Book a Training Session
We will be hosting the first set of training sessions on the 24th of August, and another on the 14th of September. Free tickets are now available via our Eventbrite:
At Connect Reading, we connect sectors for mutual benefit, impacting the local environment, local community and local economy. By bringing together businesses, charities, and the education and public sectors Connect Reading increases social value in Greater Reading.
We identify connections to boost social value, and (since the Social Value Act Enhancement PPN 06/20 requirement for all government contractors to deliver local social value) we have seen an increase in the need for local connections. Despite the policy’s intentions to enhance local wellbeing and local environments, finding the perfect match for volunteering, donations and skills between the local community and commercial partnerships is often labour-intensive. Since Covid, significant increase in demand has sometimes outweighed our capacity. In addition, reporting on impact and matching that data with Government Social Value Model criteria is time consuming.
Responding to the growth in interest around social value, we identified a unique collaboration with whatimpact.com. This partnership puts Reading on the map as a leader in grounded social value by focusing on the importance of local partnerships alongside validated impact reporting. Access to the whatimpact.com social value management platform facilitates planning, matchmaking and reporting for all organisations in Reading.
Three of Reading’s key institutions – Reading Borough Council, Royal Berkshire Hospital and the University of Reading – are members of Connect Reading and are all keen to enhance the social value delivery in the area.
Statement from Lorraine, Connect Reading:
“Our vision at Connect Reading is to build a better Reading for everyone, impacting our local environment, local community and local economy. We see this partnership with WhatImpact.com as a significant opportunity to put local, impactful social value front and centre in our town. The opportunity for businesses to measure impact on a local level will positively impact staff engagement. It also – most importantly – ensures the benefit of volunteering, support and donations can be felt on the ground where it’s most needed. We’re confident that our member organisations, from every sector, will find this localised view engaging, empowering and impactful.”
Statement from Tiia, whatimpact:
“We are thrilled to offer this localised view of the nationwide whatimpact to Reading. Our already affordable platform is now even more accessible to Reading businesses through our collaboration with Connect Reading through a heavily reduced price. Charities, social enterprises and local initiatives will continue to have free access to the platform, so each sector can find their match! Our social value planning tool puts local authorities and other public sector services in a better position to score social value points based on tangible social value criteria. The combination of Connect Reading ‘on the ground’ means that future partnerships are well positioned to address local priorities. Delivery of these partnerships can start as soon as contracts start, with the impact understood and reported with verified impact data. We invite all organisations in Reading to join and look forward to championing them as social value frontrunners in the UK.”
Statement from Kate Graefe, former Assistant Director of Procurement & Contracts at Reading Borough Council, guest speaker at the World Sustainable Contracting Day 2022
“Public sector services are increasingly keen to ensure the incorporation of social value in contracts, measuring meaningful impact. Many local authorities use TOMs (Themes, Outcomes & Measures) as a basis for requesting and measuring social value, but this framework monetises social value based on national figures, rather than measuring local impact. Truly delivering value also needs a network of connections, to understand local needs and match with social value attained through contracts. The combination of WhatImpact.com’s matching technology overlaid with local knowledge from a local organisation like Connect Reading is an incredible opportunity ramp up social value impact for Reading. This place based approach to delivery and measurement of social value impact is a significant step in supporting Reading Borough Council’s vision, to help Reading realise its potential and ensure that everyone who lives and works here can share the benefits of its success.”
This partnership also means all organisations (companies, charities, social enterprises, local initiatives) in Reading will gain access to training events hosted by WhatImpact.com and Connect Reading, with a plethora of content and resources to help them create meaningful, impactful social value.
Get in touch with whatimpact:
Get in touch with Connect Reading:
If you want to read more about the Social Value Act and how it impacts companies bidding for government tenders – download whatimpact’s Social Value Act Guide.