London-based housing group, L&Q has published its first social value report, claiming it has generated £690,000 of community investment through its supply chain in 2022/23.
The report is intended to demonstrate how organisations can drive “positive social, economic and environmental change during a challenging economic climate”.
The housing association says it has embarked on one of the largest investment drives in the sector into the safety, quality and environmental performance of its homes.
Its Major Works Investment Programme is a 15-year, £3bn plan to ensure all its homes are maintained to the Decent Homes Standard – a technical standard set by the government for social housing.
The organisation works with a wide range of other partners and contractors on everything from IT systems to gas servicing and grounds maintenance.
L&Q says it has developed an approach which combines its Foundation community development expertise with its commercial procurement and supply chain activities, inserting social value clauses into the contracts it signs.
Through this, the report claim that £690,000 in social value was generated over the last financial year, including 17 social value plans agreed with contractors. This included more than 1,000 hours of volunteering, school visits, refurbishing community centres, donations to community projects, scholarships and more.
Matthew Corbett, director of L&Q’s Foundation, said: “It’s wonderful to see how the hard work that so many teams across the organisation have put in really benefits residents. Our Foundation’s priority is to increase community activity and investment in our core neighbourhoods so they remain places that residents are proud to live.
“I’m really proud of the work the team has done on all these fantastic projects, and the difference it makes to residents’ lives cannot be underestimated. I’m also grateful to all of our partners who have supported us with our mission.”
Social value, as defined through the Social Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012, came into force in 2013 and requires all public sector organisations and their suppliers to consider how to secure wider benefits beyond the financial cost of a contract.
Adapting these principles for the non-profit sector, L&Q has used the Social Value Portal’s Themes, Outcomes and Measures (TOMS) framework to measure the value unlocked through its Major Works Improvement Programme contracts.
This is a standard measurement accepted across the UK, designed to capture social value created through supply chain commitments, such as apprenticeships, local spending, and volunteering. The report also includes Social Value measured by HACT, which is a tool that measures well-being and soft skills that people have developed from Social Value activity.
Social value is calculated as direct savings to the public, for example the savings to welfare through someone moving to employment.
Mark Newstead, L&Q’s director of major programmes, said: “Making an impact in the communities we serve is a huge priority for us. That was so important when we signed contracts with our 10 Major Works Investment Programme Partners, and we’re hugely impressed with the work they’ve already done.
“We have seen a number of exciting projects over the last 12 months, and I look forward to seeing even more collaboration on important community projects in the coming months and years. I know our partners have some wonderful things planned, from winter care packages to work experience opportunities and so much more. I’m confident that we’re adding more value to local communities than ever before, and I’m thrilled we can measure this now.”
Image credit: SmartPhotoLab/Shutterstock
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