Published: October 17, 2014
As part of our WCVA loan scheme, Valleys Kids refinanced the purchase of a disused building – now known as The Factory – creating a dynamic training hub for young people in media and music enterprises, in addition to maintaining the music venue and bringing in community and family support programmes.
The charity bought the venue with a £395,000 loan from Unity to consolidate existing loans and save vital funds.
Now thousands of young people gain real work experience with bands, TV producers and others at The Factory, every year. Many of the young people have used, or are at risk of using, alcohol or drugs to escape difficult lives. There are also kids, family and parenting groups, homework clubs and art projects for vulnerable families.
“We engage with the community and they engage with us,” says Elise Stewart, business development manager at the charity. “Many of the families are disaffected or marginalised; they volunteer with us, come to our job club to identify their own skills, boost their self confidence, set up their own business and social enterprises and much more.
Richard Morgan, Funding Manager, says bringing the vision to life hasn’t been easy: “It’s not been the best times to start a project like this; times are tough and every penny counts. We are grateful for the savings we’re making through Unity,” he says.
“We already banked with Unity and knew that they were much easier to deal with than a normal bank, but we were pleasantly surprised by the interest rates. The loan saves us about £12,000 a year and will allow our funds to stretch even further.”