Jo Wedderspoon_2

Joanne Wedderspoon

Development Manager

Charities Aid Foundation


2 December 2019

Regional area:             West Midlands
Sectors:                        Communities
Social Investment:      £170,000 in three unsecured loans (over 4 years)
Purpose:                      To fund growth plans and support restructure


From a small charity, established in 1995 in response to the growing issues of poverty in the Castle Vale area of Birmingham, Spitfire Advice and Support Services has grown into a vibrant community charity working tirelessly to support the most isolated and vulnerable in society across the whole of the Birmingham area. 

It delivers a number of projects that provide free and impartial money, housing and legal advice, volunteering placements, and local crisis interventions to assist families hardest hit by changes to welfare benefits and other legal reforms.

Spitfire also runs a community hub, offering a library and a space where local residents can enjoy live performances and films, as well as a community swimming pool.

In 2014 Spitfire set up a trading subsidiary, Upcycle Birmingham, that sources and sells recycled furniture and second-hand items at affordable prices to people in the local area. 

Two men standing at a reception desk with smiling woman

“Spitfire Services are quite simply one of the most important organisations in the country, that provides a lifeline to the most isolated and vulnerable in our society, who without Spitfire Service would have nowhere else to go.”

 Partner of Spitfire

Bringing value to a partnership

Spitfire and CAF Venturesome have formed a trusting partnership, which has developed since 2015.  Social investment has allowed Spitfire to build its reserves to grow the organisation and bridge cashflow through a challenging year.  CAF Venturesome supported Spitfire to make some difficult decisions to enable it to restructure and helped to source a Reach Fund grant to update its finance system.   Social investment has helped Spitfire re-focus its fundraising efforts and leveraged funding from the National Lottery Community Fund, Erasmus and HS2.   This long-term funding means that Spitfire can keep the library open, which was under threat of closure, and develop it into a community hub for life.


Growing impact

In 2010 Spitfire supported about 2,000 people a year in the Castle Vale area of Birmingham, now in 2019 their results, all across Birmingham, are: 

  • 40,000 people accessing the charity
  • 650 people removed out of crisis
  • 36,000 young people taught to swim per year
  • £3.8m re-released in to the communities of Birmingham through rescheduled debt and unclaimed benefits
  • 1,000 tons of furniture put back into use through Upcycle Birmingham

“We have a long standing relationship with CAF Venturesome. CAF Venturesome has been pivotal to our sustainability and success in making a huge difference to the most isolated communities in Birmingham. Because of CAF Venturesome we have been able to make a difference to over 40,000 individuals in Birmingham. We hope our relationship with CAF Venturesome is a long standing one as it enables us to make a transformative difference to people’s lives.”

Ray Goodwin, Chief Executive, Spitfire Advice and Support Services

UN Sustainable Development Goals

Although the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are mainly directed at governments and international NGOs, the UN acknowledges the importance of social organisations working towards these goals.    We believe this project is working towards the following SDGs.

SDG3   SDG10   SDG12

If you want to know more about  social investment from CAF Venturesome or want to use your philanthropic capital to support our fund, talk to our team on 03000 123 300 or email us at and we’ll be happy to help.