Roy Hipkiss and Damien Mead, Co-directors, Credo Care, Kent
Roy Hipkiss, a social worker, and clergyman Damien Mead established Credo Care in response to the need for intensive foster care services for children and young people with complex problems, including physical disabilities and learning difficulties. From the outset, their ethos was to provide social care services in an ethical and responsible manner, re-investing any surplus income back into the agency.
One of the first barriers to overcome was gaining the confidence of potential Local Authority partners. Credo Care had to work hard to convince these contacts that they were creating a serious and ethical basis on which the agency could build its reputation.
Roy and Damian then encountered the usual problems in trying to convince potential funders of the excellent long-term prospects of their agency:
"We explored the conventional sources of business start-up funding but realised quite soon that it wasn't going to work," said Roy. "Having invested our own funds, but needing more, we approached High Street Banks. Unfortunately, they had inflexible criteria and because they neither understood what we were trying to do our shared our vision, they were unable to be of much help. If we couldn't tick the right boxes, we couldn't get the result". "The bank then proposed factoring as an option, but we didn't want to commit such a large percentage of our income to factoring, with its associated costs"
Credo Care then discovered Resource Partners, through an advertorial in Community Care Magazine.
"It seemed, quite literally, to be the answer to our prayers!" enthuses Damien. "And when we met the Resource Partners team we straightaway felt that here, at last, were people who could understand what we were trying to achieve and had the imagination to help us find a solution to our cash flow problem."
With the help of Resource Partners, Credo Care is now establishing itself in several local authority areas as a provider of high quality foster services to children with very special needs.
"Resource Partners has helped us realise our hopes for Credo Care," says Roy. "From the outset we believed that agency income belongs to the people it serves; the children, the carers, the authorities and ultimately the council tax payer. By using Resource Partners we can ensure that we minimize the amount of money we need to spend to keep the day-to-day finances of our agency on an even keel"