University Scheme to Put Innovation at the Top of the Business Agenda

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Forest-based social care company, LivesthroughFriends CIC, is one of the first organisations to benefit from an innovative business opportunity from the University of Gloucestershire, supported by GFirst.

The Voucher for Business Innovation scheme offers organisations throughout the county access to subsidised*, university level business expertise and advice. The vouchers aim to help companies, from a wide variety of sectors, to expand, develop, and investigate new business opportunities.

LivesthroughFriends is a Community Interest Company which supports individuals, communities, voluntary organisations and Statutory Authorities around Self-Directed support and personalisation in social care.

Director, Colin Campbell, said: “We were looking to develop a new enhanced Brokerage service to work directly with people who require ongoing care to compliment our core business. To actively promote this new service we needed a dynamic and accessible website. The Voucher for Business Innovation scheme suited us because we wanted to collaborate with a local academic organisation in order to utilise cutting edge technical skills whilst marketing a new approach to addressing the social care needs of our community. We believe that our “Good Life” approaches should be available to all people who require social care and hope that this collaboration will lead to a greater understanding of our work and will also encourage further collaboration with the University in the future.”

Kate Hall, Enterprise Projects Manager at the University of Gloucestershire, said: “The scheme has been designed to build strong links between business and knowledge providers. The University of Gloucestershire will work closely with business, to help a number of organisations achieve their goals and develop their business.”

The Innovation Vouchers Scheme has been developed in conjunction with, and supported by funding from GFirst, Gloucestershire’s business development agency. The vouchers will be issued on a first come, first serve basis and can be used to support a variety of innovation projects, including: consultancy from experts or specialists, business diversification, international expansion and coaching and mentoring.

For further information about the scheme or to submit an application please contact the Centre for Enterprise and Innovation on 01242 714104 or email [email protected]

*subject to minimum spend of £375 and a maximum subsidy of £1000

• More information on how the Centre for Enterprise and Innovation works with businesses in Gloucestershire and beyond can be found at

• GFirst is an economic development company that promotes Gloucestershire as a location for business, for visitors and for investors. It is also the driving force behind Gloucestershire’s Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). For more information visit

• Colin Campbell and Bob Rhodes established LivesthroughFriends CIC in January 2008 after long careers in the Statutory and Voluntary disability sector in order to promote a different approach to self-directed support whish isn’t dependent on complex systems or over regulation and professional bureaucracy. Over the past four years LivesthroughFriends CIC have been developing their ideas and working across the social care sector across the UK. LivesthroughFriends now want expand that practical support to people living in Gloucestershire. For more information about LivesthroughFriends visit

Source: University of Gloucestershire

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