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Case Studies

 

Credit unions and community finance

GRE Consulting has established an excellent reputation of successfully working with a number of credit unions, contributing to the development of the sector within the South East and London. We have worked directly with credit unions on all aspects of their feasibility, development and business operations.

 

Credit union feasibility studies:

 

Case studies:

 

Wandsworth Feasibility Study (January 2010 – April 2010)
GRE Consulting won a competitive tendering process to deliver this two stage feasibility study that will develop the case for establishing a credit union within Wandsworth and identify the most appropriate development options. The work included a stakeholder consultation exercise with 20 organisations and undertaking a series of focus groups with potential consumer groups.

 

Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea Feasibility Study (August 2009 – October 2009)

Octavia Foundation commissioned GRE Consulting to produce two separate feasibility studies for the options of developing credit union services in both Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea. This covered evidence of need, options appraisal, key benefits, consultation exercise of over 20 local stakeholders in each area, delivery infrastructure, five-year financial projections and development plans.

 

Hertfordshire Feasibility Study (May 2007 – November 2007)

Commissioned in to produce a detailed feasibility study for a brand new steering group in Hertfordshire. The work concentrated on establishing local need/demand, potential support amongst key agencies and organisations, the financial requirements and viability, service delivery and the options for creating a single credit union that covers the whole county, linking with existing credit unions.

 

Development of new credit unions:

 

Case studies:

 

Kensington and Chelsea Credit Union (March 2010 – Present)

Responsible for the implementation of the development work to extend the existing services of a neighbouring credit union into the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. This includes the establishment of a development partnership and implementing a fundraising strategy to secured over £520,000 of development and operational funding.

 

HertSavers Credit Union (November 2007 - June 2009)

Following the success of the feasibility study, GRE Consulting were retained to take forward the development phase and implement the key findings. Work has included securing over £200,000 of funding, expansion of involved partner organisations, steering group members and the development of a new brand identity. This has led to the submission to the FSA of a proposed expansion of the existing Hatfield Credit Union to create one of the country’s largest common bonds, covering Hertfordshire.

 

Surrey Save Credit Union (October 2008 – June 2009)

Engaged to provide overall supervisory guidance during the initial stages of the development of a new credit union service in Surrey. 

 

Camden Plus Credit Union Ltd (July 2006 – May 2008)

Commissioned to produce its pre-launch action plan and specifically, deliver the recruitment of their new CU Manager. GRE Consulting were also responsible for the successful submission of a £400,000 application to Camden Council, securing and implementing contracts with a number of major payroll deduction providers in Camden and to developing partnerships with key local housing associations. The Credit Union successfully launched in October 2007.

 

Hammersmith and Fulham Credit Union (May 2007 – September 2007)

Employed by Notting Hill Housing to successfully undertake preparation work and submission of the FSA application, including production of their final business plan, financial projections, fundraising strategy and completion of policy and procedures manual. This resulted in their successful FSA authorisation in March 2008.

 

Hackney Credit Union (January 2004 – April 2006)

This two-year contract was secured to develop and legally establish a new borough-wide credit union for everyone in Hackney.

 

Strategic prioritising and planning:

 

Case studies:

 

Lambeth Savings and Credit Union (August 2008 – September 2008)

Employed to undertake to identify opportunities for the local credit union to deliver key social and economic priorities in Lambeth, including a business planning exercise and consultation with the Board and staff together with local stakeholders.

 


 

Financial inclusion

GRE Consulting has become established as one of the leading firms working in this increasingly important policy area. Be it research studies, consultation, policy advice or strategic development, we have developed a comprehensive understanding and successful track record within this field.

 

Case studies:

 

Innisfree Housing Association (June 2009 – September 2009)
Commissioned to review its existing financial inclusion and rent arrears activities and then produce an overall strategy for this Irish-led housing association.


SPH Housing (June 2008 – March 2009)
Selected to undertake a comprehensive survey to identify the scale of financial exclusion amongst its 7,000 tenants and staff. The work included telephone surveys with 250 tenants and a series of in-depth focus groups. A detailed Financial Inclusion Strategy for the association was produced, with over 50 activities and projects to improve their tenants’ financial wellbeing.


Islington and Shoreditch Housing Association (February 2007 – February 2008)
Engaged to produce and implement a two-year detailed Financial Inclusion Strategy across the organisation and review resident involvement activities to increase levels of participation.


Hackney Council (September 2006 – December 2006)
Employed to undertake a Financial Exclusion Evidence Base to investigate the extent of financial exclusion in the borough and the mapping of current service provision aimed at tackling the problem. It identified current gaps in relation to levels of need/demand as well as providing key recommendations for improvements and new initiatives. The final report provided an evidence base to secure additional resources and the framework for the financial inclusion strategy for Hackney.

 


 

Social enterprise and community development

With an array of community development and social enterprise experience behind it,
GRE Consulting is ideally placed to support the diverse needs of a range of social projects and businesses.

 

Case studies:

 

Merton Council (October 2010 – November 2010)
Completed a community asset review considering the future options for the sustainability opportunities of Vestry Hall - a Council owned and managed asset.


Octavia Housing (May 2010 – June 2004)
Undertook a Community Audit of North Kensington to support the preparation of an application by Octavia Housing to deliver affordable housing scheme.
The audit presented the socio-demographic profile of the local area as well as establishing the current community infrastructure, identify key gaps in community provision and the benefits that the scheme would deliver

 

Merton Council (October 2009 – April 2010)

In order to develop a healthy environment for the social enterprise sector in Merton, the Council commissioned GRE Consulting to map local social enterprise provision, survey local organisations and facilitate a consultation process with local and regional stakeholders.

 

RegenSchool London (June 2004 – September 2004)

This development role looked to support the establishment of a RegenSchool programme in London. This nationally acclaimed training programme offered residents apprenticeships in regeneration and community development. The project involved financial management, steering group development and assisting with the production of the business plan.

 

 

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