FCS Associates

Lasting Differences CIC

Client: Lasting Differences CIC
Sector: Community Interest Company
Service: Business Support Services and Grant Applications
Results: Successful Grant Applications and Business Support

The Company
Lasting Differences is a Community Interest Company, Limited by Guarantee and has been incorporated since July 2015. Their mission is to support individuals in the community gain self-confidence, esteem and worth to develop their lives fruitfully so that they can lead a productive, more fulfilled life; whether that be on a personal or professional scale.

About the support from FCS
Here’s an explanation of the support received by FCS Associates as described by the client:

“Since the initial telephone conversation in December 2015, Andy put us at our ease and offered support above and beyond what we expected. As an organisation in December 2015 that contemplated the fate of the business for the New Year, we were desperate for someone to come along side us and guide us with small steps to achieve what we are now beginning to achieve. Fundraising was one of our biggest fears – having spent several days of gruelling work, applying for, in total, 6 separate bids we finally managed to secure one, but knew in order to survive, we needed some help – we simply couldn’t just put all our time and effort into these bids for little, or no return. So Andy came to visit in January 2016. He was extremely professional, approachable and passionate about wanting to help businesses like ours succeed. We discussed the many ways in which he could extend his support and he enabled us to focus our attention on some of the major points that we had overlooked which could no longer be avoided. What was overwhelming to us was broken down into SMART targets and his encouragement, belief and confidence in us and our business is still what drives us forward today. If someone, like Andy, with as much experience in supporting businesses as he has, could see what it was we were trying to achieve and help us turn our dreams into a reality then surely our business was worth fighting for.

So, months on, we are still being supported by Andy with thanks to the funding available through Sheffield City Region and are beginning to find our feet, make links and apply for bids that have much more substance behind them. Thanks to Andy, we have been able to begin taking a small wage since February 2016…long may it continue”.

Results
Lasting Differences have seen many benefits of working with FCS Associates:

• A £10k ‘Awards for all’ grant has been successfully secured. This has provided a valuable contribution towards the costs associated with providing outreach support to people furthest from the job market.
• Lasting Differences now have the confidence and knowledge to write their own bids. A £10k Coalfield Regeneration Trust bid has been written by Lasting Differences themselves but for extra re-assurance was pre-screened by FCS prior to submission.
• This newfound confidence and knowledge has allowed Lasting Differences to begin planning for future growth and they are now working with FCS to apply for a £100k ‘Reaching communities’ grant. FCS are approved business advisors on the Sheffield City Region Growth Hub and their support is covered by this scheme.

We would definitely recommend Andy Sorsby of FCS Associates and the services of Sheffield City Region and D2N2 to other companies, whether these companies are just starting out or are needing a fresh perspective on moving their business forward

Managing Directors, Lasting Differences CIC

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