Harrogate Skills 4 Living Centre: supporting adults with learning disabilities

Harrogate Skills 4 Living Centre (HS4LC) provides a range of support and development opportunities for adults with learning disabilities and autism. The charity received a Charity Bank loan to enable it to restructure its finances.

Chief Executive Hadyn Moorby-Davies explains how this helped the charity to make significant savings and continue its ongoing development.

Hs4Lc Learning Disabilities

“HS4LC originally started life as ‘The Junction’, set up in 1994 as a signposting service for adults with learning disabilities coming out of long-stay hospitals. It soon became apparent, however, that there weren’t many services to signpost to and so they began to put on various activities themselves in community centres and church halls across the Harrogate area.

“From there, the charity steadily grew and developed, focusing on offering accredited qualifications to help people gain skills, maintain independent living and develop friendships. In 2011, we were given a grant that allowed us to purchase a permanent base, which enabled the charity to become much more sustainable.

“In 2014 with social investment funding HS4LC was able to purchase two local care homes, which were under threat of folding due to lack of funding, and created thriving, active homes. These assets have been vital to the sustainability of the charity and provide us, our beneficiaries and staff members with security for the future. More recently, we have been able to increase the activities and services on offer in our centre, including developing a gym and running social enterprise activities.”

“The interest rate payments on the original funding were quite high but last year, we were able to restructure these finances and save ourselves a significant sum each year thanks to a new loan from Charity Bank. This is money that can now go back in to the continued development of the charity.”

“I first came across Charity Bank through their work with another charity, Autism Plus. From our early conversations it was clear Charity Bank could offer us a great deal on a loan. Although I did talk to a few other banks, I didn’t need to look too far in the end to realise that Charity Bank was the right choice for us. Seeing all the similar projects and charities that Charity Bank has supported added weight to the decision and it wasn’t difficult to get our Trustees on board.”

“Our relationship with account manager Jeremy Ince was really strong from the start and has only continued to develop. It really feels like a two-way partnership and Jeremy is always interested in how we can work together to help HS4LC continue growing and meeting the broader needs of our beneficiaries.”

“I would say to other charities looking for financial support that it’s simply logical to choose to work with a lender that’s likeminded and understands the way charities work. Alongside this, it’s also great to know that your money is staying within the social sector and helping to do good across the UK.”

Hs4Lc Autism Support Charity