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Social Value: How to Kick Start Your Journey

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This first podcast in a series from the Wales Coop Centre ­– a business support project offering free business advice to social enterprises and co-operatives in Wales ­– hosted by Sian Lloyd explores social value. Guests Adam Cox, Social Value Consultant at the centre, Sophie Howe, Future Generations Commissioner for Wales, and Jen Gillies Pemberton, CEO and Founder of CSR consultancy Antz, discuss how organisations can begin creating social value.

Future Generations Commissioner for Wales, Sophie Howe, says it is “crucially important” and not only applies to local government but also the private sector, social enterprises, communities and businesses. But what is “social value”?

Two significant pieces of legislation came into effect in April 2016 that changed the way public bodies deliver wellbeing and improved outcomes for citizens.

The Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 (SSWBA) provided the legal framework for the transformation of social services. It aimed to improve the way care and support needs for people and their carers were met by focusing on action to improve individual wellbeing.

The Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 (“WFG Act”) was introduced to improve the social, economic, environmental and cultural wellbeing of Wales. The act established Public Services Boards (PSBs) for each local authority area in Wales to work towards local wellbeing goals.

Both acts require authorities to provide preventative services as a means of achieving wellbeing, utilising collaboration between and within public bodies, the third sector and the involvement of citizens in information-gathering, decision-making and the design of services.

To develop a robust and sustainable sector for the delivery of social care, preventative and wellbeing services, a long-term vision is needed for the development of social value-based service providers. The Social Value Forum plays a vital role in the development of these services. It uses a range of opportunities to realise the aspirations of the SSWBA.

“How am I going to spend my money as a government?”

Sophie Howe explains that “sometimes it is just the small things that [businesses] … do” that can add social value. And it is not just an issue for larger organisations: the group discusses how everyone can make a difference on a macro-level. And that’s why the Wales Coop Centre Podcast was born: to help all businesses create social value­.

Listen to all episodes here on Business News Wales.