Triodos Corporate Finance has raised £2 million of investment for learning disability charity Thera Trust (‘Thera’). The capital raised will be used in part to acquire and adapt properties for people with a learning disability and complex needs. Thera is a national charity which has operated for 17 years and has an annual turnover of £53 million. The charity provides support for 1,800 people across England and Scotland.
Dan Hird, head of Corporate Finance at Triodos Bank, comments: “We are delighted to have raised the full £2 million for Thera to help them provide homes for some of the most vulnerable people in our society. We are particularly pleased to see investment from over 200 individual investors and also from a mainstream financial investor like the Rathbone Ethical Bond Fund.”
Many people supported by Thera live independently in the community in long-term rented accommodation owned by Thera or by registered housing associations. This type of stable, and in many cases bespoke, accommodation plays a vital role in enabling an individual to lead an independent life in their local community. Thera began providing homes for people with a learning disability and complex needs in 2010 and today owns properties for over 60 of its beneficiaries through its charitable property company, Forward Housing. Increased provision of adapted housing remains a key part of Thera’s future strategy.
Backed by institutional and individual investors
The £2m of investment comes from: over 200 individual investors, the City of London Corporation Social Investment Fund, the Rathbone Ethical Bond Fund and the Big Society Capital Charity Bond Support Fund. The investment comprised a £2m 5.5% five year bond.
Social investments are gaining momentum in the UK. Significant steps have been taken towards promoting greater retail investor participation and offerings.
Tim Wilson, Principal Grants and Social Investment Officer at the City of London Corporation Social Investment Fund, comments: “The City of London Corporation’s Social Investment Fund is delighted to support Thera’s work. Thera’s residential work for adults with learning disabilities is highly regarded, and we look forward to learning how funds raised through this bond programme have been used to improve outcomes for the charity’s clients”
The social impact of Thera is broader than just individuals and reaches into their communities, but the ones benefitting most from this bond issue are Thera’s beneficiaries. One of them is Steven:
“I visited the house a few times before I moved in and Thera’s staff talked with me and my parents about everything that was going on. Before I decided to move in, I had to think about living on my own because I had not done this before. I really like the house and it is close to my family home. I share my house with Tim and David. I have a nice room that looks out on to my garden.”