Circular for January 2016

List of Contents


Stop Press

Contacts & Coordinators

Social Audit Network January 2016

Happy New Year and welcome to 2016 from everyone here at the Social Audit Network.

In Jonathan Coe’s book ‘Number 11 or Tales that Witness Madness’ one of the characters joins the ‘Institute for Quality Valuation’ that is intent on putting a financial value on practically anything and everything.  The character is describing society in general when they say…

‘We are dealing with people who have no notional at all that something is important unless you can put a price on it.  So rather than have them dismiss…well, human emotion, altogether, as something completely worthless, I think it’s better if someone like me comes along and tries to help them out.  Makes some sort of case for the defence.  Se we’ve coined a new term – ‘hedonic value’ that might refer to, say, the feeling you get when you look at a beautiful stretch of coastline. And we try to prove that this feeling is actually worth a few thousand pounds…’

This is, of course, fiction and other characters in the book are sceptical at the idea of putting financial value on all things.  But it is surprising how in a relatively short period of time the seemingly accepted way of assessing social impact for organisations with a central social purpose is to convert all their social outcomes into a financial figure.  
Alan Kay, our Audit Champion writes about the relationship of social accoutning and audit and social reurn on investment in his latest blog


From SAN’s Audit Champion…

Is it me or is there a huge increase of almost epidemic proportions of social impact reporting amongst organisations and social enterprises that wish to explain the social difference they make.

This is to be welcomed, but it does raise the question of how much credibility we should attribute to these reports.  Some of them are well-researched and detailed, others are more grandiose in their claims – but surely there must be some way of ensuring they possess integrity and are a true representation of what the organisation has achieved and the social impact it has made.


Alan Kay now has a regular blog where he considers all things social audit… Click here for the first blog or go to   A further edition now follows at  


Alan explores SAN’s approach to social audit and why this is so important. Future editions will, he tells us, start to be more controversial and challenge current opinions around standardising methods of measurement for social value….

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From our Chair – a New Year’s Membership offer…

From January 2016, we will be offering the SAN Guide ‘Prove, Improve, Account’ as part of our membership package. Normally priced at £40, a copy of the Guide and its accompanying CD, will be provided to each new person or organisation successfully applying for membership of SAN (currently £65 for individuals; £120 for community based organisations and social enterprises employing less than 20 people; £250 for other organisations, for 12 months).

For further information, see the SAN website membership pages

AND… for all those who are already members, you will receive a free copy of the Guide and CD on renewing your membership in April 2016.

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Case Studies

SAN is publishing a new set of case studies of organisations which have embedded social accounting within their organisations. These case studies aim to illustrate how social accounting is used across organisations of differing sizes and from different areas of business.  

This second case study is from the Neuro Muscular Centre (NMC)…

NMC came across Social Accounting and Audit as they looked around for something which would more demonstrably show the value of their work and difference they made. They were able to join a small group/cluster of likeminded voluntary sector organisations in Cheshire who were being supported through Social Accounting and Audit training by the County Council Social Enterprise department. They have completed the Social Accounting and Audit process every year since 2006 and through this have discovered the following facts:

  • 100% of service users said NMC keeps them out of hospital
  • 93% said NMC inspired them to achieve more in life
  • 90% + of carers surveyed said NMC was the key to them feeling in control and making friendships 

For the full case study, click here 

Further case studies will be available soon.

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Training News

New SAN training course

SAN has recently partnered with Dovetail, the Manchester based Change-making Agency, and Salford CVS to provide a new training course.  Entitled ‘Promoting Your Social Value, Social Impact and Social Accounting’ the half day course will be held on 9th March, 2016 1:00 PM   to   4:00 PM at:

Broughton Hub - Community Room
50 Rigby Street
Higher Broughton
Salford, M7 4BQ

Register Now 



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. To make sure that you don’t just do the hard graft and make sure you enjoy the added profile, publicity and opportunities this offers, as well as contributing to the growth, status and profile of social value itself.

The half day course covers what you need to do, how to do it, and what to watch out for.

This course is delivered by Julia Brosnan of Dovetail Agency – the change making agency. For further information, visit the Salford CVS website.


New Greater Manchester On-line training module  

Want to know more about your commissioner’s approach to the Social Value question and what the regulations are that they have to follow? There is an online training module available which has been produced in partnership with Salford Council and AGMA. It focusses on commissioning and procurement for Social Value – but if you are writing a tender then you may find it helpful to understand more about the background to your commissioner’s approach. It’s available on the Salford CVS website – click here to go straight to the online training pack

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Other news

When What’s Counted Doesn’t Count

Read "When What’s Counted Doesn’t Count" Article - without an increase in resources for the development of impact measurement, investors will continue to under-rate the achievements of programs that take a more holistic view of social and environmental improvement.


Realising the Value has appointed five local partner sites to help increase the impact of person-centred, community-based approaches to health and wellbeing.

The five local partner sites each have a wealth of experience working in one of the five areas of practice that the programme is focusing on. The successful local partner sites are:

The local partner sites will use their existing experience to help others learn what works in practice. Each of the local partner sites have been selected to receive grant funding from Nesta (subject to signature of a formal grant agreement) to work with the Realising the Value consortium to strengthen the evidence on person-centred and community-based health and care.

For more information about the five local partner sites please visit the Realising the Value programme website.


Social Value Summit

11th February 2016 – Social Value Summit – Social Enterprise UK - London

Social Enterprise UK’s (SEUK) annual Social Value conference will be hosting

  • key debates from leading thinkers 
  • practical advice to implement in your organisation 
  • networking with expert practitioners across sectors 
  • learning relating to key sectors: health, housing, local authorities 
  • international perspectives on social value 
  • detailed procurement & measurement workshops 
  • the inaugural Social Value Awards, in partnership with the Cabinet Office 
  • and as they say…. much more

Look out for workshops led by SAN Directors and our colleagues from Social Value UK, and good luck to everyone nominated for one of the Social Value Awards.


Inspiring Impact

In November 2015, Inspiring Impact hosted an exciting consultation event which involved a network discussion about how they can help more people benefit from their tools and resources. 

After what II described as ‘a great afternoon’, they heard lots of new ideas, and received valuable input on how to shape the programme over the next three years. They also launched a survey about their work going forward, which is still open at:                            

Couldn't make it to the event? We’re still very keen to get your ideas, too! That’s why we’ve set up this short survey—where you can let us know what you think Inspiring Impact can do better in the coming years. 

The responses we receive from you will be used to guide our strategy in the years to come. We will also publish a summary of all feedback we receive through this consultation on the Inspiring Impact website in the coming weeks.

Inspiring Impact are also looking for Impact Champions…

Perhaps you find you’re often talking about good impact practice to your colleagues and peers? Why not sign up to be an Impact Champion? This involves signposting your network to Inspiring Impact's tools and resources, and promoting Inspiring Impact via your organisation's various communications platforms. 

In short, you'll spread the word about Inspiring Impact, and help more charities to benefit from our free tools and resources. Being an Impact Champion comes with various benefits—please get in touch with the team at to learn more.


South Yorkshire Forest Partnership is proud to announce the successful conclusion of the Interreg funded VALUE Added Project (VALUE+). The Final Report, including final recommendations, is now available for downloading:

Download the Final Report here.

See also the new VALUE+ Strategy website with useful GIS and decision-tree tools.


Wythenshaw Community Housing Group has launched its new Social Impact Report;

which can be downloaded at

This is a first for the organisation and they have asked that SAN Members provide any feedback as they constantly try to improve what we do and how we do it.

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Stop Press

New SAN Training Course

New SAN training course

SAN has recently partnered with Dovetail, the Manchester based Change-making Agency, and Salford CVS to provide a new training course.  Entitled ‘Promoting Your Social Value, Social Impact and Social Accounting’ the half day course will be held on 9th March, 2016 1:00 PM   to   4:00 PM at:

Broughton Hub - Community Room
50 Rigby Street
Higher Broughton
Salford, M7 4BQ

Register Now

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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