Circular for March 2017

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Contacts & Coordinators

Social Audit Network March 2017

Stockport Roadshow

‘Great over view of how to start working on social accounts’

‘It’s been done before and it works!’

‘There’s a community and network’

’Just get on with it!’


These are some of the comments received following our Roadshow event last week in Stockport. Representatives from charities, social enterprises, housing associations, local authorities and local community groups, came together at the ‘centre of cakes’ in Stockport (home of the Give to Gain Community).

Anne Lythgoe provided an over view of the four-step social accounting and audit process, supported by colleagues from the SAN Board, and with added insight from Karen Smith (Turn Up the Value) and Lynn Sbaih (Give to Gain Community).

Bill Taylor – another SAN Director, then facilitated detailed discussion about why social accounting might be useful to those organisations and people present. This compiled a huge list of plus points and stimulated further debate about how SAA is a way to better tell your story, as it provides both structure to that story, but also evidence that it is real.

After the break, the floor was turned over to people to tell their own tales of social accounting. First up was Matthew Lanham of the Neuro Muscular Centre in Winsford, Cheshire; who have been publishing their social accounts every year for the past decade. Matthew described how this enables the organisation to focus on making a difference for the families with members who have neuro muscular disease.

Lynn Sbaih talked about how Give to Gain will use social accounting to describe the incredible impact that a time bank is creating for the people involved. She was followed by Emily Williams from Stockport Prevention Alliance, who, although new to social accounting, has already started to capture the evidence that the organisation will need for a successful report.

Hannah Ross and William Case are volunteer champions with Disability Rights UK’s I Can Make It Campaign. They described how they are working to increase the employment rate for disabled people – lobbying local authorities to use their Social Value Act powers. In Greater Manchester, the employment of people who are furthest from the labour market is a high priority. Participants were encouraged to think about how they might contribute towards this target.

The intensive programme then contained a short workshop on Impact Mapping, led by Karen Smith. Impact Mapping is an easy way to start your social accounting and a key part of the 4-step process.

Finally, Bill Taylor talked about independent social audit and why this will allow an organisation to really prove that what it is saying in its social accounts is actually true, and robustly collected and reported!

SAN is now planning Road Show events in Birmingham, north east England, and Buckinghamshire. Anyone interested in attending should email the SAN office



SAN training


SAN is looking to arrange a further date in early summer for our ‘back to back’ Social Accounting (morning) and Promoting your social value (afternoon) training in Manchester.


MORNING: Introduction to Social Accounting and Audit Masterclass

This half day masterclass will introduce you to the essentials of:

•          Social Accounting and Audit as a way of measuring and assessing social impact

•          Embedding sound monitoring systems

•          'Proving' the difference that your organisation makes

This masterclass will show you how to build social accounting from what you already do, and understand the main steps involved in social accounting and audit. Using examples from other organisations, it will help you to see how others have started social accounting and support you to introduce it into your work. Each participant will be provided with some of the essential materials needed to start social accounting using the SAN methodology.


AFTERNOON: Promoting Your Social Value, Social Impact and Social Accounting Masterclass

This training course is designed to demonstrate the added benefits that promoting your social value, for example through impact reports or social accounting, can bring.

Make sure that you don’t just do the hard graft and that you also enjoy the added profile, publicity and increasing partnership and funding opportunities, as well as contributing to the growth, status and profile of social value itself!

Learning outcomes will include:

•          Understand the added value that promoting social accounting can bring

•          Know how to identify appropriate stories and media, knowing how to time a story and how to prepare those involved

•          To be prepared for following up media stories, for making the best use of coverage and exposure, as well as understanding potential risks and pitfalls

•          Making the best use of partners, working with others for wider promotion.

•          To have learnt and shared from and with others in the sector, and to have an understanding of the wider peer group responsibilities and benefits of promoting social accounting as a whole.


Anyone who is interested in attending this back to back course should contact the SAN office to register their interest. There will be a charge for this course of £75 for each half day (or £130 for both sessions booked at the same time). SAN Members will be offered a discount on both events.



SAN will shortly confirm the dates for one of our 2 day Prove, Improve, Account intensive social accounting and audit workshops.

The two day Prove, Improve and Account (PIA) Workshop is aimed at people who wish to understand the Four Step social accounting process either; to facilitate the process with social economy organisations; or to use it within their own organisation. The cost will be £375 including a copy of the social accounting and audit guide & CD. (If you already have a manual & CD the cost is £350). The Workshop will go through the Four Step process in detail from the perspective of a facilitator/trainer.

This workshop will be held in either Manchester or Liverpool. If you are interested in registering, please contact the SAN office on



The Social Enterprise Academy is running Measuring Social Impact days in Scotland.  The dates for these introductory events in social impact measurement have been confirmed as:

  • 11th April 2017 in Edinburgh.

Click here for further information.

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New SAN Auditor

Sue Osborne is SAN’s newest approved Social Auditor. 

Sue Osborne ( is a seasoned senior leader with experience spanning the public, private and voluntary sectors. Her areas of expertise lie in strategic planning, business development and project management and she is also a naturally positive and energetic team-leader and facilitator.

Sue is currently the Director of the Yorkshire, Humber and North East School for Social Entrepreneurs, an organisation that supports individuals to start, scale and sustain social enterprises, charities and community businesses (  Sue leads SSE’s programmes across these two regions, which currently support approximately 140 social entrepreneurs per year. Part of Sue’s role includes working closely with a wide range of social enterprises and charities, supporting them to prepare a range of reports evaluating their social impact.

Prior to joining SSE in 2013, she worked for several years as a business consultant working specifically in the areas of fair trade and social enterprise and authored a book entitled “Shared Interest, investing in a Fairer World”. This was based on her almost six-year tenure as Business Development Director of Shared Interest, an ethical investment cooperative which successfully grew its share capital to over £26m, lending money to 101 Fair Trade businesses in 36 countries across the globe.

Sue’s interest in social accounting started during her time at Shared Interest, when her team successfully pioneered the first set of social accounts for the organisation.  Shared Interest has since gone on to develop their social accounting process, winning a number of awards along the way. Sue concluded her social auditor training, chairing the panel that audited Shared Interest’s twelfth set of social accounts.

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SAN News

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SAN Blog

He who pays the piper calls the tune.  Old British saying

Explanation in Cambridge Dictionary: the saying is said to emphasise that the person who is paying someone to do something can decide how it should be done…


This above saying is widely used and often in connection with funders and investors – those that provide funds to enable social economy organisations to get on and do things that have social or community benefit.

There is a fine dividing line between those that provide the financial resources and those organisations that carry out the work.  How much right have funders in dictating what the work should be, who should do it, how it should be done and how should the benefits be reported back?


To read more of Alan Kay’s latest blog, go to


International SAN

SAN India

SAN India reports that it is fielding a lot of enquiries about SAA, and has also held a Masterclass in Dubai where two people are now qualified Social Auditors. It looks like there will be a new chapter of SAN in Dubai shortly!

SAN India itself has 5 people to be registered as SAN Approved Social Auditors.

SAN India is working on a joint proposal with SAN Australia to develop online training, funded from India/Australia Co-operation organisation. It is working with School for Entrepreneurs in Delhi and is hoping to hold a SAA Masterclass soon. Chennai College is keeping social accounts that may go to audit.

SAN India has also been contacted by people in Malaysia to do a Masterclass there.


SAN India is hosted by CSIM, which also publishes an interesting journal – Conversations Today, that has featured Alan Kay’s recent blog.


for further information and links, go to



Other news:

Measuring your Green Business

The Manchester Growth Company has a variety of video and written case studies of what local companies have done to reduce their impact on the environment and reduce their costs.

To help companies understand what practical things they can do to reduce their environmental impact we’ve developed a Green Business Pledge, this has over 50 different actions an organisation can take to make a positive change, ranging from the very simple through to those which may require a little more thinking.  Organisations can choose to make the profiles public to promote their commitment and we have organisations as diverse as Parish churches to law firms making pledges.

To help organisations keep up to date with their environmental issues we produce a fortnightly e-bulletin, Green Intelligence which sends tailored information to their inbox.

If organisations are particularly interested in employing people from disadvantaged backgrounds then this paper by HMG and Business in the Community is a good step by step guide on actions which can be taken.

More widely if companies are looking for support to develop their competencies across their operations then through our publicly funded Business Growth Hub services we should be able to help them.


Greater Manchester Social Value Network

The network is delighted to announce that 2 members of GMSVN’s steering group won awards at this year’s Social Enterprise UK’s Social Value Awards.

Tom Wilde from Trafford Housing Trust won the Social Value Leadership Award for an Individual

Colette Humphrey representing Wythenshawe Community Housing Group won the Social Value Leadership Award for an Organisation 

For more information go to


The GM Social Value Network has also sent the following messages to all our GM Mayoral candidates:

  1. Social Value should be at the heart of all GM strategy – that means the Mayor needs to ‘Social Value-proof’ existing and future strategy to ensure it has a common thread and is adapted accordingly. Social Value should be one of the priorities throughout the GM Strategy, Spatial Framework, and wider devolution planning.
  2. The creation of social impact should be ‘valued’ and recognised as a way to achieve the maximum return from investment of public and private money in GM, and measurement frameworks are required. But frameworks should not insist that every last piece of ‘value’ has to be measured and accounted for in financial terms. There needs to be understanding and agreement that this is the right way to do business, but not all social value can/should be measured. All 'measuring' should be proportionate and relevant.
  3. Social Value needs leadership - it should be taken seriously and effort/resources put into changing the way that GM does business. This should include the policy lead for social value being included in the GM Mayor’s own office.
  4. Social Value isn’t just procurement, it’s inclusive growth - measures are required to ensure that every development project in the Greater Manchester Strategic Framework maximises the delivery of social value and contributes towards inclusive growth.


Social Value UK

Keynotes Announced for "Social Value Matters 2017" : At this year’s international conference, we want to focus on what needs to happen to amplify stakeholder voices to inspire change and maximise social value to the point that equality does improve. There will be a focus on how we can use social impact data to drive innovation and ensure stakeholder involvement in service design. We will be sharing experiences of what’s worked in changing culture, systems, techniques and legislation, running smaller group discussions and round tables so that we can all contribute. Further information on speakers and about the conference here.

10th & 11th April 2017, Istanbul

This year’s conference is being held against a backdrop of increasing inequality and global uncertainty. Social Value International ‘s vision is a world where decision making, ways of working and resource allocation are based on the principles of accounting for value leading to increased equality and well­being and reduced environmental degradation.


Maximising Value training

Organisations are increasingly recognising the need to maximise their impact. Social Value UK provides practical, hands on training for individuals and organisations that want to move their focus from measuring to managing and maximising the value they create. Social impact and social innovation are sometimes seen as separate activities and this course integrates impact and innovation to create value. Participants will be able to go back and start collecting data that helps them design better services with their service users.

April 26th 2017 - Central Liverpool

9am - 5pm

Trainer: Social Value UK CEO Jeremy Nicholls

Cost: Members ONLY £100 (& VAT), Non-Members £150 (& VAT)

To book, please email

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Contacts and Coordinators

North East England

Julie Gowland

South East

Barbara Beaton

South Central England

Dave Furze

North West England

Liz Brooks Allen and Anne Lythgoe

West Midlands and East Midlands

Iftikar Karim (until June 2016) and Sean Smith

Yorkshire and Humber

Bernie Speight

South West England

Helen Vines

Northern Ireland

Peter MacCafferty