Social Value Engine

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Building community wealth through innovative social care strategies

In a recent webinar, the Social Value Engine sat down with experts from Community Catalysts and Wrexham County Borough Council to discuss how innovative social care strategies can build community wealth.
Community wealth building

We recently hosted a webinar examining how innovative social care strategies can build community wealth from the bottom up. The session brought together speakers Helen Allen from Community Catalysts, Steve Latham-White from Wrexham County Borough Council, and Ivan Annibal from the Social Value Engine. If you missed the live event, you can watch the full recording here.

The social value landscape and community wealth

Ivan began by discussing the significance of connecting community wealth building with social care. He argued that health plays a crucial role in local economies, especially in rural areas. The Social Value Engine, celebrating its tenth anniversary, focuses on the triple win of uniting local authorities, voluntary and community sector organisations, and health agendas to enhance lives, increase sustainability, and promote prosperity.

Ivan stressed the importance of measuring social value to evidence progress and capture community wellbeing. The Social Value Engine offers a solution for this, helping organisations move away from complex spreadsheets and time-consuming manual assessments towards a transparent, accurate approach. By involving people and prioritising action, it demonstrates the comprehensive value of innovative care models.

The power of community micro-enterprises

Helen then explored the transformative potential of community micro-enterprises. Community Catalysts supports local individuals in establishing small care businesses that provide personalised, creative support options. These enterprises, ranging from sole traders to organisations with up to eight employees, offer older and disabled people greater choice and control over their lives.

Helen highlighted how micro-enterprises keep public money circulating within communities, rather than being extracted by large care corporations often headquartered elsewhere. They create meaningful job opportunities, especially for older women seeking flexible, fulfilling work. By being their own bosses, providers experience reduced stress and increased autonomy compared to working for traditional care agencies.

Driving change in Wrexham

Steve shared how Wrexham County Borough Council has partnered with Community Catalysts to implement this innovative model. Amidst challenges intensified by COVID-19, the collaboration has diversified Wrexham’s social care market, improved care quality through person-centred support, and achieved cost savings. Crucially, it has empowered individuals by increasing the uptake of direct payments, enabling them to choose and commission services tailored to their specific needs.

However, Steve emphasised that embracing this approach demands a significant culture shift and strong leadership to empower social workers to confidently utilise such innovative options. The council has worked closely with Community Catalysts to co-develop solutions, build trust, and provide a supportive framework for micro-enterprises to flourish.

Demonstrating impact and value

Throughout the webinar, the speakers highlighted the importance of measuring and demonstrating the multifaceted benefits of this community wealth-building approach. The Social Value Engine is instrumental in capturing the impacts on individual wellbeing, community cohesion, the local economy, and beyond.

Helen shared the impressive results seen in Somerset, where an established micro-enterprise programme has resulted in the creation of 480 new businesses, 380 jobs, and £500,000 in annual savings across social care. These tangible outcomes underscore the transformative potential of their model.

Community wealth collaborations for a thriving future

The webinar showcased how reimagining social care provision can unlock a range of positive outcomes, ultimately enabling communities to thrive. By fostering collaboration, bold leadership, and robust infrastructure, this community wealth-building approach has the potential to revolutionise care across the UK.

The key lies in cultivating an ecosystem where micro-enterprises, local authorities, and supporting organisations work hand-in-hand. By continuing to champion social value, empower innovative providers, and put people at the heart of care, we can build a future where everyone prospers.

If you’d like to learn more about how the Social Value Engine can help your organisation measure and maximise its social impact, please get in touch with us today. Our team is ready to support you in capturing and evidencing the social value of your community investments.

Social Value Engine
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