Royal Society for Blind Children: thriving under difficult circumstances

When COVID-19 hit, the Royal Society for Blind Children (RSBC) feared it would have to cut back services. Instead, with the support of a loan it increased its reach by 40%.

Social Problem

There are over 35,000 blind and partially sighted children and young people living in England and Wales. Many families feel overwhelmed after receiving a sight loss diagnosis.

Solution

In 2017, two leading charities working with blind and partially sighted people joined forces to form the Royal Society for Blind Children (RSBC). Dedicated to making sure no child grows up to be poor or lonely just because they are blind, the charity provides support, learning and development opportunities to help them build resilience and skills to fulfil their potential.

RSBC thumbnail

Learning and development opportunities for blind and partially sighted young people © iStock

Loan

As the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic came to light, RSBC worked out it was likely to lose around 20% of its income, equating to £1 million. Through hard work, it was able to half that gap but the remaining shortfall combined with liquidity issues meant a loan was needed.

Working with Charity Bank, RSBC secured a loan of £250,000 as part of the Resilience and Recovery Loan Fund (RRLF), offered by Social Investment Business (SIB). This enabled the charity to complete a reform of how it operates, moving costly and reach-limiting face-to-face services online which will allow the organisation to evolve to a blended service post COVID.

Impact

At a time when the charity feared the need to downsize and cut back, it was instead able to expand its reach by 40% thereby increasing impact per pound delivered.

“Once again, Charity Bank comes to the rescue. The application, approval and acceptance processes were seamless. Friendly experts were there along the journey to support the organisation when required. It is very comforting to know that you have an understanding friend in your corner when you need it most.”

- Dr. Tom Pey, Group Chief Executive, Royal Society for Blind Children

About Charity Bank

Charity Bank is the loans and savings bank owned by and committed to supporting the social sector. Since 2002, we have used our savers’ money to make more than 1,000 loans totalling over £300m to housing, education, social care, community and other social purpose organisations.

Find out more about us here.

Nothing in this article constitutes an invitation to engage in investment activity nor is it advice or a recommendation and professional advice should be taken before any course of action is pursued.

Social Investment Business (SIB) is the lender of RRLF and makes the ultimate lending decision. RRLF is not appropriate for all organisations and eligibility criteria applies. Borrowers remain 100% liable for the debt. For further information on RRLF, visit charitybank.org/RRLF.