Working with our partners to deliver social value

We recognise we can achieve more social value by working with partners. 

We want to develop our partnerships with corporate partners and VCSE organisations (voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations) to maximise the social value we can deliver. We will continue to work with our existing partners and develop new partnerships to help us deliver more social value. 

The Bolton Family

We are founder members of the award winning Bolton Family, a group of more than 40 Bolton organisations that work together to improve the town and strengthen communities.

The Bolton Family – made up of business, housing, regeneration and voluntary sector organisations – won a top award at the Responsible Business Awards in 2019.

The group won the Connected Places Award which recognises businesses working in partnership to address long-term social, economic and environmental needs.

The work of the Bolton Family is estimated to have directly benefitted more than 10,000 people in Bolton with another 30,000 people experiencing the knock-on benefits.

The Bolton Family is made up of local businesses including Warburtons, Seddon, Barkers and Keogh Solicitors; organisations like Bolton Council, Bolton at Home and Greater Manchester mental health services; and charities and social enterprises including Urban Outreach, Bolton CVS, the Woodland Trust, Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce and the Octagon Theatre.

The Bolton Family has launched its 2020 Social value challenge which sets out 20 ways organisations can deliver social value in Bolton.

Successful partnership initiatives delivered through the Bolton Family include:

Seddy Bears Picnic – Seddon hosts an event for guests identified by Urban Outreach from their BL Summer Lunches project, which provides free packed lunches for schoolchildren during the summer holidays. The event offers local families advice on healthy eating and companies such as Asda and Warburtons provide healthy goody bags. You can see the volunteers including our former Chief Executive, Jon Lord in action in our latest video. 

(short video capturing the Bolton Lunches 2019 project with features staff at Urban Outreach and volunteers from Seddons and Bolton at Home.)

Skills for Employment – Bolton Council helps to secure work experience placements for unemployed people over an eight-week period, with companies like Seddon and Keogh Solicitors offering them work opportunities.

Working Wardrobe – We support unemployed people with employment mentoring and suitable clothing for interviews and starting work. Bolton Family members such as Barkers, Life-Scape and AFG Law offer opportunities to people who are ready to work.

Planting trees - members of the Bolton Family have supported the Woodland Trust in planting 28,000 trees on the moorlands of Bolton. Check out our latest tree planting day video below.

(short video featuring members of the Bolton Family planting trees on the Moorlands of Bolton.)

Other Bolton Family initiatives include regular food bank collections, Christmas hamper collections, shop local campaigns, sponsored walk raising funds for the dementia ward at Royal Bolton hospital, the Hope for change campaign and the ‘bed every night’ scheme to help people in crisis to stay off the streets and have a warm, safe place to sleep.

Greater Manchester’s Housing Providers come together to show social value

Bolton at Home is one of the Greater Manchester Housing Providers and this partnership’s impact on improving local communities has been revealed at a regional conference exploring ‘social value’.

Social value is commonly defined by the positive changes people experience in their lives due to the actions of an organisation or business.

It often refers to how the community benefits from an organisation’s procurement policies, for example by working with suppliers that provide apprenticeship opportunities for local people and that pay their staff the real Living Wage.

GM Housing Providers’ social value figures for the 2020/21 financial year show they collectively supported over 6,500 residents towards work, almost 600 apprentices, spent £400m with local businesses, and facilitated 35,000 hours of volunteering in local communities

They let 2031 homes to people who were previously homeless and completed 1,759 new-build properties.

Over £12.4m was spent with local not-for-profit organisations and 178 community and voluntary organisations were engaged in formal alliances or contracts. £3.4m in grants were awarded to the community and voluntary sector.

Housing staff volunteered 3,001 hours of time to support local communities, while 519 residents got involved in volunteering.

Gareth Swarbrick, Chief Executive at RBH and Chair of GMHP’s Social Value Group said: “Social housing providers are about much more than providing homes – delivering sustainable social, economic and environmental benefits in our communities is at the heart of what we do.

“Our activity goes well beyond traditional routes, such as delivering social value through our supply chains. We look to deliver a range of positive outcomes through our day-to-day activity and the partnerships we foster, from supporting the voluntary and community sector and local non-profit organisations, to raising living standards of residents and promoting participation and citizen engagement.

“It’s vital we shine a light on this activity. It helps society at large to understand that we’re not here just to provide housing, there’s so many other benefits to what we do.”

“Our annual social value report highlights the collective contribution of GMHP members to support residents, communities and local businesses, and is something we can all be really proud of, particularly given the significant challenges faced during the pandemic. Our teams adapted quickly and found new ways of working with our communities to ensure that we were able continue delivering services and support to create significant social impact across our neighbourhoods.”

You can download a graphic of the social value impact here: