A record year for Family Fund Business Services

York-based Family Fund Business Services has raised a transformational £1.18 million to support families raising disabled children in 2019/20 – the highest amount since the company was launched in 2013.

Family Fund Business Services (FFBS) is the UK’s leading business-to-business fulfilment service, with over 45 years of grant administration expertise. It provides a unique model that offers unrivalled value while supporting charities, local authorities, housing providers and other commercial organisations.

The record amount is due to the company’s unique business model which means that all profits are donated to the charity Family Fund as unrestricted funds which, in turn, enables the charity to support even more UK families with disabled or seriously ill children.

FFBS Managing Director Jill Wheeler explains: “This has been an incredibly busy and challenging year for FFBS and our partners, many of who have seen unprecedented need for support. Firstly following the floods that devastated so many homes across the country earlier this year, and then the Coronavirus outbreak, which has seen many people requiring urgent help to just get by.

“I am proud of the whole team for their hard work to ensure we have continued to provide our partners with the service they need to help their beneficiaries with fast, practical support. We use the combined purchasing power of our customers to secure the best possible prices and support packages with suppliers so by partnering with FFBS, organisations can access a well-established network of trusted retailers to quickly and efficiently deliver thousands of essential items to those in need.

“When FFBS was launched in 2013, the ambition was always to both share social value by providing an ethical fulfilment service, and to provide vital funding to Family Fund. To have broken the £1 million barrier is a considerable achievement and I know it will make a big difference to the support Family Fund is able to provide to families raising disabled children.”

FFBS’ rebate model allows them to help even more people in need. Family Fund Business Services give customers reimbursements which they can then invest back into their hardship and crisis schemes, meaning that even more people can access grants when they need support. In total, an additional 1,668 households were supported across all of their customers in 2019/20*.

They calculated the number of extra households that could have been helped from the total rebates customers received. This is based on the average customer spend per grant award.

Crisis support services

The end of the 2019/20 financial year comes after an exceptionally busy time for Family Fund Business Services (FFBS).

FFBS facilitates the delivery of Welsh Government’s Discretionary Assistance Fund (DAF) that provides two types of grants. Its Emergency Assistance Payment helps people with essential costs after a disaster or emergency and its Individual Assistance Payments help people live independently rather than enter or remain in an institution such as a care home or hospital.

In February 2020 two major storms – Storm Dennis and Storm Ciara – caused significant flooding across Wales with over 2,000 residential properties affected directly. FFBS worked with their partner Northgate Public Services, alongside Welsh Government to set up a new emergency flood-assistance scheme (granting those impacted £500 if were insured and £1,000 if they were uninsured) that was agreed and launched across Wales within days of the floods. FFBS collaborated with Local Authority Recovery Teams and Northgate Public Services to ensure a grant delivery time of just 24 hours so that those in need received help quickly.

Since the Coronavirus outbreak, FFBS has been supporting its Local Authority, Social Housing and Charity customers to deliver even more vital services than usual to those in need, including food and clothing vouchers, fridges, cookers and energy vouchers. Now, more than ever, it is important to ensure those in hardship don’t live without essential items, food and basic utilities.

FFBS has also helped organisations set up brand new hardship funds in the last eight weeks to ensure help is given to those who need it the most. It has seen a significant increase in spend across two of its main services since the start of March with a 95% increase in cash and energy voucher awards overall and a 3,800% increase in food vouchers, reflecting the way in which FFBS is helping customers support even more people during the pandemic. The need for extra support is expected to continue for some weeks as the country continues lockdown measures.