As 2022 comes to an end I thought it would be worthwhile briefly reflecting on our past year.
The year started with so much promise as we seemed to be finally emerging from the pandemic. That did not last long, as we were slapped in the face by Russia as they invaded Ukraine; the shock waves from this unprovoked attack are still reverberating and will continue to impact all our lives well into 2023 and perhaps beyond.
Taking things back to what we can control, three specific highlights stand out as key take-outs from the year for me.
1. The significance of coming back together post Covid
We hosted the National Social Value Conference ‘22 at Church House at the end of April. It felt great to get back together in person after a two-year Covid gap and it gave me a sense of what the social value movement has become. The event was buzzing and I particularly enjoyed the Hackathon and the Social Value Awards evening which was compared by Lemn Sissay – a truly inspiring speaker who touched all our hearts with his story. I think we all valued being in-person as a large group all the more. We’re looking forward to the 2023 conference on 13 and 14 June.
2. Social value is clearly on the map and here to stay
A few weeks ago we held our most well attended webinar on the Social Value Model and TOMs Mapping tool. 2100 people registered and 1100 people attended. This took us by total surprise and at first I could not understand why so many people chose to join us. However, on closer consideration, it seems clear that this enthusiasm reflects not only a desire to learn more, but also the fact that social value is now a proper thing and is definitely here to stay and so ‘we had better learn all about it!’.
3. By working together we can make a huge difference
A few days ago, we completed our final review of the total social value that our members have both delivered and committed to since 2017 – a verified total of £14.5 billion. Whilst the number if big, it’s what sits behind it that really impresses me including over 11,000 jobs for disadvantaged people, £7.2bn spend in local communities, £30m donations to charities and 360,000 tonnes of CO2 saved. A fantastic achievement by all and sets us well on our way to achieving our Big Audacious Goal of £100bn!
The past year has seen much drama but I am optimistic that by working together across sectors, we can make a real and positive difference.
Wishing everyone in the social value family an enjoyable festive season and a healthy, happy New Year.