we listened to what Cathy and her family needed and we delivered.
5. What is your social enterprise’s approach to earning income?
- How would you describe the overall impact of your organisation’s work? What measures do you use to know if you have been successful at achieving your goals? How do you know what to improve or change in your work? Please include as much evidence as possible to demonstrate your impact.In the summer of 2020, S&S were successful in their application to have Trinity MBA Students take them on as a Social Enterprise Project as part of their course. S&S tasked the MBA students with measuring their influence in the community and providing them with the tools and frameworks on how to continue this measurement on an on-going basis. It was concluded, S&S needed qualitative and quantitative data to measure our efforts. Therefore, impact was measured through a survey completed by over 300 services users as well as 12 stakeholder interviews. A summary of S&S impact is as follows: - 96% of the respondents said that the S&S has made a positive impact on the rural regeneration in and around Carndonagh - 87% of the respondents said that either there is no alternative available in the region or S&S offers better services than the ones available. - 92% of the respondents said that they feel a part of the community through the activities offered by the S&S. - 90% of the respondents said that the activities had a positive impact on their overall well-being. Direct quotes from interviews: - “S&S is a hub of happiness” - “There is nothing S&S don’t do well”
6. How does your organisation grow its customer base?
- How does your social enterprise earn income? What have you done to maximise the contribution that earned income can make towards the cost of your service? How does this approach differentiate your work from other approaches?S&S was set up in the middle of the last recession and we knew from the outset that in order for S&S to survive we would need to be sustainable. Our approach of using Public and Private funding together with traded income and fundraised income has ensured our sustainability for the last 10 years and will ensure our sustainability for the next 10 years too. We generate traded income by charging for services. We fundraise to provide support for our children and teenagers with a disability. We have a Charity Shop Fadó and now sell online using Thriftify, proceeds are reinvested in our services. We ensure our services operate to capacity thereby contributing to our overall costs, we believe we have a robust model which works well and which could be replicated across the country.
7. How can the public support your work?
- Describe the marketing and sales techniques and strategies you put in place to attract and retain customers to purchase goods or services from your organisation.Our strategies: - Word of Mouth - Print Media - community newsletters, local newspapers - Radio - interviews on Highland Radio - Social Media - Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn - Website - SMS (2,000 numbers) - Email (1,800 addresses) The main way we communicate is through Facebook, we create posts and video clips of what we are promoting and post them there. We have almost 4,000 followers on the page and each post typically generates a lot of interest. From experience, word of mouth works best for us, people recommending to their friends and family that they should use our services. In 10 years we have grown from 3 activities weekly with 20 participants to 60 classes weekly with over 700 participants. Connecting People, Changing Lives. Every Day.
8. Describe how your organisation is transparent and accountable
- Do you need volunteers? Do you fundraise? Can the public share your story? Give them a call to action.Public support has been paramount to the success of S&S to date and we encourage people to get involved in many ways. Get Involved ● In our consultations ● Complete our surveys ● Give us your suggestions and feedback ● Complete a grant form ● Provide Corporate Sponsorship Volunteer ● In our Charity Shop Fadó ● For the GAISCE Awards ● For the John Paul II Awards ● TY work experience ● College placements Fundraise ● Donate clothes, shoes etc to our charity shop Fadó ● Donate online ● Organise a fund-raiser on our behalf Support us ● Attend our workshops and events ● Follow us on Social Media and raise our profile ● Word of Mouth – Tell people about us Our office door is always open for anyone wishing to donate their time and expertise. We are blessed to have such great support.
- For example, do you publish your annual accounts online? Are you compliant with the Charities Regulator's Charities Governance Code? Do you use the Charities Regulator’s Fundraising Principles?S&S is a Company Limited by Guarantee and a Registered Charity aligned with the Charities Regulatory Authority. A voluntary Board of 7 Directors who meet monthly and who have extensive experience and expertise across a wide number of fields ensure our social enterprise is governed in a professional capacity. The board has considerable skills and expertise across the fields of finance, education, disability, early years, family support, culinary, human resources and psychology. These skills are clearly aligned to and support the core services provided by the organisation. We are members of The Wheel and the Donegal PPN. Our annual accounts are published annually on our website.