In the world of local government, the implementation of social value principles in community projects can often be a complex process. In our recent webinar, “Maximising Positive Impact of Investments in Communities,” we provided practical insights into this process.
In this blog we have summarised the essential elements discussed in the webinar, focusing on the experiences and strategies employed by the East Riding of Yorkshire Council.
East Riding’s Approach to Social Value
Andrea Turton, a seasoned Local Growth Program Manager at the East Riding Council, has been instrumental in steering the council’s focus towards social value since 2012. Alongside her, Jennifer Jefferson, a Program Funding Coordinator, brings a unique perspective from her transition from the private sector to local government, enriching the council’s approach to community investment.
The council’s journey in social value started with a project in 2012 that emphasised volunteering as a pathway to paid employment. This initial step led to the development of a tool for measuring social impact, which has since evolved into the Social Value Engine – yours truly. The Social Value Engine has been crucial in guiding the council’s approach to assessing the effectiveness of community projects.
Integrating Social Value in Grant Management
A key development in East Riding’s approach has been the integration of social value outcomes into their grant application process. This ensures that funded projects not only receive financial support but also deliver clear, measurable benefits to the community. Projects like the Do It Free Yorkshire Community Grant, aimed at rebuilding communities post-COVID, exemplify the significant social return on investment achieved through this method.
The council has also made significant progress in incorporating social value into procurement processes. This is particularly evident in construction projects, where the Your Hub Construction Framework has been employed to enhance project outcomes through a social value lens.
Cultivating an Internal Culture of Social Value
Internally, East Riding of Yorkshire Council has focused on developing a robust culture of measuring and understanding social value. They have implemented social value planning workbooks and fostered pilot groups and champions within various departments, ensuring that the measurement of social impact becomes an integral part of the council’s ethos.
On the policy front, the council is set to adopt a new social value policy, which is in line with the principles set out by Social Value UK. This policy aims to enhance service delivery, encourage diverse suppliers, and promote environmental sustainability. Additionally, e-learning modules have been developed for council staff and external partners to broaden the understanding and application of social value principles.
East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s experience in integrating social value into their operations offers valuable lessons for other local authorities. Their journey reflects a commitment to not just invest in communities but to ensure these investments have a lasting and meaningful impact.
If you are interested in learning more about how the Social Value Engine can make social value assessments easier and more accurate, please get in touch for a demo of our platform.