NORTHERN Ireland’s leading social enterprise, Bryson Charitable Group has achieved a record annual turnover of £36.9 million (an increase of 7.6% from £34m from 2013) despite the significant challenges facing the third sector.
Bryson has over 100 years of experience in tackling major social and economic challenges and now employs 680 staff and 140 volunteers delivering over 23,300 services on a daily basis across Northern Ireland, Donegal and Wales.
In the past year, Bryson has used its business model to provide innovative solutions for a range of key social issues affecting our most vulnerable communities.
Bryson Charitable Group’s Chief Executive, John McMullan commented on the performance and the need to tackle major issues ahead of the company’s annual conference at the Titanic, Belfast.
“These results highlight the important role that social enterprise continues to play in shaping a better future. We also believe that key social challenges facing Northern Ireland today could be transformed via social enterprise and our business model should be a vehicle for employment opportunities and further economic growth.
“Despite challenges in public policy, difficult economic conditions and a highly competitive marketplace 93 percent of our income this year was generated by service contracts held by the group and 91 pence in every pound spent by Bryson went on direct service delivery. We are committed to expanding our services, managing costs and remaining competitive.
“Social purpose is at the heart of everything we do and we are committed to providing quality through our service provisions. We believe that our business model is sustainable and will help tackle our ageing population, fuel poverty, unemployment and public services.”
The annual conference marks another successful performance for the Bryson Group but it is also encouraging debate on the delivery of future public services with further growth and investment in social enterprise.
Bryson Charitable Group Chair, Hugh Crossey said;
“Our social business model addresses concerns facing Northern Ireland today through our 7 Group Companies. In the last year alone we have supported our ageing population with over 210,000 hours of care, helped 34 percent of our clients into employment, supported sustainable lifestyles through increasing recycling levels and energy services, whilst working hard to tackle fuel poverty, which will affect many homes this winter.
“Over the last 12 months we have also developed a framework which measures our social impact to create value in everything we do through wellbeing, stakeholder involvement, sustainability, entrepreneurship and reinvestment. And, it is clear from our performance that our services are making an impact on real lives and real communities.
In the current climate of austerity the role of social enterprise has never been more relevant and despite a very challenging economic environment the Group continues to invest in new and innovative services to address some of Northern Ireland’s most pressing social issues”.
Ivan Lewis MP, shadow Secretary of State guest speaker at the conference added;
“Tackling pressing social problems through interactive debate at this year’s conference demonstrates how Bryson and its social enterprise model act as a powerful tool for economic growth, innovation and service improvement.
“Bryson continues to be a European leader in the development of a new social economy that will enrich many lives and I congratulate the dedicated team on another successful year.”
To find out more about social enterprise please visit www.brysongroup.org