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Suffolk charity offers 'unique opportunity' to invest in its future

PUBLISHED: 08:00 09 March 2019 | UPDATED: 08:37 09 March 2019

Jo and Rob Brooks, from Eden Rose Picture: ARCHANT

Jo and Rob Brooks, from Eden Rose Picture: ARCHANT

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A Suffolk charity has come up with an innovative solution to safeguard its future amid funding uncertainty.

The Eden Rose Coppice Trust, which maintains town centre woodlands in Sudbury and Ipswich for both end-of-life care and people living with challenging issues, has formed a new not-for-profit Community Benefit Society (CBS).

It is believed the charity is the first in the country to launch a CBS, which is owned by its members who hold shares in the organisation.

The new Eden Rose Community Limited will undertake and develop the charity’s commercial services, activities and events – and gift all surplus profit to the charity as a sustainable funding method.

The trust says it is becoming increasingly more difficult for charities to find funding and many are struggling to survive.

Jo and Rob Brooks, from Eden Rose Picture: ARCHANTJo and Rob Brooks, from Eden Rose Picture: ARCHANT

The Facing Forward Report by the Lloyds Bank Foundation said given the impact of Brexit, economic uncertainty and growing pressures on local governments that both small and medium charities “must take action to survive”.

With help from the Plunkett Foundation, trustees came up with the idea of launching a new CBS.

Rob Brooks, co-founder of Eden Rose Coppice Trust, said: “In today’s climate the future of funding seems uncertain and unless you plan for a secure future, you are putting those you care for at risk – which is unacceptable.”

The new CBS allows people to invest in the future of the community from £50, and shares can be bought as gifts or legacies for loved ones.

Jo Brooks, lead manager, said: “It’s a unique opportunity to be able to invest in something that is going to provide a sustainable future for your local cancer care charity and become an integral member of the community.

“Further encouraging news is that we have secured the support of the Booster Programme, which is funded by Power to Change and run by the Community Shares Unit.

“Under this programme, they will match investments pound for pound.”

Eden Rose Coppice need to raise £40,000 through its community share offer to grow idea, and is calling out to potential investors.

The share offer will be launched on March 14 and the public has until May 10 to become members.

Two launch events will be held at The Granary in Sudbury on Thursday, March 14, and Quay Place in Ipswich, on Friday, March 15.

Places must be booked in advance, email jo@ercommunity.co.uk

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