As the New Year comes around, Stephanie Harrison, Executive Director at Regenda Group guest blogs on what their top priorities will be and the increased focus on delivering social value.
It’s a good time of year to take a few deep breaths and recalibrate our vision and plans for the years ahead. It’s been an interesting few months and we need to have some resolve to make sure our ambitions can be realised.
What are our key points for a new year in a changed sector? I think tenacity, determination and resolve will be the ingredients we all need to build a longer term business vision underpinned by practical plans and action.
Together, those ingredients will help us to keep delivering sustainable social value for our business, our residents and our communities. We will still be building on our business vision, where our values reflect the experience and the legacy of our sector, as we also sharpen our commercial focus.
There is clearly a growing business focus on social value as an aspect of all our services, not only because it’s important in terms of our value for money strategies, but also in the way it contributes to continued innovation in our work. And continued innovation – through added value efficiency in procurement, partnership and regeneration – will be of even greater importance in challenging times. We define social value as being about outcomes, measures and activity that support Regenda Homes to transform residents’ lives and communities. That continues to be our focus as a values led organisation: maintaining our vision of delivering social value is part of our leadership challenge for the years ahead.
We’ve refreshed and re-established our social value policy and approach over the last six months; it incorporates the values at the heart of our business as well as the direction of our ambitions. We’ve established an outcomes framework as part of our social value policy, linked to our experience and thinking around regeneration and creating sustainable neighbourhoods. We’ve linked with private sector partners as well as other housing providers in this refresh of our approach, learning from others as part of a wider network. Social value for us is about combining our internal value perspectives, improving procurement and ensuring increased business value, alongside a long term awareness of the impact and potential we can generate for our communities and customers.
We’ve recently signed up to the Liverpool Social Charter, launched in May 2015, as it reflects our ambitions to have a significant impact on the local economy in Liverpool and Merseyside. We’re moving significant levels of Regenda services and investment into Liverpool over the next few months. We have a successful track record of social innovation through projects including our Community Wellbeing Apprentices programme in Anfield: we will continue to identify opportunities where we can have that type of impact.
We know that our social value policy and approach is part of how we can make a real difference to the opportunities available for local people. The year ahead will also involve an increased rate of change as devolution across the region starts to take shape. Social value will be an important part of that wider agenda as we look to support economic and social resilience for our communities.
Stephanie will also be speaking at HACT's 'Social Value in Harder Times' conference being held on Thursday 21 January in Leeds, click here to find out more.