Psychology specialist secures six-figure investment

A Matlock-based clinical psychology services specialist, which has helped local authorities to save more than a million pounds to date has received a six figure investment to roll out its life-changing work across the UK.

At a time when LifePsychol faced the prospect of furloughing some of its workforce due to the impact of Coronavirus, the £152,000 of loan jointly funded by Finance For Enterprise and BEF & FFE Microfinance, has enabled the business to adapt to a changing business environment as well as providing the financial support to continue the company’s unique research.

Founded in 2011 by Dr Miriam Silver, LifePsychol has developed a new approach designed to assess the needs of children living in Local Authority care, so they can access more appropriate support while helping local authorities and NHS providers make significant cost savings.

The Coronavirus pandemic threatened to disrupt LifePsychol’s pioneering programme, at a time when the associated mental health issues and emotional distress caused by lockdown measures would add further burdens to already over-stretched resources.

At that stage, Dr Silver approached Finance For Enterprise for help.

Working with investment manager Tim Daniels, a finance package was put together, backed by the British Business Bank  CBILS.

The support provided has helped the business to invest in new technology to support secure video consultations, as well as continuing to invest in the development of its BERRI platform, making it directly available to parents and carers.

Such has been the success of LifePsychol’s work that Dr Silver has presented her findings to a Government Select Committee and specialists at the Department for Education.

She believes her pioneering work can ultimately transform care for vulnerable children and help local authorities to make cost savings in excess of £100m a year.

She said: “The impact of Coronavirus has forced us to review many of our working practices and placed a question mark over whether we could continue key elements of our work, I approached Finance For Enterprise to see whether my business would be eligible for financial support. At a time when I thought it would have been inevitable for us to furlough staff and scale back some of our operations, we have been able to continue developing our BERRI programme enabling us to roll out our work across the UK.

“Demand for mental health services has risen sharply in recent years, yet with many services already stretched, it can lead to people facing lengthy delays in receiving support. For some of our most vulnerable children this can severely limit their future life chances. My research revealed there were two key issues which needed to be addressed – identifying psychological needs and equipping parents and carers with the skills to provide the vital support to help improve their life chances.

“Our work could bring about significant changes in the way mental health support is delivered, potentially helping to improve the life chances of some of the most vulnerable members of society, whilst also reducing significant cost pressures on local authorities and NHS providers.”

Tim Daniels, senior investment manager, Finance For Enterprise, added: “The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme was created to help businesses directly impacted by the pandemic to adapt and evolve. As a result of the funding we have provided LifePsychol has been able to successfully adapt its business model, ensuring it can maintain delivery of its core services, whilst also continuing its unique research.

“At the same time, the services provided by LifePsychol are not only helping to give some of the most vulnerable members of society an opportunity to receive vital help and support as they enter adulthood, but the ongoing research work could help to bring about significant changes to the way in which mental health services are delivered across the UK.”