Company update, Family Fund Business Services
This time last year we were sharing the incredible news of the impact of the team’s work in 2020/21, during which they helped customers help over half a million households. Once again, the last year has been the busiest in our history, culminating in us delivering vital support to more people than ever before.
Working in partnership with our trusted suppliers, FFBS has supported customers to deliver £76.8 million of grant-awarded items to over 700,000 households. This represents an 85% increase in clients’ overall grant spend year-on-year, demonstrating the financial struggle people across the country have continued to face over the last year.
This is the second consecutive year that FFBS has seen such increases in order volumes, reflecting the longer-lasting impact of the pandemic and other factors that have increased hardship, such as the energy crisis. FFBS’ customers support some of the most vulnerable households in the UK, a large proportion of whom have faced increased hardship over the last two years.
Phil Henderson, Director of FFBS says: “Never has our mission, to work in partnership to help our customers help others, felt more important. In the midst of crises that have disproportionately impacted people already struggling financially, I am immensely proud of how the team has shown its passion to deliver timely support to those who need it most. Everyone at FFBS has shown their determination to deliver this essential work, no matter the challenges we, our suppliers and customers have faced.
In the course of helping our customers’ beneficiaries, our work during the last year generated over £2.8 million for our parent charity Family Fund, as our profits are gifted to the charity as unrestricted funding, which is set to be our biggest donation to Family Fund yet. Through our customer and supplier partnerships, we have generated over £9 million for the charity since we launched in 2013. It is heartening to know that our collective work has helped provide much-needed support to so many people in need.”
A business customers can trust to deliver
We deliver flexible, efficient solutions for our customers. The range of goods and services available through FFBS, our exceptional relationships with suppliers, and our online ordering Portal enables them to easily set up new schemes for both existing and new clients in a matter of days. This means that much-needed support in the shape of vital items such as fridges, beds and cash awards can be distributed without delay to those living without life’s essentials. One order through FFBS from a customer can efficiently deliver thousands of items to multiple households in need.
FFBS’ Head of Client Relationships Mary Alcock, says: “In an incredible first year with the business, I have seen first-hand just how much the team cares and how the end-beneficiary really is at the heart of all of the decisions we make. Whether it’s our range, processes or suppliers, we always consider the potential impact on the people our clients support and the type of help they need.
Our clients’ trust in FFBS has been demonstrated by them coming to us, without hesitation, for help distributing their additional Covid-19 and Household Support Funds. Because we have clearly shown that we understand how their organisations work and what their beneficiaries and tenants need, and how much easier we make it to get help to those in need, they come back to us whenever they need further assistance.”
We are really proud that, despite the unprecedented demand for our services, our 2022 Customer Survey showed high levels of customer satisfaction, with clients rating us highly for saving their organisations time and money, which in turn means they can help more people in need
FFBS customer Rachel Barley from Doncaster County Council, said: “The service we receive from FFBS is very efficient. As they liaise with suppliers and rectify any issues raised by our customers, our process is much simpler and less time consuming.”
An evolving range to meet beneficiaries’ needs
As well as delivering the largest volume of orders in the business’ history, FFBS worked with Sainsbury’s to bring a new grocery voucher to market in February 2022 to diversify its range and support clients to help people facing financial hardship across the UK.
Family Fund Business Services was the first procurement partner to provide the Sainsbury’s grocery eGift card to customers. Unlike other supermarket vouchers, the Sainsbury’s Grocery eGift card is ‘locked down’, meaning that it can only be used by a recipient to buy the voucher can only be spent on food, household goods and toiletries from a Sainsbury’s store.
This key feature will provide the grant giving organisations with the assurance that the eGift cards they award to the most vulnerable beneficiaries will be used as intended.
Phil Henderson, Director of FFBS, says: “Over the last couple of years we have seen a big change in the type of support we have helped our customers to deliver. The provision of food vouchers has become even more important to our clients and the number we have distributed in partnership with our suppliers has increased year-on-year. In the last year alone, FFBS has helped customers distribute £8 million in supermarket vouchers, helping 221,000 households keep food on the table*.
“As a business, we are committed to supporting our customers to deliver the right help at the right time to those who need it most, therefore reviewing and refining our range of products and services is key. We are delighted to have been offered the opportunity to provide clients with the Sainsbury’s grocery-only eVoucher, which is the first of its kind in the UK. This is an invaluable addition to our portfolio of support and is proving extremely popular with our local authority customers.” “With increasing financial insecurity [PH4] and the added difficulties of accessing food during the pandemic, our solutions have helped so many people put meals on the table. This is something we feel incredibly passionate about and the FFBS team is committed to continuing to deliver this type of support.”