Circular for February 2012

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Contacts & Coordinators

Social Audit Network February 2012

Social Impact in Practice

Are you interested in social value? Do you want to know more about how to investigate and report about your organisation’s social, environmental and economic impact? Are you a commissioner of public services who is looking for ways that providers can demonstrate the outcomes that you need? 
The 2012 SAN Gathering will be hosted by the Women’s Organisation in Liverpool on 20th April 2012, with a programme that will include:

  • Keynote speeches from Luciana Berger MP and Caroline Mason (Chief Operating Officer at Big Society Capital)
  • Speakers from across public service sectors, including housing, and health
  • World café conversations encompassing the key theme of social impact in practice
  • Facilitated thinking and learning workshops about aspects of social impact reporting tools, analysis, financial measures and audit
  • Your chance to reflect on social value and influence aspirations for SAN
  • Tributes to SAN founder members John Pearce and Mike Swain
  • For more information and to download a booking form, click HERE

This year, SAN aims to stimulate discussion about and area of growing interest to both providers and commissioners of public services. Use of Social Accounting and Audit and other tools used to report on social value will become key to planned changes in the world in which we work – changes to legislation, reductions in available finance, increased competition – and also a need for greater understanding of what ‘social value’ actually is…

Our gathering will bring together people a wide range of perspectives on this topic, all able to share thinking and learning with participants. Book your place now and you can also receive a discount on ‘Prove and improve – Guide to Social Accounting and Audit.’

Elsewhere, Chris White MP’s Social Value Bill progresses through the House of Lords, enjoys all party support and receiving a second reading on 27th January. It now passes to the Lords Committee stage.

In Scotland, a 2 day Prove Improve Account (PIA) open programme will take place in Glasgow on 12th and 13th March 2012.  Alan Kay will lead the two day workshop, which will be based around the new Guide to social accounting and audit. See below for further details.



An English public service revolution?

In north-west England, Greater Manchester has been selected as one of four ‘Whole Place Community Budget’ pilots in the country. This means that the 10 local authorities in Greater Manchester will work through one ‘joint authority’ with the Government to develop a ‘whole place’ approach to public service delivery. Gone will be geographical boundaries, to be replaced by a ‘thematic’ focus on four priorities for the area: under-fives, troubled families, transforming justice, and health and social care.

The vision of the Community Budget is to create a system where public bodies can be free to invest to save. For example the pilot will focus on people who are very dependent on a wide range of often very expensive public services, but who, with the right support, could become more self-reliant. The pilot will test new ways of public services investing in much more joined-up ways of helping such people to help themselves and then capturing some of the public money no longer being spent on them to do the same with more people.

However, this ‘outcomes focus’ – investing in results which should then lead to savings is being rolled out alongside new local government funding based on ‘payment by results’.

Over Christmas the Government announced its ‘Troubled Families’ initiative, which plans to turn around the lives of 120,000 of the most troubled families in England. The initiative will attract nearly £450 million from existing departmental budgets over four years. The funding will help pay for a network of people who will identify families in need of help; make sure they get access to the right services; and ensure that action is taken. In Greater Manchester for example, over 8,000 families are expected to be targeted.

However, the funding will cover only 40 per cent of costs, which will be made on a payment-by-results basis. Areas that want to use it will have to agree to fund the other 60 per cent themselves.

Payment will be made by Government on the basis of outcomes achieved. So, your public service commissioners will need to look to providers to be able to demonstrate the required outcomes from the work that your organisation is doing for them! Just one more reason why you need to be taking action to account for and report on the outcomes and impact that the work which you know is valuable and making a difference!

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Prove Improve Account!

A 2 day Prove Improve Account (PIA) open programme will take place in Glasgow on 12th and 13th March 2012. Alan Kay will deliver the two days which will be based around the new Guide to Social Accounting and Audit.

This interactive and informative two day workshop will take participants through the four stages of social accounting and audit. Firstly, identifying and clarifying the purpose and objectives of an organisation along with who it works with; secondly, looking at information need to report back on each objective in terms of outputs and outcomes; thirdly, the bringing together of the information into a written account which reports on performance and impact; and fourthly, the verification of the social account to provide it with credibility. This tried and tested process has emerged from work directly with social economy organisations over the years and will be based on the New Guide to social accounting and audit which will be provided to participants. The programme is a mix of presentations and exercises which allows time for discussion and debate. It also demonstrates a number of techniques and tools that are available to help organisations compile a meaningful social report - and may be of wider benefit to your organisation.

Cost: £350 including a copy of the New Guide and CD

For further information and to register for this workshop contact Kay McGregor at the Social Enterprise Academy; email: or telephone 0131 243 2674

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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