Adding social value when you’re delivering social value

The world of commissioning is changing. Not only are you being asked to create an innovative product to support people back into work or into improved health, but commissioners now want to know how you can embed social value into your contract.

If you’re an organisation whose mission is already to support and help people, this can appear tricky at first. However, the key is to find additional methods to make an impact to the community where you’re delivering your service.

Here in Greater Manchester, social values are now part and parcel of every programme spec. In fact, they made up 20% of the total score of the recently commissioned Working Well (Work & Health Programme). The Growth Company began delivering the programme in January this year as part of the partnership alliance, InWorkGM – which also includes Ingeus, PLUSS and Pathways CIC. 

As a partnership alliance, we needed to look much wider than our core delivery in order to create social impact through our social values.

We based our offer around the six GM priorities:

  • Promoting increased employment and economic sustainability
  • Raising the living standards of local residents
  • Citizen engagement
  • Building the capacity and sustainability of the VCS
  • Promoting equity and fairness
  • Promoting environmental sustainability

But as organisations who are fundamentally committed to these priorities, what more could we do? This was our opportunity to deliver innovation for Greater Manchester. We needed to be self-reflective and really stretch ourselves to do more.

Over the 7 years of the contract, we’ll be using our reach, influence and networks to make a difference through social value. We’ll be encouraging employers to pay a real living wage, and supporting them to employ more people with health conditions and disabilities through our disability confident events.

We’ll also be supporting residents to have their say by promoting voter registration and running community engagement events to allow people to shape the current provision. We recently launched ‘Digital 1000’, which aims to empower 1000 Greater Manchester residents to become more digitally literate and engaged over the next 12 months. We’ll be working closely with our partners to help close the skills gap that the digital industry is currently facing.

As The Growth Company, we are in the unique position to be able to support other organisations to achieve their own social value as well as delivering our own – and this is exactly what we did for Team Karting. We helped the Rochdale-based business to introduce two-seater go-karts for disabled drivers, and launch a café where visitors who suffer from social isolation can interact. If you’d like to know more, get in touch today.