By Kristy Dorsey

A social enterprise specialising in the delivery of care services has reported a three-fold increase in demand since lockdown started, with its founder predicting further growth when the furlough scheme closes at the end of this month.

Headquartered in Hamilton, the Love Group includes two commercial services, the Love Corporate learning development business and services provider Love Care. Profits from these in turn fund the activities of Love Learning, a charity providing education, social care and environmental programmes to vulnerable individuals.

Love Learning currently supports 70 families, while the group as a whole employs nearly 300 people. It generated turnover of £2 million last year, with £86,000 ploughed back into its charitable work.

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Founder Lynn Bell, who set up the social enterprise in 2015, said the group is projecting a surge in turnover to between £5-£6m next year as demand for Love Care’s services has soared. Since March, it has gone from providing 1,000 to 4,000 hours of care services per week to the elderly, vulnerable adults, children and their families.

“Like other care organisations, we have experienced phenomenal demand for our services since March, but with help from Business Gateway, we had the capacity and resource to manage this,” she said.

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“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 and bring the love back into care.”