View from the top: Understanding social value

There has been a huge amount going on this week concerning Project Amber, with a number of local authorities looking to tap into the framework to achieve considerable savings on time and costs and I’ll endeavour to keep you updated on this framework on a regular basis.

We are also getting closer to Will, our President, making an announcement about a new innovation fund that LCRIG will manage in order to speed up the process of innovation by funding worthwhile concepts, but today I want to tell you about my ‘light bulb’ moment.

I’ve been in discussion with one of our members for the past few months about the subject of social value. In a meeting today, this very knowledgeable social value expert asked me what my business does to contribute to social value. I claimed I do what I can at a personal level, supporting charities and the odd drop off at the local homeless shelter but went on to explain that I am part of a three person strong organisation so didn’t really have capacity to deliver any SV initiatives of much worth.

How wrong was I. The expert explained that social value wasn’t just about my small business giving up time to paint a village fence or providing goods for the foodbank, but potentially I could think about using some of my time to offer up things, such as running a social media masterclass for the local foodbank or a bid writing masterclass for the numerous charities that need to bid for funds.

It really did make me start to think differently about providing free access to some of the core skills we possess in our little business. Even, using my position as Chief Executive to raise general awareness of social value would be much more impactful than painting (somewhat badly) an old fence.

I realise that social value is relatively new to most of us, so LCRIG is looking to do something about this. We would like to form a group of likeminded individuals from our members (public and private sector) who want to work together to improve our collective understanding of delivering social value through construction, by sharing and promoting best practice.

If you are part of a forward thinking organisation and would like to participate I’d love to hear from you, so please do get in touch – Martin.duffy@lcrig.org.uk.