Social Investment Scotland cheers helping more than 1 million Scots

SIS chief executive Alastair Davis (left) with chairman Nick Kuenssberg. Picture: contributed.
SIS chief executive Alastair Davis (left) with chairman Nick Kuenssberg. Picture: contributed.
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Social Investment Scotland (SIS) expects to make a further “significant” impact next year and beyond after revealing that more than one million Scots have benefited either directly or indirectly from its help.

The organisation, which describes itself as a charity and social enterprise, has unveiled its latest annual social impact report, the launch of which coincides with a Parliamentary reception at Holyrood celebrating social investment, impact and innovation.

SIS said its investment since its formation in 2001 exceeds £63 million, and has helped nearly 300,000 people living in some of the most deprived areas north of the Border.

The report covers about 140 “customers”, comprising social enterprises, charities and community organisations, to measure the impact of investment on their social and economic goals.

Edinburgh-based SIS said its investments have benefited 1.3 million Scots, up by a fifth from the total in 2017. Over the past year alone, SIS customers have created 319 full-time equivalent jobs and sustained more than 3,000 posts altogether. “Encouragingly, 71 per cent of customers anticipate turnover to increase in the next year,” it added.

Additionally, SIS said that over the course of the past year it has invested in customers located in 28 of Scotland’s 32 local authorities.

SIS chief executive Alastair Davis deemed the report “a key indicator of how well SIS is doing to meet our mission of connecting capital with communities”.

He added: “By showing both the social and economic impact, we can measure the positive benefits of the investments we’re making on people’s lives. Most importantly, we can tell whether our investments are helping those who need it most.”

SIS added that 60 per cent of customers’ beneficiaries are children, young people and families, 47 per cent the long-term unemployed, 45 per cent people living in poverty, 25 per cent former offenders, 22 per cent people with addiction issues, as well as 14 per cent homeless.

The report also noted that the sector with the main primary social impact delivered by customers is in employment, training and education, cited by nearly two-fifths. Arts, heritage, sports and faith came in second at 17 per cent.

The reception, sponsored by Jackie Baillie MSP, marked SIS chairman Nick Kuenssberg stepping down, with Ken Barclay taking over in January. Kuenssberg said 2018 “has been another strong year for SIS, working with more customers than ever before to make a difference to those who need it most”.

And he was confident that SIS will “continue to make significant social impacts across the country in 2019 and beyond”.