Doncaster Council’s Local Assistance Scheme (LAS) is designed to help vulnerable residents by meeting an immediate short-term need or helping them to maintain their independence in the community. Support can be given with daily living expenses and/or furniture items and white goods. Items such as cookers, washing machines, beds and bedding help residents remain, or move back into the community, after a period in supported or temporary accommodation.
Like any Local Authority, the pressures of reduced budgets are extreme, however Doncaster Council are dedicated to providing support for those residents across their community who are living in poverty and crisis.
Prior to working with FFBS, Doncaster worked with a third party who delivered an end to end grant administration and fulfilment service. However, Doncaster felt that the scheme could be better administered at a local level in order to deliver a targeted service and thereby extend the funding as far as possible. This in house delivery model, also ensured that the council was able to retain local jobs, knowledge, and expertise. Whilst Doncaster were able to manage and administer the funds within an established department, they had no mechanism to fulfil grant awards.
Family Fund Business Services’ grant fulfilment service offers thousands of essential items, which can be delivered and installed; quickly and efficiently in beneficiary’s homes. Grant awarded goods can be ordered online using our bespoke procurement portal, which means only one supplier contract and one monthly consolidated invoice, providing a fast and effective service, reducing the administrative burden.
By partnering with FFBS, Doncaster Council has made considerable administrative savings and benefited from our one-stop-shop approach to grant fulfilment. Furthermore we have been able to share our supplier discounts with Doncaster, so their money goes further, helping an additional 30 households during 2019/20.
Due to FFBS’ purchasing power, which ensures the best possible prices and support packages, FFBS are able to secure supplier discounts, a proportion of which are gifted back to customers as a rebate.
Doncaster Council has chosen to reinvest their cash rebate back into their grant fund. This means they are able to support an additional 25-30 households every year, adding further value to their welfare assistance scheme.
Marian Bolton, Head of Benefits and Revenues, said: “The budget is limited so any savings are welcome. Helping additional households has a huge impact on our mission to help the most vulnerable in society.”
In addition to extending their funding, Doncaster Council find the financial reporting tools which FFBS provide through the online portal vital in helping them better manage their service. The Fund Management service provided by FFBS, which includes regular updates on spend, helps to ensure that their funding is fully monitored and maximised.
Doncaster Council report that the beneficiaries of their fund are delighted with the speed of delivery and quality of products; and Doncaster Council is confident that they are getting both value for money and a professional service. The fact that FFBS provides installation as standard, with all white goods, gives piece of mind that all products are installed safely at the point of delivery. Finally, our dedicated helpdesk provides Doncaster Council with fast and efficient customer service, ensuring all orders reach beneficiaries quickly.
Marian Bolton says: “FFBS bring such a wide range of services, including quick and efficient service. The helpdesk is always so informative and we have such a quick turnaround with the tickets that we raise. We always feel that we can come to you for support.”
Doncaster Council highly recommend Family Fund Business Services to other grant giving organisations due to the bespoke, consultative, advice FFBS offered during the set-up of the fund. FFBS not only guided the council through the process, but also eliminated the need to contract with multiple suppliers and any necessary ongoing supplier management.
Growing social value
Social Value is an important part of Doncaster Council’s procurement criteria. Working with FFBS ensures that social value remains at the heart of their supply chain. FFBS’ ethos is to create mutually beneficial partnerships, giving back to customers via excellent service and product rebate, whilst supporting their parent charity Family Fund with gifted profit.
Marian Bolton says: “FFBS are a key player in the success of our Local Assistance Scheme, and offer a great partnership’ to local authorities.”
From pre-payment cards to white goods, we make procuring and distributing practical support to households easy. Find out how we can help your organisation save time and money by getting in touch at email@example.com.