South Lanarkshire social enterprise gears up for furlough fallout demand

A South Lanarkshire-based social enterprise that bridges the gap between social care and education is gearing up for increased demand following the end of the furlough scheme.

Tuesday, 6th October 2020, 4:46 am
Updated Tuesday, 6th October 2020, 1:43 pm
The Love Learning team and friends with Gail Porter, pictured pre-Covid and prior to the introduction of any physical distancing restrictions.
The Love Learning team and friends with Gail Porter, pictured pre-Covid and prior to the introduction of any physical distancing restrictions.

Prior to lockdown, Love Learning was providing an average of 1,000 hours of care services a week. But since March, this has leapt to 4,000 care hours, and the team anticipates further increased demand as furlough is wound down at the end of this month.

The venture funds services for vulnerable groups and provides education and training opportunities for those wishing to work in the care sector, with offices based in Fenwick, Stirling, and Gorgie in Edinburgh.

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The organisation has its own SQA accreditation, a framework in place to prevent learning gaps and uses education as a “tool for empowerment”.

Since the social enterprise was launched in 2015, founder Lynn Bell has also received a wide variety of support from national business advice service Business Gateway.

She said: “The pandemic has really shown that unfortunately the sector is exhausted. However, I think there is an opportunity to identify efficiencies and futureproof the service for the user using technology, which traditionally has not been utilised by the industry.

“This is our priority now as we believe that by providing digital solutions it is possible to address sector-wide problems.”

Elaine Kerr, Business Gateway adviser, added: “It is incredible to see what Lynn is doing and how Love Learning has adapted to the huge demand for services over the last six months and it will be worth watching to see how the business continues to grow and provide vital services for the care sector in Scotland.”

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