This time last year I don’t think anyone could have imagined what we were about to face. I surely couldn’t.
I’d like to start by looking back at what we have achieved in the last 14 challenging months despite the lockdowns, furlough, fear and uncertainty. These figures below are a reflection of the dedication, resilience, and compassion of not only our team of Community Engagement Co-ordinators but our wider network of employees and leaders.
Reflecting on the future of Social Value during 2020, we made some significant changes to the Community Engagement Team. These changes involved the restructuring of the team to create regional Community Engagement Roles which will be supported by local Community Project staff. The Pandemic has taught us that to deliver effective Social Value we need to look at the long-term impact of our activities – not focus on quick short-term gains. We have also recognised that we need to stay at the forefront of digital advancements and therefore created a National Social Value Programmes Development role to create our digital and online offerings. These programmes will enable us to reach a wider audience quicker, and, whilst social distancing is still a consideration, ensures everyone remains safe. Furthermore, our ability to facilitate change in local communities remotely and digitally has increased the sustainable benefits to the environment, for example, a reduction in our carbon footprint.
Our current strategy is to ensure all our business activities have a positive impact on the Planet, Places and People. We want to ensure everyone we come into contact with; be they employees, customers, or communities, understand their purpose and the role they play in helping us all to build back our future.
We have a suite of offers all sitting under our key themes; Education, Training & Employment; Health & Wellbeing, Social Inclusion and Investment; Community Regeneration & Environment.
In addition to the structure of our Community Engagement Team, we have created a whole new Customer Service Department to support our operational teams, and ensure all our customers are receiving an exceptional customer experience.
“Our Community Engagement Team has changed, however, our Social Value offer has expanded and developed. Our Regional CECs will deliver longer-term, more sustainable projects generating greater impact. Our Social Value Programmes Development Manager is developing our digital offerings, and our Customer Service Department will be ensuring each and every customer has a positive experience.”
Anna Higham – Head of Corporate Social Responsibility