KLAS Care, led by Lesley Compston, is one of four businesses nominated for Community Champion of the Year in the ROCCO awards run by Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce. The winners will be announced at a glittering awards ceremony hosted by comedian Fred McAulay on Friday 17 November at the Normandy Hotel in Renfrew.
Set up in 2010 by Lesley Compston and Kirsty MacKenzie in response to a severe lack of local affordable childcare in their home town of Linwood, KLAS Care became a social enterprise in 2014. Growing demand from parents saw the opening of a second venue at a primary school in Johnstone.
KLAS Care aims to reduce the amount of families living in poverty in Renfrewshire through the provision of affordable and flexible childcare enabling parents to access education, training or employment. It delivers additional social benefits by reinvesting profits in subsidising fees for low-income families, allowing inclusive access to the service, and providing accredited training to volunteers.
Lesley was selected to join LaunchMe, Scotland’s only social enterprise accelerator programme, earlier this year. Delivered by Firstport and funded by the Big Lottery, LaunchMe supports social enterprises to scale up by getting them investment ready and connecting them with investors looking for social as well as financial returns.
KLAS Care recently secured a £40,000 loan from the Asda Community Capital Fund which they will use to help convert and renovate new premises which they have just recently acquired.
The new building, a disused janitor’s lodging in the grounds of East Fulton Primary School, will allow them to provide daytime child care, as well as afterschool care, and offer much needed activity space for local charities and community groups.
Lesley said: “We are delighted to be shortlisted for the ROCCO awards and also to receive funding from the Asda Community Capital Fund through Social Investment Scotland. The support we have received from SIS and from Firstport, who are helping us to secure further investment, has been vital for us to progress with our refurbishment plans and achieve our aim of bringing more childcare spaces and much needed community space to the area.”
For further information please contact Carol Stewart or Jess Gray, Firstport communications team, on 0131 558 2724 or 07944 060322
- LaunchMe was launched in 2014 and is delivered by Firstport, Scotland’s social enterprise development agency. Firstport provides free business advice and financial support to individuals who want to start a business which will help people and communities.
- A social enterprise is a trading concern that operates in the business place, but places social or environmental aims at the core of its ethos. For example, it could work with disadvantaged volunteers on placement, collect materials for recycling or aim to improve the health of the community. Profits are typically reinvested back into the business to grow the social or environmental aims.
- Social investment refers to repayable finance that is intended to stimulate both financial and social returns.
- LaunchMe is an initiative of the Big Lottery Fund, designed to grow the social investment market in Scotland, and is also supported by the Scottish Government.