Family Fund Business Services has helped deliver essential goods and services to over 500,000 people in need across the country during the Covid-19 pandemic, the company has announced in its end of year figures.

Working in partnership with trusted suppliers, Family Fund Business Services (FFBS) has supported its customers to deliver £41.5 million of grant-awarded goods and services to those facing hardship in 2020/21.

FFBS is a leading UK business-to-business fulfilment and grant administration service. It works with charities, local authorities, housing providers and other organisations to deliver practical support to people in need. Through its supplier relationships, FFBS provides easy access to thousands of essential products from washing machines and furniture to food and energy vouchers.

The impact of Covid-19 on people across the UK was reflected in the rise in FFBS’ order volumes across the year, with spikes correlating to key events during the pandemic such as lockdown measures being brought in and the closures of non-essential shops and schools. Overall, customer spend increased by 85% as local authority and charity clients worked with FFBS to deliver much-needed support to people impacted by furlough schemes, job losses and the absence of school meals.

Kay Latcham from Durham County Council says: “In what has been a difficult 12 months, FFBS has helped us greatly in being able to help our most vulnerable customers.”

The effect of the pandemic on those facing new or increased hardship was further demonstrated in the unprecedented rise in orders for particular essential services FFBS provides. Year on year, FFBS experienced a 111% increase in orders of energy vouchers, a 143% increase in cash awards and a staggering 3,168% increase in food vouchers.

Malcolm Shaw, Grant Officer for Help for Heroes, one of FFBS’ customers, adds: “The support with food vouchers to the beneficiaries of our service charity has been exceptional.”

As well as streamlining clients’ procurement and grant administration processes, FFBS shares supplier discounts it receives from its fulfilment partners with customers as rebates, extending their funding to support even more people facing hardship. In 2020/21, FFBS returned £328,000 to customers in rebates, helping an additional 3,980 households*.

Over £6 million donated to charity

FFBS was established in 2013 as a social value organisation to generate additional, unrestricted funding for its parent charity Family Fund. FFBS donates all of its profits to Family Fund, strengthening the financial position of the charity and increasing the diversity of its funding sources, supporting it to help even more families raising disabled children. In 2020/21, FFBS generated a profit of £1.82 million, its largest yet and the second consecutive year it has made over £1 million. This means that, since launching in 2013, FFBS has donated over £6 million to Family Fund.

The donated profit from FFBS is used by Family Fund to improve its service to families, secure wider funding to try to meet increasing levels of need, and provide additional grant support to disabled children and their families across the UK.

Jill Wheeler, Family Fund Business Services

Jill Wheeler, Managing Director of FFBS, says,

“This has been an incredibly busy and challenging year for FFBS and our partners as we delivered unparalleled levels of support to those most in need. At FFBS, we pride ourselves on putting the beneficiaries at the heart of everything we do. This focus certainly underpinned our work over the past year, setting the direction of all of our decisions so that we could best-support vulnerable people across the UK. This approach is mirrored by our suppliers, meaning that we have been able to work together to overcome the challenges Covid-19 has posed and continue to deliver our essential services to customers, together.”

“Our provision of food vouchers to support the Government’s free school meal vouchers scheme saw us support customers to deliver over £7 million of supermarket vouchers to 185,000 households. With food insecurity and the added difficulties of accessing food during lockdown, our solution has helped so many people put meals on the table and this is something which the FFBS team feels incredibly honoured to help deliver.”

“I am proud of the FFBS team for the hard work and dedication to continue to provide our customers with an exceptional service during this time. From negotiating with suppliers, operating our Helpdesk service, supporting customers and welcoming new clients, everyone has gone over and above to deliver for our partners and help those most affected by the impact of the pandemic.”

“The culmination of all of this work not only supports our customers to help those facing hardship, but has generated our biggest donation to Family Fund since our launch which will make such a difference to the support we deliver as a group.”