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Prospectus Forth Sector 2012

“Forth Sector has blazed a trail for innovation and enterprise� Antonia Swinson Former CEO of Scottish Social Enterprise Coalition


Contents Executive Summary


Financial Summary


Introduction by the Chief Executive


Social Return








Organisational Strengths


Management Team


Board Experience





Executive Summary •

 orth Sector is a company limited by F guarantee and a charity based in Edinburgh. Formed in 1991, it supports people who are disadvantaged and unable to secure meaningful employment; most have mental health conditions.

Investment of £1.5 million in the form of capital grants has been secured from the Big Lottery and Social Investment Scotland. A further £0.5million in loans has been secured. The balance of funding is being sought.

The organisation operates businesses where clients gain work experience and receive training and support from a professional team. The businesses are St Jude’s Laundry, which holds a Royal Warrant, The Scottish Soapworks, manufacturing quality, hand-made soaps and cosmetics and EES Logos, a specialist embroidery, workwear and gift business.

Investment in production space, facilities, product development, sales, marketing and organisational capacity will double income by 2017.

Projections show that by 20171:

The purpose of investment is to transform the organisation in order to support many more people and ensure sustainability in future.

Capital investment will enable the development of an ‘employability hub’ to house all of Forth Sector’s growing businesses and client support facilities.

A development site in a deprived area of Edinburgh has been identified with an option to purchase from the City of Edinburgh Council at £300,000. Planning permission, all necessary surveys and preliminaries are complete.

An employer’s agent has been appointed and the contract is out to tender.

The cost of development will be £2.3 million and subject to funding, should be complete in the spring of 2013.

- Group annual sales will be £2.9 million.

- Group annual profits will be £274,000.

- The balance sheet will show £2.3 million of net assets

- Cash balances will be £565,000.

The organisation will lose dependency on revenue grants completely by 2013.

The model of employability will be developed further to exploit new market opportunities. It will support a wider range of disadvantaged people, providing workplacement, vocational training and personal development. This will lead more than 500 beneficiaries being supported by 2013, and double this by 2017.

Projected Social Return on Investment (SROI) will be £7.34 for every £1 invested (independent assessment). 1 - Appendix A


Financial Summary

Year to 31 March


















Gross Profit






Operational Costs


Non-recurring Items













(1,675,145) (1,920,961) (2,093,405) (2,275,787)



Fixed Assets






Current Assets






Current Liabilities






Net Current Assets






Long-term Liabilities






Net Assets






Total Reserves







Opening Cash Balances






Cash Inflow/(Outflow):







Capital Expenditure



















Closing Cash Balances








Return on Capital Employed





Introduction by the Chief Executive Stability is a myth. Change is unrelenting; it creeps up imperceptibly or arrives with a bang. There is sense of something profound happening in the economy and in society. At local level there is the same sense. The economic outlook is grimmer than could have been imagined. For charities the surety of grant funding has evaporated with swingeing cuts in public funding. The move to competitive tendering is inexorable. This has already had a profound impact on Forth Sector and indeed, the whole of the third sector.

In order to affect the change, we knew that significant investment would be required. We also knew that investment depended on a viable and robust business-model. We set about producing a strategy fit for the new world we find ourselves in and a business plan which we knew could deliver sustainability. The ensuing years have been very challenging but the tough decisions were made and the organisation is in good shape to embrace the future. The Outlook - Need and Opportunity

In 2008 the collapse of Lehman Brothers set off a chain reaction which continues. Like the rest of the economy at that time, Forth Sector was not in great shape to face the storm, with 60% of its income coming from public funding in the form of grants and a portfolio of seven lossmaking businesses. The Board acted decisively, a new chief executive was appointed, and the organisation set itself the goal of becoming self-sufficient without the need of revenue-funding within five years; a target it is on course to achieve. It also set about transforming the services offered to those it exists to support, disadvantaged people who are a long way from the jobs market; this too is well in hand.


Cold economic reality means that the amount of money available for social care will decline over coming years. This will have most impact on those who are not considered to be in need of a high level of care, yet are not able to move into mainstream employment without considerable help. These people, the majority of whom have mental health conditions, will be even more marginalised by welfare reform. They are our natural constituency and we are well placed to support them, provided we have the capacity to do so. The UK Government’s ongoing strategy of moving people off of benefits into employment has been confounded by the economic crisis which has made it even more difficult to bring

people excluded from mainstream employment into work. In a time of little or no economic growth, ironically the growth market is in ‘employability’. With more than 40,000 claimants of Incapacity Benefits in Edinburgh alone, this is the market opportunity for Forth Sector. Our USP is that we can offer real work placements for real people in real businesses. The gap in the market lies here, because whilst a plethora of organisations offer training and ‘work preparation’ all the evidence is that what really makes the difference to a person’s employability is ‘Individual Placement and Support’ (IPS). IPS relies on providing a real work environment; Forth Sector almost uniquely offers this through its businesses – real, competitive businesses.

“The future has a way of arriving unannounced.” George Will

Investment will ensure our businesses can not only be sustained, but continue to grow and in the process offer many more work-placement opportunities. Securing investment demands a credible business plan. Our plan took the equivalent of five- person-years to produce. The aim was to ensure it was something we and prospective investors could believe in. The plan is hardheaded and commercial, but driven by our need to exist to support others, because we know we can make a difference. Mike Finlayson Chief Executive May 2012


“What helped me to develop? Being treated as a ‘normal’, capable individual in a job.” Social Impact When the new service is in full operation, Forth Sector creates more than £3,000,000 additional social value per year. For every pound of investment in the service £7.34 is returned in social value.


Social Return There is a tendency for charities to simply state that they ‘do good things’ and so deserve to be funded. Outcomes-based contracting invariably fails to capture the real value of charitable activity to beneficiaries or the wider social impact. Surprisingly, many charities have no means of establishing objectively their true impact, value or efficiency. When we reviewed our strategy and started to develop our plans we asked ourselves the hard question “are we adding value?” We even asked the question “should we exist at all?” We couldn’t answer these questions without objective, dispassionate assessment, so we commissioned qualified external agencies to consider the extent of need for our services and to establish the difference we made to the lives of those we exist to benefit and the wider social value we might be creating. Research conducted by the Scottish Development Centre for Mental Health confirmed the nature and extent of need and the lack of provision.

The assessment concluded that as a result of engagement with Forth Sector, beneficiaries were improving their physical and mental health and were better able to cope with their conditions and life in general. It also concluded that they were much more likely to secure meaningful employment. These were tangible benefits to the individuals, their families, their communities and society in general. In terms of wider social value the assessment found that for every £1 invested in the planned development, a monetary return of between £5 and £7 could be anticipated; most of this saving was in reduced costs to the public purse. These are extracts from a very thorough analysis. The full report is available on our website We are confident that we help to transform people’s lives and in the process, create measurable social value.

Establishing the difference we could make to the lives of our beneficiaries and the impact we could expect from our planned investment was carried out in the form of a predictive SROI (social return on investment) audit by consultants EKOS.


Activities Forth Sector is a company limited by

Employability Services

guarantee and a charity based in Edinburgh.

The Division provides professional case-

Formed in 1991 it supports people who for a

management, training and therapeutic support to

variety of reasons are disadvantaged and

clients who face disadvantage and as a

unable to secure meaningful employment;

consequence are excluded from meaningful

many clients have mental health conditions.

work. The team consists of case managers, Occupational Therapists and a training team,

The charity operates businesses where

headed by an experienced manager. The team

beneficiaries are offered work placements to

work closely with the businesses to ensure

gain work experience and receive training and

supportive working environments. They work

support from a professional support team.

with clients to help them meet their personal goals and wherever possible, to move on into

The businesses operate in competitive markets; they provide genuine and challenging work placements. The organisation has a highly competent and experienced Board and Senior Management Team, a strong brand and solid history. It has three operational divisions, Employability Services, Businesses and Forth Sector Development Ltd, a consultancy business.


meaningful employment.


Social Firms Division Under the leadership of a highly experienced manager, the Division operates three commercial businesses where benificiaries take up work placements under the supervision of managers and core staff. Businesses include a commercial Laundry with a 45 year history which holds the Royal Warrant, EES Logos (formerly Edinburgh Embroidery Services) which provides bespoke embroidery work wear and gifts and the Scottish Soap Works, which manufactures gift products and cosmetics. Forth Sector Development Ltd (FSD Ltd) FSD Ltd is a highly successful consultancy business, which Gift-Aids a proportion of profit back to the charity. The business operates on a wholly commercial basis with its own strategy and Board.

“Our primary focus as a charity is to provide employability support to aid the recovery of people with mental health problems. We achieve this, uniquely, by offering placements within our businesses complemented by professional support provided by our Employability Services team. Forth Sector Development is our consultancy arm offering high level business development services.�


Ambitions Our ambition is to support many more people by creating more and better work placement opportunities in sustainable businesses. Larger premises will provide purpose-built accommodation for businesses and support facilities. They will allow increased production capacity and the ability to support many more benificiaries in a suitable environment. This will create considerable economies of scale and energy efficiencies. Sales across Social Firms will double by 2017 through investment in premises, plant and machinery, product development sales and marketing.

Space for the commercial laundry business will double. Significant investment will be made in new, high-capacity, energy-efficient plant and machinery, allowing it to win larger contracts, while gaining economies of scale and lowering running costs. EES Logos will benefit from additional equipment purchased to allow it to widen significantly its product offering. In the process it will adopt an ethical stance, sourcing fairtraded and organic products and raw materials. Sales will more than double by 2017.

The Employability Services Division will develop further its model of employability to exploit new market opportunities by tendering for contracts and subcontracts. It will support more clients claiming Incapacity Benefit, Employment Support Allowance and JobSeekers Allowance and a wider range of disadvantaged people and carry out training for work. This will lead to more than 500 clients being supported by 2013.

This pennant, above, embroidered by Edinburgh Embroidery Services, commissioned by Edinburgh University, travelled with Nasa astronaut Piers Sellers on the Space Shuttle Atlantis in May 2010.



The Scottish Soap Works will exploit newly identified channels of distribution and develop a new offering to double its turnover. Increased production space will be made available, new production equipment installed and a fulfilment facility built into the new premises. It will trade ethically.

Forth Sector Development Ltd will develop with a new Board and strategy. It will exploit Forth Sector’s substantial intellectual capital

and new market opportunities which arise from the need for the third sector to trade.


Strategy Our business strategy is to invest in capacity, growth, and people. There is a huge demand for what we do. Need is increasing and ‘employability’ is the market opportunity. The aim is to support many more people and to support them better. Everything else is secondary to this. Just two objectives guide us: •T  o create real work environments in which our service users and our staff can flourish. •T  o create a sustainable business model. Creating real work environments requires careful consideration of the type of business we operate and the work conditions in that business. It is important for our clients that they experience challenging but supportive work environments in credible, competitive businesses. This creates the essential challenge and tension, which aids recovery, increases self-esteem and prepares people for real work. Our aim is to develop these environments.


If we are to support more people we need to create more work placement opportunities; this means bigger businesses offering a wider choice of opportunities. It also means creating sustainable businesses, which are not dependent on grant-funding. Our strategy therefore is to grow the existing portfolio of businesses through investment in more space, efficient plant and equipment, product development, sales and marketing, and especially people. Detailed plans reflect this. We expect to at least double turnover in existing businesses by 2017 and possibly acquire new or existing businesses as well.


Until recently, Forth Sector had largely been dependent on grant-funding. While funds were readily available and authorities had the will and means to fund activities, this model was viable. This is no longer the case. Funds are drying up and what funding there is will be packaged and put out to competitive tender. ESF funding, which Forth Sector has benefitted from for some years, will disappear from 2013. By growing businesses, and making the Employability Services Division a profit-centre able to tender for contracts, we will lose dependency on any form of grantfunding.

Transforming Forth Sector will require larger premises and all of the paraphernalia of business development, but the transformation depends largely on the ability to transform thinking and competency. For this reason we are investing in building organisational capacity and competency through recruitment and the training and development of existing staff.

17 13

St Jude’s Laundry Part of the Forth Sector Group

By Appointment to Her Majesty the Queen St Jude’s Laundry Launderers, Edinburgh



Organisational Strengths Our strengths lay in our purpose, our approach

deliver a social aim. The individual benefits,

and our people

society benefits. What we do creates social capital, has demonstrable social value and is

Our purpose is to support people excluded


from mainstream employment. We do this by providing real work placements in real,

Forth Sector has a strong brand in the social

competitive businesses, backed up with

enterprise and the employability markets.

training and personal support. We have been

Forth Sector Development Ltd, our

doing this for nearly two decades and we are

consultancy business, exploits our knowledge,

good at it, but are always seeking out new

skills and experience commercially and for the

ways to become even better.

benefit of others, adding social value.

There is an explosion of need for what we do

Forth Sector is a well-managed, efficient and

from increasing numbers of people who face

effective organisation. Our people are

exclusion from meaningful employment, and

experienced professionals in business,

growing demand from government, local

employment and care, who have chosen to

authorities and others to provide these

use their skills and experience for a social

services, efficiently and effectively.


We are clear that work is good for wellbeing, but not just any work, it must be challenging and meaningful; it must support wellbeing not undermine it. This is what we provide. Our approach is very different from other organisations; Forth Sector is no ordinary charity and no ordinary business. We unashamedly use the tools of business to


Management Team Mike Finlayson

Susan Mclaughlin

Chief Executive

Director of Employability Services

Mike’s early career was in retailing as Store

Susan started work as a charge nurse in

Director for one of the country’s leading chains

elderly assessment; then for the Social Work

and then Operations Director of a department

Department, to set up one of the early

store group. Mike has worked in business

community based support services for people

development in the UK with SME’s and

who had severe and enduring mental health

corporates. He has managed two venture

illnesses. Susan developed a similar service for

capital funds. In latter years he has worked

Edinburgh Association for Mental Health.

mainly in the third sector but with the occasional sojourn back to the business world.

Susan also managed a care home for people with dementia and a housing support service

Mike has held a number of voluntary and paid

for people with mental health illnesses and

positions in the third sector, including Retail

learning disabilities. Susan then worked for a

Advisor to Oxfam, Director of Community

housing association, managing their care

Business Scotland, Employee Ownership

homes and developing systems and policies for

Scotland and the UK Cooperative Council. He

the housing support services.

was Director of Development for RNIB and a Director and co-founder of ‘Out of This World’,

Susan is a qualified SEN, RMN, has a Diploma

the UK’s first chain of ethical supermarkets. He

in Nursing Studies, and an MBA.

has advised a number of ‘blue-chip’ companies on corporate social responsibility In 2001 Mike established the charity Teacher Support Scotland, and helped to establish similar organisations in the UK and USA. He led major research projects into workplace wellbeing and mental health and employability with the Universities of Glasgow and Cardiff. Mike has a post-graduate qualification in counselling and management supervision. He is a Fellow of the RSA. He joined Forth Sector as Chief Executive in 2008.


Management Team

Steve Baxter

Jeremy Devlin-Thorp

Director of Development

Finance Director

Steve has undertaken a number of business

Jeremy Devlin-Thorp is a CA and was

development roles, including sales and

appointed by the Board of Forth Sector in

marketing management, export and distributor

August 2009 to work with the Chief Executive

sales management, and the establishment of

on the financial transformation of the

new business.


He has most experience in the health and

Jeremy has 33 years experience as a finance

social care sector, negotiating the supply of

director and business advisor, and has worked

equipment and services to third sector care

for a number of major commercial companies

providers, the NHS and local authority social

as well as running his own business in the

services and education departments. Prior to

field of business and personal growth. Jeremy

working in Forth Sector he provided

brings a key blend of commercial control

consultancy and training services for a

together with an understanding of the third

number of third sector care providers and

sector to guide Forth Sector to its next level of

local authorities in Scotland and the north


of England. He joined Forth Sector in 2009.


Management Team Susan Duncan

Dr Iain Grieve

Head of Finance and Administration

Managing Director (designate) of Forth

Susan Duncan is Head of Finance and

Sector Development, Ltd

Administration for Forth Sector. Prior to that she

Iain trained as an engineer and has a BSc in

worked for Orkney Health Board as Accounts

mechanical engineering. His early career was

Manager. She has recently completed her

with UNISYS as a consultant and senior design

Association of Accounting Technician

quality engineer and then took up posts at

qualification and is a member of

Napier and Heriot Watt Universities. His career

the association.

developed into commerce where he has held a number of senior posts, including Deputy Managing Director of Napier University

Andrew Johnston

Ventures Ltd and Director of Development for

Sales Manager

Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce.

Andrew’s early career was in retailing with Currys and then Asda, which provided him with

Iain has extensive experience of European

solid experience of sales and marketing.

funding and is a former Chair of the Eastern Scotland European Partnership. He was a

From retail management, Andrew moved into

member of Finance and Commercialisation sub-

business to business selling in the tough and

committee of Napier University Court and

highly competitive security industry. As a

member of the Industrial Advisory Board of the

Business Development Manager, he gained

Institute of Informatics and Digital Innovation,

direct experience of contract negotiation and

Edinburgh Napier University.

building and developing customer relationships. Andrew has worked for a number of blue chip

Iain is a former Director of Napier University

businesses, including G4S, The Mitie Group

Ventures Limited and Microemissive Displays

and Initial Group. He has also worked with

Limited. In recent years he has run his own

smaller businesses advising on sales

consultancy business, advising and supporting

development and marketing.

a number of business clients, including Forth Sector.

Andrew is a Fellow of the Institute of Sales and Marketing Management and a Member of the

Iain will be joining Forth Sector Development

Chartered Institute of Insurance.

Ltd as Managing Director.


Board Experience

Board Experience John Duncan

Bill Howat

John Duncan has been the Chair of Forth

Bill is the Chair of Forth Sector Development

Sector since 2007 and a board member since

Ltd and a Director of Forth Sector.

2001. John is a qualified chartered accountant

Bill has been an academic, civil servant and

and has worked in accountancy firms in

Chief Executive of a Scottish local authority.

Scotland, London and Hong Kong. John has

He has in-depth knowledge of the theories

experience within the voluntary sector as

and practice of public finance; considerable

Financial Controller of Maggie’s Centre and

experience of European matters; and has

then as Director of the English Speaking

been closely involved in the development of

Union Scotland.

Best Value in Scotland. Since retiring, his experience and skills have

Craig Russell

been in great demand, advising on the 2007

Craig was former Deputy Director for

Government Spending Review, acting as an

Efficiency and Transformational Government

independent adviser on Reform of Local

Division at the Scottish Government, which

Government in NI and leading a team of

includes responsibility for shared services,

independent experts that reviewed the budget

benchmarking, Public Sector ICT Policy,

performance of the Scottish Executive -

Identity and Privacy Policy e-Care and GIS.

‘Choices for a Purpose’ (The Howat Review).

Previous posts have included responsibilities for the Year 2000 Compliance programme,

Bill is a member and former Chair of SOLACE

and the Management of Change, Efficiency

(Society of Local Authority Chief Executives)

Planning and Performance Management

and President of Volunteer Development


Scotland. He has an MSc in Economics and a

Craig joined Forth Sector’s board in 2009.

BA (Hons) in Economics and Econometrics.

He is the Vice-Chair.


Board Experience Roy Durie Roy Durie has had a long career specialising in the sale and valuation of public and industrial property. A Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and a member of the British Institute for Management, Roy has worked for the Ministry of Defence and many health boards among other clients in the public property sector. Roy has been a board member of Forth Sector since 2006.

Ian Stevenson With a degree in Computer Science and Engineering, Ian has worked in a range of businesses, most recently working on applications to telecommunications providers based on a proprietary platform technology. During 2009 Ian participated in the prestigious Saltire Fellowship, which included a placement with Sun Microsystems in Silicon Valley. Ian is currently in a marketing role with a Scottish technology company. Ian has been on the board since 2009.


Kate Storrow Kate Storrow is Employment and Learning Services Manager for RNIB, a post she has held since 2000. Kate manages teams in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow who help over 60 blind and partially sighted people a year into jobs and help to retain over 100 jobs. Kate is also involved in the design and delivery of the ÂŁ2.5 million Employment and Learning Centre at Jewel and Esk College through RNIB. Kate joined Forth Sector in 2009.

Mike Harland Mike Harland is an independent consultant with over 36 years of experience in social work, housing and social policy development with local and central government, NGOs and Civil Society - both in the UK and Eastern Europe. Currently, Mike is working in China developing a sustainable enterprise programme. He joined the board in 1991.

Board Experience

Alison Meiklejohn Alison Meiklejohn is Occupational Manager for Royal Edinburgh Associated Services and Edinburgh Community Partnership. She has worked in the field of mental health since 1985. In 1990 Alison became Head Occupational Therapist for In-Patient Rehabilitation Services, a role that expanded to include specialist services, acute psychiatry, older people, children and adolescent mental health, physical disablities and, in particular vocational rehabilitation. It is through vocational rehabilitation that Forth Sector first came to Alison’s attention. She joined the board in 2006

Professor Juliet Cheetham OBE Juliet has worked in probation and after care and mental health services in England and Scotland. Juliet has also taught social work and medical students at Oxford University and spent some years as a researcher. She returned to Scotland to set up the Social Work Research Centre at Stirling University to undertake evaluation of the effectiveness of social work services. Juliet was the Social Work Commissioner with the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland and now works for the Social Work Inspection Agency, as well as being a General Member for Mental Health Tribunals.

Andy Hunter Andy Hunter founded Edinburgh Community Trust (later to become Forth Sector) in 1981 with a group of like-minded trustees. For many years Andy worked for Garvald Edinburgh, a charity providing day, accommodation and support services for adults with disabilities.

She became a board member in 2006.


Why Invest? “Angry?

“Am I still angry?

Too true I’m angry. How would you feel if you were

Yes, but with myself mostly, and sad but in a different

thrown on the scrap (heap) at 38; treated like a no-

way from when you asked me before. Anyway, the

one just because you cracked up?

time in <deleted> has been good, very good. I know I was pretty grim when I started,

Five years ago. (I) haven’t worked since. (My)

can’t think why <deleted> put up with me. Don’t get

marriage broke up, lost my house, my car, my

me wrong, I’m grateful and all that (but) the work is a

holidays, my kids, my friends, my self-respect. (I)

bit low-level for me to be truthful. Anyway, the reason

have a pretty shitty life; Angry? yeah I’m angry, sad,

I wanted to speak to you is I’m off back to college, so

depressed, pissed off, tired, bitter and scared if you

I’ll be leaving you. They need plumbers, well heating

want to know the truth. I wonder why I get up,

engineers really, and I want to work for Scottish Gas.

sometimes I don’t; sometimes I don’t want to wake

The training’s good and the money would be

up, ever again. Ever.


The guys at the Social (the ‘social’ listen to me!), tell

So it’s a fond farewell and well, thanks, for everything,

me I’m fit to work, I have to make the effort, and if I

really. You guys have been good. I might be back, but

don’t (my) benefits go down the Swanee. Half of

I hope not (nothing personal like).”

nothing is nothing. You know, Catch 22. If you could work you would but because you haven’t worked for five years and they think you’re mental you don’t get a job; check-mate; stuffed, screwed, finito, problemo. Why did I crack up? Mind your own business.”

We offer a sound investment, but figures cannot fully convey the true value to Callum, and the thousands we have supported in the past like him, and the thousands we will support in future with your help.

For information on Forth Sector, to view the full business plan, or for any enquiries on investing, please contact Mike Finlayson:T: 0131 659 4737


Alternatively write to: Mike Finlayson, Forth Sector, SPACE, 11 Harewood Road, Edinburgh EH16 4NT. Design by Forth Sector Design.

Forth Sector Prospectus 2012  
Forth Sector Prospectus 2012  

Prospectus of Forth Sector organisation 2012