New initiative to improve social outcomes in Liverpool launches today
A new initiative to support the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise sector in the Liverpool City Region has launched this week. Capacity, the Public Services Lab, is an incubator and accelerator that supports local social sector organisations to take a more central role in delivering public services.
The Public Services Lab is a joint venture between Catch22, Interserve, Big Society Capital, and Clubfinance. The project won Big Society Capital’s Business Impact Challenge which sought to encourage and support proposals from the private sector to establish ‘social businesses’ that would deliver a positive social impact whilst simultaneously operating along commercially sustainable principles.
Capacity is based in the Cunard Building, but works all over Liverpool City Region. It launched today, with a reception with attendees including Simon Bowers (Vice Chair & Clinical Director, Liverpool CCG), Chris Wright (Chief Executive, Catch 22) and Yvonne Thomas (Executive Board Member, Interserve). Capacity is already working with Transforming Choice, a local substance misuse rehabilitation facility, building its ability to deliver contracts. Transforming Choice delivers an outstanding 12 week detox programme with 75% success rate compared to a national rate of 63%.
Capacity is already winning attention for Liverpool. It was recently awarded ‘Innovative New Idea’ at the 2016 Finance for the Future Awards. The award celebrates the year’s most innovative new idea with the potential to have a tangible impact on society, in line with the United Nation’s Global Goals for Sustainable Development.
Chief Executive Chris Catterall joined from Liverpool charity The Reader where he was Director of Enterprise. Chair Christopher Graham recently completed a seven year term as Information Commissioner and is currently Vice-President of the Council of Liverpool University.
Chris Catterall, Chief Executive of Capacity, commented on the launch: “Charities are closing every day, living hand to mouth, barely collaborating or sharing. We have women leaving prisons in tents, yet vacant properties throughout the city.
“We believe that the money and the expertise exists in Liverpool to fix these problems. We have social investment, charitable money and public sector money swirling around social problems, yet no co-ordination between the three. We have the ambition that by 2022, 50% of VCSE organisations will be delivering public services, a 40% increase.
“Our ambition is to dramatically improve social outcomes in Liverpool by bringing investors, commissioners, service users, providers and community members together to rethink and reimagine how we deliver services.”