Social value award winners announced

The winners of Social Enterprise UK’s Social Value Awards were announced last week at the organisation’s annual Social Value Summit.

The event was held in the prestigious surrounds of the Institution of Engineering and Technology by the river Thames in London.

The Awards are intended to shine a spotlight on best practice in commissioning and providing social value. Minister for civil society Rob Wilson wrote in the introduction to the awards that it was also “an opportunity to encourage awareness and take up of the Social Value Act.”

In introducing the awards Nick Temple, deputy chief executive of Social Enterprise UK, commented that there had been: “a noticeably stronger set of applications across sectors, and higher quality.”

The Social Value Leadership Award for an Organisation was won by Croydon Council, which has equipped its commissioners with a 60 page Social Value Toolkit to refer to.

Tom Wilde of Trafford Housing Trust housing association won the social value leadership award for an individual for pioneering a ‘local needs based’ approach to social value in the area.

Wilde (pictured above receiving his award from Mat Roberts of Interserve) is one of the very few people in the UK to have the job title Social Value Advisor. He has pioneered a three step approach in which specific local needs are identified, organisations impacting those issues are explored and then what the most appropriate way to support those organisations might be is researched.

“The onus has to be on the public sector to ask the questions but ask the right questions about where social value might be created,” Wilde said. He also works with Trafford council in order to find mutual agreement over local priorities.

At the other end of the country, the Promoting and Mainstreaming Social Value Act Award was won by Orbis, which is a partnership between East Sussex and Surrey county councils. The two councils are aiming to drive additional meaningful value from the £1bn they spend each year.

Another council won the Driving Value for Money Award.  Halton borough council has been using the social value act to to inspire contractors to use innovative approaches to create social value in the borough. It has done this with no added cost to the council’s annual spend of £80m 

Chief executive of Social Enterprise UK Peter Holbrook commented: “Social value has a vital role to play in building a more inclusive economy and the winners have all shown how organisations can use their spending and commissioning power to transform communities and change lives.”