Third Sector Awards 2015 Social Investment Award - Winner: Golden Lane Housing

Awarded to a charity or social enterprise that has raised money through social investments, such as bond issues, loans or social investment tax relief, to maintain or expand its work

First charity bond listed on the London Stock Exchange
First charity bond listed on the London Stock Exchange

What does the charity do?

Golden Lane Housing was established in 1998 by the charity Mencap to provide appropriate housing for people with learning disabilities. A severe shortage of social housing means that only 16 per cent of people with learning disabilities live in supported housing in the community. However, reductions in government grants in recent years meant GLH was struggling to raise the money required to buy and adapt properties.

What did it do?

The housing provider issued the first charity bond listed on the London Stock Exchange. Through the Retail Charity Bond, it sought to raise £11m to buy and adapt houses for people with learning disabilities, while providing investors with an annual yield of 4.375 per cent. The money was raised in eight days. The bond was created in partnership with Allia, a charity that supports social ventures, and the wealth management firm Cannaccord Genuity. Its success has encouraged other charities to raise money this way, opening up a new way of funding for the sector.

How will the money be used?

The money raised by GLH will enable more than 100 people to live independently in 30 homes by next year. So far, 89 people with learning disabilities have either moved or are planning to move into 24 properties that have been specially adapted to meet their current and future care and support needs.

What did the judges say?

Joe Youle, chief executive of Missing People, said: "It was an innovative and effective idea that has helped people desperately in need."


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Charity property: could you be entitled to a huge VAT saving?

Charity property: could you be entitled to a huge VAT saving?

Partner Content: Presented By Markel

When a property is being constructed, VAT is charged at the standard rate. But if you're a charity, health body, educational institution, housing association or finance house, the work may well fall into a category that justifies zero-rating - and you could make a massive saving

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