Last week Bolton hosted the Greater Manchester Social Value Network (GMSVN) Conference and the Albert Halls was alive with people talking about how they can achieve more through embracing ‘Social Value’.
At Bolton CVS the team have been committed to promoting awareness and understanding of social value for some time, educating not only the voluntary and community sector groups that we exist to serve, support and develop, but our public sector partners and the private sector too. Our Development and Communities Team are out and about in the community every day, raising awareness of the brilliance of groups and how they make every penny that they invest in community and social action go further, and there's a lot more that we can do.
It was clear at the conference that for many people regardless of the sector that they work in, they could really benefit from understanding more of the basics of social value. It struck me that we need to make sure that every time we talk about social value, we explain what exactly we're talking about and be clear on our Bolton definition of social value.
Helen Tomlinson from the Bolton CVS team uses a very simple definition (that we borrow from Trafford Housing Trust) in the training that we offer;
“Delivery of social, economic and environmental benefits (and value) above and beyond the products or services which are being paid for.”
It is so important that we understand, embrace and develop social value so that it is meaningful for the voluntary and community sector and the people that groups and organisation’s support. Bolton CVS is already working with Bolton Council, Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group, Bolton Foundation Trust, Bolton GP Federation, Bolton University, Bolton College, Birtenshaw, Seddons, Keoghs, Bolton Lads and Girls Club, Bolton Wanderers Community Trust and Bolton at Home on how we develop a social value approach for Bolton and the door is open to others, whether you’re exploring or developing what it means for your organisation.
This is a simple plea, if you need to know more about social value, or want some guidance, Bolton CVS and our partners are willing and eager to help, so please just ask.
You can get more information from the Greater Manchester Social Value Network https://gmsvn.org.uk. The GMSVN vision is; 'To encourage organisations in every sector to seek relevant social, environmental and economic value from everything they do, including service delivery, commissioning and procurement. Social value considers more than just the financial transaction and includes: happiness; wellbeing; health; inclusion; empowerment; poverty; environment.'
If you’d like more information about social value, your impact and how you can achieve more, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and keep your eye on our Stronger Together Training Programme.