Specialist charity partners with Triodos Bank for £1.5m bond offer

Triodos Bank UK is partnering with Paces Sheffield – a leading charity for children and adults with Cerebral Palsy and other neurological motor disorders – to raise £1.5 million through a new bond offer on the Triodos Crowdfunding platform. The proceeds will be used to deliver a new home for Paces School, allowing the charity to increase the number of pupils and families it supports by over 75%.

Paces aims to positively change the lives of those it supports and focuses on ability, not disability. It runs Paces School, a special educational needs school for pupils aged 4-18 and Paces Conductive Living, which offers a range of adult services.

At the school, based in High Green, Sheffield for over 20 years, the charity delivers Conductive Education: a holistic package of educational support that aims to help children and adults obtain the greatest level of independence through a range of supportive measures.

Its services have continued throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, with Paces School remaining open for most of the period with the charity’s staff delivering online programmes and assistance to the people it supports.

Paces School is one of the country’s leading centres for Conductive Education and has ambitious growth plans to fulfil the demand for its services, which far outstrips the number of places available. For several years, the charity has been exploring options to relocate its school to a new location due to the current building needing a huge amount of work and being unable to be expanded to allow more children to be supported.

The charity has now found the ideal opportunity at Thorncliffe Hall, only a mile away from its current premises, which will allow the charity to increase its pupil numbers by over 75%. The new premises need refurbishing and fitting out to provide the facilities needed for the pupils.

The centre will feature classroom spaces that have their own adapted bathrooms, a sensory room, a playground and sensory garden, office spaces, staffroom spaces and meeting rooms.

For investors, the 8-year bond will pay 6% gross interest per year, with a minimum investment of £50. Investors can also select a lower rate of interest of 3% or 0% to further support the charity. It is also available within the tax-efficient Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) wrapper. As with all investments, interest payments and return of capital are not guaranteed and like all ISAs, the IFISA is subject to eligibility criteria.

Spencer Pitfield, CEO of Paces, said: “We want to make sure Paces School has a home that is worthy of our amazing young people and their families, some of the most inspirational individuals you would ever meet. They deserve the best and our new home will allow them to achieve their potential every day.”  

Ruth Liu, Headteacher of Paces, commented: “Our aim is to provide and develop a curriculum that enriches the learning opportunities for all the children. Our child-centred approach fosters an environment in which each child is given the tools and motivation to achieve their goals.  The new home we have planned will deliver that, bring more opportunities for our existing and potential pupils, and is an exciting moment for Paces.”

Dan Hird, Head of Corporate Finance at Triodos Bank UK, added: “We really admire this charity and it’s fantastic to be involved with the opportunity to help them refurbish a new larger home for the school. It will enable Paces to support so many more children from Yorkshire and beyond, making a huge difference to their lives. 

“As we emerge from the pandemic, people are looking for ways to invest their money to support organisations that will make a positive impact on society over the long term. This bond offer allows ordinary investors to support a milestone project for a fantastic charity.”

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