Place Category: Business Services
Community Benefits Group CIC is a membership organisation that exists to support communities, independent living, financial and social inclusion through the provision of Member Benefits. Using cloud technology, we provide a centralised administration and IT platform that supports a UK wide network of Branches, bringing Community Benefits Group CIC membership into the heart of communities.
Any trusted individual or organisation can become part of our network and Community Benefits Group CIC membership is open to all individuals, businesses, students and U16’s. Member Benefits fall into the categories of:
- Financial Inclusion
- Individual & Social
- Business & Community
- Health & Wellbeing
These include managed accounts (for those needing help managing their money), the Disability Directory (a free website for all listing services and events available across the UK) loans (for energy efficient improvements, cars, debt consolidation etc) payroll and auto-enrolment services, debt management advice, IT services, business advice and much more…
We aim to increase the Member Benefits available and extend our reach across the UK by linking with individuals and communities, charities and other social enterprises, youth groups and social clubs, colleges and universities and businesses looking to engage with their corporate social responsibility.
Social Impact Statements:
Social Impact Statements
The Social Enterprise Mark criteria includes a requirement that the applicant can demonstrate that social and/or environmental objectives are being achieved.
In support of this, new applicants and renewing Mark holders must submit Social Impact Statements that summarise their headline activities and achievements, helping show how they are striving to make a difference and stand up to scrutiny of purpose as a social enterprise.
1) Provision of the DotComUnity Disability Directory
The DotComUnity Disability Directory is a free to use, online, web service specifically designed to provide information on the products, services, activities and events available in the community across the UK.
The Disability Directory was created by ‘The Care Division’, a Poole based learning disability care provider in 2008, as a website directory to help clients, carers, families and service providers quickly and simply access the products and services they needed in Dorset and Hampshire to support their everyday lives. In September 2008 after 3-months of operation, The Care Division decided to set up the directory as a social enterprise in its own right due to its success, and rolled out the service across the UK.
Anyone can use the DotComUnity Disability Directory to find the products and services they need, view the Calendar to find out what’s on and when and use the search to find what they need anywhere in the UK - helping people to help themselves.
Additionally, if you register as a DotComUnity Volunteer, then it’s FREE to contribute and you can recommend new providers and services and promote community activities and events. Also, as feedback is vital for the continuous improvement of the DotComUnity Disability Directory you can log in to use the simple 5 star rating system and leave feedback, tell others about your experience of a product, service, activity or event.
2) Provision of managed accounts for disadvantaged individuals
Through a trusted partner, we provide managed accounts to over 150 individuals either because of limited capacity (mental impairment) or financial incapability.
Following the creation of the Disability Directory, it became increasingly clear that finance and even basic bank account provision was a big and growing problem for many disabled people with the contraction of benefits and drive towards Personal Budgets, Direct Payments and Universal Credit. It became evident that not only disabled people struggled with banking and that financial exclusion and debt was widespread. To address this problem, DotComUnity Centres was formed in August 2012 and sought to secure banking and loan facilities for these client groups.
These accounts are either:-
- Self-managed accounts (using envelopes to ensure vital bills and liabilities are met)
- Fully-managed accounts (where agreed bills and liabilities are controlled centrally)
- House Accounts (where those in shared accommodation have a central account to pay bills – either managed or self-managed)
Currently we provide (through our trusted partner) self-managed and fully managed accounts for a range of people including those:-
- In social housing
- Looked after by carers
- In residential homes
- In supported housing
- Looked after by Local Authorities
3) Provision of loans to disadvantaged individuals
Through a trusted partner, loans have been provided to those who could not ordinarily access low cost finance and would resort to doorstep or high interest lenders.
Loans have been provided for the following purposes:-
- Greener Loans (boilers, heating systems, insulation etc.)
- Rent Deposits (78 individuals and families were assisted to secure accommodation in a Dorset wide partnership scheme)
Greener loans have assisted those to replace or install energy efficient systems into their homes thereby providing warmer homes and cutting fuel bills.
The Dorset non-priority rent deposit Housing Scheme helped 78 individuals and families (that were homeless or ‘sofa-surfing’) to access secure accommodation in the private rented sector by providing loans to fund their deposit and rent in advance. Managed accounts were set up to ensure that rent and loans were repaid and this scheme led to not only safe and secure housing but also employment and getting lives back on track. This scheme, supported by eight Dorset LAs encapsulates what DotComUnity is about, helping those that need help and support.