|How the money was used:||
BeyondAutism knew they needed to expand. In January 2010 they raised £425,000 in charitable donations before approaching us to help purchase and redevelop their school site at Wandsworth Common, West London.
BeyondAutism is a charity dedicated to empowering people with autism to lead fuller lives through positive educational experiences, training for the people who work with them and support for their families and carers.
BeyondAutism was established in 2000 by a group of parents dissatisfied by the non-existence of specialist education resources for children and young people with an autism spectrum disorder. Originally the school operated out of a small outbuilding in the playground of a mainstream primary school with just four pupils but by 2010 they needed to finance the purchase and redevelopment of a school site.
How we helped
In 2010 they received a loan of £2,018,500 from the Futurebuilders England fund to complete the purchase. Futurebuilders was launched in 2003 to provide loan financing to voluntary and community sector organisations in England to help them bid for, win and deliver public service contracts. The fund provided £145m of capital to 369 organisations between 2004 and 2010.
The Wandsworth Common site, The Rainbow School, gives children and young people with autism an education which enables them achieve their full potential, providing each pupil with a personalised curriculum and one-to-one support.
What was the outcome?
Since receiving the loan the school now delivers transformative education to 68 students from 16 Local Authorities across London. The charity has also created new jobs, growing its staff numbers from 30 to 120, and its annual turnover has substantially risen.
“The investment was vital as it enabled us to grow our school from its original size and increase the age range of our pupil intake.”
“It is extremely important for BeyondAutism to access finance of £250k plus to enable us to grow to meet the demand for places in our schools. As the sums involved are so huge it is not possible to raise funds to do this through charitable donations alone.”
Karen Sorab, Chair of Trustees, BeyondAutism
In 2014 the school was able to fundraise a further £570,000 to complete the Phase II works at their Wandsworth Common site. This meant that the school was able to be equipped with a multipurpose hall, shower block and space for a library.
In 2015 they were able to complete further fundraising to kit out the library and a soft play and sensory interaction suite.
The school is now well set for the future and in 2016 BeyondAutism released their 5 year strategy “Empowering People: Launching Lives”.