Specialist care provider secures seven-figure investment

Nuneaton-based Forge Care, a specialist therapeutic community for children with a history of early-life trauma, has secured more than £1,000,000 funding from Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF) West Midlands Equity Fund, managed by Midven, part of the Future Planet Capital Group, as a part of a larger funding round, to support the roll out of its care model.

Forge Care was advised by Burgis & Bullock and The Wilkes Partnership.

The investment will enable the company to open its first therapeutic community in Nuneaton. The Forge will house 24 children and create more than 80 new jobs in the area. Once the first site is established, the care provider will be searching for further locations across the country to roll out its model of care to more local authorities.

Forge Care is a community, sanctuary and home that enables a fully therapeutic experience for children who have faced disruption to their early development with severe early-life trauma. The team is led by the Miller family who have an extensive understanding of the market from previously founding a group of care homes for adults with learning difficulties. They are also supported by Dave Hughes, who joins the business with substantial knowledge of operations from working in large care providers and two West Midlands authorities. The therapy team is run by Brigid Wells, who brings more than 20 years of experience working with vulnerable children and their families.

The Forge Care model is based on neuro developmental, trauma-resolution principles and positive attachment practices and is framed by the Sanctuary Model®. The company offers a nurturing environment that is designed within a living system. By only operating from purpose-built sites, Forge Care provides an alternative to most residential care offerings currently registered with Ofsted. They do this by creating a community rather than expecting children to integrate into residential areas.

Midven identified Forge Care as a unique opportunity to help many young people who need specialised care and a safe space to thrive. Its strong management team with extensive industry experience also made the company a solid investment candidate. With 90,000 children in residential care in the UK and one new case every 80 minutes, the delivery of its new model of purpose-built sites is an investment opportunity that meets the current need, can improve the existing quality of care and is a scalable model that can be replicated to future sites in the country.

Giovanni Finocchio, Investment Director at Midven, said, “We look forward to working with Forge Care in developing its first therapeutic community in Nuneaton. The level of individual care required to help these children is simply not achievable in the existing settings. Forge Care’s therapeutic communities will ensure that emotional recovery, welfare and wellbeing is available to improve the circumstances of many children and young people. Supporting the Miller family through the process will be rewarding and enable them to improve so many lives.”

Gavin Miller, CEO of Forge Care, said, “We are absolutely delighted to be able to announce that Forge Care have secured a £1m equity investment from Midven. The investment is going to enable our business to continue to grow, providing further economic growth to the local region. We aim to use this investment to develop more homes for children to really accelerate our growth as a business, and our reach into more communities.”

Simon Chapman, Partner at Burgis & Bullock, said: “We have worked with Gavin Miller and his family for nearly 10 years, dating back to the sale of their first healthcare venture in 2013, and we were pleased to be able to support Forge Care on raising the equity investment from Midven.

“We were confident that investment could be raised for what is a new, innovative care environment which will provide a purpose-built therapeutic community for children. We look forward to continuing to work closely with Forge Care as the project continues.”

Mark Wilcockson, Senior Investment Manager at the British Business Bank, added:The MEIF continues to support innovative Midlands-based companies offering new solutions and services, with Forge Care being the latest in a long line of businesses to have benefited from the fund. The funding will support not only the company’s first care community in Nuneaton, but future sites for its projected growth. Funding options are available to other SMEs in the Midlands looking to expand in this way.”

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