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A collaborative approach to a Social Value Economy

Through its work encouraging businesses to consider recruiting, upskilling and training ex-offenders, Sodexo is in a strong position to demonstrate what Social Value really looks like at ground level - Social Impact Director Angela Halliday delivers us some insights on this topic.

This year marked ten years since the Public Services (Social Value) Act came into force, and while the early part of the decade since its launch was slow and somewhat protracted, markets and government are more focused than ever before on ensuring that we hold each other accountable when truly leading with purpose.

The next National Social Value Conference takes place with a clearer-than-ever-before focus on creating a Social Value Economy. The National Social Value Taskforce’s White Paper provides a clear roadmap and narrative in support of how we journey towards a social value economy, recognising we still have some way to go.

For Sodexo, we have aimed to create social, economic and environmental benefits through our services across the world since our inception in the 1960s. More recently in the UK & Ireland, we went one step further by publishing a series of pledges to tackle the societal and environmental challenges our country faces. These pledges focus our energies on making decisions that benefit not only our clients and our own business, but society as a whole.

At this year’s conference we will hear from a wide range of stakeholders, game-changers and policy influencers on how we can create a better society, and we are proud to be one of those voices, sharing our experience, the progress we’ve made and the challenges we’ve faced.

We know we have a role to play in informing and influencing others. One recent example of where we are doing this is through our recently-launched Starting Fresh campaign, which encourages businesses, big and small, to consider proactively recruiting ex-offenders to vacant roles in their organisations by, for example, holding a recruitment day inside a prison.

Offenders who have spent time in prison often undertake new qualifications, skills and training, and leave prison job-ready and eager to find employment. Giving these individuals a chance so that they can bring their skills into the workplace is good for the economy, and the positive social impact for the individual, their family and communities cannot be under-estimated.

So why would we not all get involved in giving people another chance in life? It all comes down to shifting hearts and minds. In the spirit of driving a social value economy, this is exactly what we need to be doing.

We must reach the hearts of business, bringing to life their purpose, their values and ambitions. Sharing best practice, developing frameworks to support businesses in living their values will be key to influencing thinking, behaviours and mindset of all.

We cannot tackle this alone. It takes collaboration, transparency and a degree of humility for businesses to come together as a force for good. Only together we will create change systemically. Our goal must be to fully embed purpose into our business and policy decisions. We must look much further into the future if we are to develop ways of doing business that are transformative for our communities, our people, and our planet.


Sodexo is one of our headline sponsors for the Social Value Conference 2023, and their CEO of the UK and Ireland, Sean Haley, will be delivering an opening keynote speech on day 2, outlining what a collaborative approach to a Social Value Economy should look like. Find out more and reserve your spot today.

Angela Halliday headshot

Angela Halliday

Director of Social Impact, UK&I - Sodexo

Angela is Sodexo’s lead for Social Value across the UK and Ireland, working with the CEO, the organisation’s executive board, and its Public Sector Board to embed Social Value nationwide. Angela is responsible for ensuring organisational governance and reporting on the Social Value Sodexo is delivering within its contracts.

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