Kindred partners with Combined Authority to support the social economy through COVID-19 crisis

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The developing organisation Kindred has partnered with the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority to provide vital business support to the City Region’s socially trading organisations (STOs) during the COVID-19 situation.
20 Mar, 2020

New collective, Kindred aims to support the needs of STOs working in the City Region’s communities and will launch as an investment and support vehicle in the autumn. At this time Kindred’s pre-launch support during the COVID-19 situation will be through their non-financial business support, Collaborating Communities, for STOs to help with business continuity and sustainability planning.

Kindred’s Collaborating Communities approach understand that STOs can emerge in marginal and isolated communities, and its support can enable individuals and micro businesses to overcome the limitations of smallness through mutual support and collaboration. The non-financial support can provide a growth-friendly ecology, tending to be organised around a place, cause or community of interest rather than an industry sector.

Vidhya Alakeson, CEO of Power to Change said: “On behalf of of the founding team of Kindred, we are pleased to have the opportunity to work with the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority in these incredibly challenging times to support the City Region’s highly valued socially trading organisations, including community businesses. This pre-launch Kindred work will provide non-financial collaborating communities business support for STO needs at this time, backed by Power to Change and the Combined Authority.

“We recognise that the work of STOs, including community businesses, is particularly critical at this time of national crisis as they provide support to some of the most vulnerable communities in LCR.”

Through the pre-launch Kindred programme, Collaborating Communities, business support will be provided to STOs affected by COVID-19, as their needs arise.

Helen Heap of Seebohm Hill, partner of Kindred collective, said: “We know that many things will change as a result of COVID-19 but one constant is the crucial role played by socially trading organisations working in their communities and supporting the most vulnerable.

“Right from the start of the COVID-19 crisis STOs have responded quickly, decisively and with empathy to the most pressing needs of society. STOs are needed now more than ever before just at the time when their very existence is at risk.

The pre-launch work of Kindred is designed to sustain as many STOs as possible during the initial crisis period so that they are there to do what they do best once we get to the other side of the pandemic. By bringing forward funding for peer to peer business support for community and social businesses the LCR Combined Authority and Power to Change are providing a vital lifeline, helping to ensure that limited resources are deployed in the places and for the people who are most in need.”

Erika Rushton of Creative Economist and the founding Secretariat of Kindred said: “Over the last few months we have spoken to over 150 Socially Trading Organisations within the city region to understand how Kindred can support them to grow their social impact. In the last week I have been inundated with calls and e mails from those same socially motivated businesses, not for support, but with their ideas and actions to increase their impact within communities who are facing the challenges of Coronavirus, despite facing their own uncertainty.

“Liverpool City Region has a strong and long heritage of people who put our collective good before personal gain. The speed with which Liverpool communities are organising and responding is testament to that heritage; and the speed with which Mayor Steve Rotheram and his team have moved to ensure Socially Trading Organisations are stabilised and supported demonstrates the importance he places on their part in delivering a truly inclusive, caring and resilient economy. At times like this Liverpool shines.”

Socially Trading Organisations meeting the descriptor below can contact Kindred for non-financial collaborating communities business support at

Socially Trading Organisations are those companies that set out to deliver social benefits and trade commercially including community businesses, community land trusts, community interest companies, social enterprises, cooperatives and some limited companies, family businesses and local ventures who demonstrate their social purpose through their business behaviours. It does not include more traditional charities who rely solely on grant income or those organisations who export profits from a locality.