Understanding Social Value

November 16th, 2023

Social value is a concept that was designed to influence the practices in public services. Historically, many organisations faced challenges in ensuring their activities returned social value outcomes for local areas. Social Value provides a framework for registered providers to collaborate with suppliers and produce advantages for community members.  

At its core, social value offers comprehensive support to public housing residents, especially those who need it most. The goal is to uplift the local economy, contribute positively to the environment, and support community projects. By doing so, we can address inequalities, ensuring our activities are good, fair, and sustainable. For a deeper insight, the Greater Manchester Combined Authority has elaborated on how social value can make Greater Manchester a better place. 

Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 

In 2012, the Public Services (Social Value) Act was enacted. Since its inception, public authorities are mandated to consider economic, social, and environmental well-being when dealing with public services. The goal of the act is to amplify social value within local regions by allocating public funds effectively.  

The Significance of Social Value 

The importance of social value cannot be overstated. It holds the potential to create a profound impact, especially for those deprived of essential opportunities. Some key benefits include: 

  • Facilitating community wealth building. 
  • Influencing organizational practices. 
  • Adapting to the evolving needs of public housing customers. 
  • Bridging the gaps that other programs might miss. 
  • Ensuring maximum value for money spent. 

In essence, if we invest in social value but fail to harness its potential, we miss out on achieving the best possible returns on our investments.