Circular for March 2012

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Contacts & Coordinators

Social Audit Network March 2012

2012 SAN Gathering

54_info_htm_74b4494e.jpgThe 2012 SAN Gathering will be hosted by the Women’s Organisation in Liverpool on 20th April 2012, in their new building at 54 St James' Street, with a programme that will include:

Keynote speeches from Luciana Berger MP and Caroline Mason (Chief Operating Officer at Big Society Capital)

World cafe conversations - Accelerated thinking conversations facilitated by Liz Brooks-Allen of The Connectives on...

  • Measuring or accounting for social value?
  • Public procurement: the value of social impact information
  • Power within communities - where does the accountability lie?
  • Social change beyond the economic

Participatory Workshops - Practical sessions led by SAN supporters & directors, considering

  • Consultation tools and techniques - innovative methodologies
  • Analysing information from social reports
  • Financialisation and social accounting
  • Audit as part of performance management - an auditors tale
  • Starting small: social accounting and audit for all

The first SAN Memorial Lecture the first of our annual lectures to explore some of the key trends affecting social impact and the social enterprise sector delivered by Dr Adam Richards, Liverpool John Moores University. Our lectures are dedicated to SAN founding members and Chairs John Pearce and Mike Swain in recognition of their outstanding contribution on the social accounting and audit landscape that both sadly died during 2011.

For more information and to download a booking form, click HERE

On the day, participants will be able to choose one of the five workshops to attend. Each are individually tailored to tackle a particular issue around social value and reporting in a participatory way. For example, workshop 2 will include:

Analysing information from social reports

This workshop is for those who receive social reports and wish to analyse their content, or those who prepare social reports and wish to ensure that the report contains information which is useful and ‘fit for purpose’ for commissioners of services.

The workshop will facilitate discussion focussing on the requirements of the Public Services (Social Value) Act, around the following:

  • Why prepare a social report?
  • What do social reports tell commissioners?
  • How can they help social enterprises?
  • What should social reports contain?
  • How should they be analysed – what are the criteria for review?
  • Should commissioners require use of a specific tool for social reporting?

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.’

Before the Gathering, SAN will partner Community Business Scotland at the SE Exchange in Glasgow on Tuesday 27th March. For more information, follow this link:

This month, our newsletter focuses on North-West England, where there is currently much activity around social accounting and social value.

We also have notes and observations about developments in social impact measurement across the UK. With Chris White’s Private Member’s Bill heading towards Royal Assent, there is growing interest in the media around social value. Could work such as that which SAN has been doing with social economy organisations for many years be starting to get lost in the chat, the hype and the tweets?

This is a rallying call to all social enterprises to take the challenges which will come as a result of the Public Services (Social Value) Act to tell their story of social value in the most appropriate manner. As a sector, we are innovative, people-centred and caring…. Let’s not lose that in regulation and public authority red tape!



Developments in social value.

The SROI network has recently published it’s Guide to Commissioning for Maximum Value - Guide to Commissioning for Maximum Value. Focussing in the main on case studies around social return on investment, the Guide is aimed at commissioners of public services.

SAN has been in discussion with the new ‘Inspiring Impact’ programme, which is led by New Philanthropy Capital and a group of organisations all interested in social value. For more information, see Philanthropy Capital.

SAN hopes to be able to support the Impact Measurement Support work, but also on other projects, using experience based in the pioneering of a largely grassroots, ‘DIY’ approach to social impact assessment through social accounting and audit in community, voluntary and social enterprise organisations. 

Inspiring impact sets out the current state of impact measurement in the social sector, and outlines how the participants in the Impact Summit plan to inspire change and increase the focus on impact to help more charities and funders use their resources effectively to make the most positive difference.

If you would like to find out more about this project, please contact Benedict Rickey at

In the House of Lords, Chris White’s Public Services (Social Value) Bill has moved smoothly through to its final stages. It will not be long before it will become mandatory for social value to be considered at the pre-procurement stage for all public service contracts in England, at least. SAN is undertaking some pioneering with a local authority in North-west England around HOW social value can be objectively evaluated at the pre-qualification questionnaire (PQQ) stage. For more information, please contact Anne Lythgoe (

Social Enterprise UK has published a brief guide on how the Bill is likely to change things and how it should work in practice. It will be followed by more guidance and help as we get nearer to the Bill being law. For more information, go to Social Enterprise

Finally we note a Third Sector online commentary, at:
Third Sector Online. With all these complex tools and a move towards cost benefit analysis and social return on investment, Third Sector asks – should we keep impact measurement simple?

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News from North-west England

With the SAN Gathering happening shortly in Liverpool, this month we focus on some of the other activities happening in north-west England.

Learning Together Cheshire & Warrington Conference 2012
Impact — making, measuring and showing

Middlewich Community Church Middlewich
Thursday 22nd March 09:45 to 15:30
More than ever, organisations in the voluntary sector need to show that they are competent make a difference and are worth investing in during these times of scarce resources. This year we focus on the important theme of Impact—how you can be more effective and make an impact on your client group, how you can best capture the quality of what you do and how well you work, and ways that you can best show potential funders or commissioners that funding placed with you is money well and effectively spent. Not forgetting that we also need to look at different ways of working and developing as a sector. The Keynote speakers and workshops are all covering different aspects of the conference theme, and will help you to develop your thinking and practice, make new links and help to make your organisation resilient and successfully weather these difficult times.

For further information see Learning Together Flier

The Neuro-Muscular Centre in Winsford has just published its latest set of social accounts. The Panel was chaired by Lisa McMullan from the Women’s Organisation in Liverpool. This was their 5th year of “doing” Social Accounting and Audit and the accounts can be viewed at:

A Social Enterprise Council has been established within Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce. The new body, which involves a diverse group of people who run social enterprises in Greater Manchester (including co-operatives and mutuals), is a "think and do tank" that aims to promote social value in a balanced economy and to identify and address blockages and bottlenecks that impact on this. The Council is not aiming to be a representative body, but rather will seek to develop new thinking about social enterprise and social value to enhance the society, economy and environment of Greater Manchester. This is believed to be the first such arrangement in the UK with a chamber of commerce, and the Social Enterprise Council's members welcome the opportunity to work with the support of the Chamber. The Council aims to communicate regularly on its progress through the local representative bodies for social enterprises, co-operatives and mutuals.

SAN hopes to be working closely with the new Social Enterprise Council over the coming months.
For more information about the Greater Manchester Chamber’s Social Enterprise Council, please contact its Chair, Chris Dabbs (Chief Executive of Unlimited Potential), at



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Stop Press

Why come to Liverpool in April (apart from the SAN Gathering)?

A giant story of love inspired by the Titanic will take over Liverpool when the world’s leading street theatre company creates an event which will be the biggest of its kind in the UK in 2012

A Little Girl Giant will take to the city streets in a street spectacular produced specifically for Liverpool by renowned marionette experts Royal De Luxe (RDL). Since 2009, the renowned company has attracted audiences of around 9.6million people to stunning events in Nantes, Berlin, Santiago, Antwerp and Guadalajara.

The event has been in planning since 2006, when Artistic Director and founder of RDL, Jean-Luc Courcoult, visited Liverpool and was inspired by an emotional letter he saw in the Merseyside Maritime Museum written by a young girl whose father was a passenger on the tragic maiden voyage of the Titanic.

As a result, Liverpool’s ‘Sea Odyssey’ was born.

From Friday 20 to Sunday 22 April 2012 a free event will unfold with key city spaces becoming focal points in a story about love, family and communication.

This is the most complex event the city has ever staged and will involve hundreds of people in its planning and execution and is set to attract hundreds of thousands of visitors to the city. It will be one of the highlights of events in Liverpool to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.

Although I live at the other end of the East Lancs Road – near the rival City of Manchester, I enjoy visiting Liverpool for its museums, theatres, waterfront, shops and bars. So why not stay on in Liverpool after the SAN Gathering?


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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