Social Value Forum Blog

Quantifying our social value

A blog by Margaret Michell

Chair of Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce Social Value & Procurement Forum

The Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce Social Value Forum first met in October 2019. Since then, we have gone from strength to strength in our mission to quantify the social value generated by the Chambers and all the organisations we work with.

Social value is the value that people place on the changes they experience in their lives.

The principles of social value provide the foundation for anyone who wants to make decisions that take the wider definition of value into account, in order to increase equality, improve wellbeing and increase environmental sustainability.

Social value will always involve stakeholders, who put simply, are anyone who affects, or are affected by, your business.

We have recently added procurement into our title as good procurement practice can be a key driver for social value.

I know that it all sounds a bit highbrow when you write it down. However, our aims are simply to help business and other organisations and their employees to understand social value, and to help them to implement standards, to whatever degree fits with their organisation, as well as pointing them towards more information on social value organisations, examples of best practice and training.

The group is currently working up the Chambers’ Social Value Charter, on which Tim Edwards is leading. We are reviewing its content in the light of the new British Standard BS8905 for Social Value, and the Chambers’ Social Value Forum Plan, so that they are fully aligned for maximum impact.

The forum meets quarterly to take stock of the issues around social value and to review those initiatives where we have some involvement and input.

For example, Vicki Hardie and Lorraine Green are the Chambers’ representatives on the new UN Global Compact Ambition Plan, designed to accelerate change and speed up business’s achievement of global sustainability goals, post covid.

Examples of some of the papers we have reviewed include Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s Powering up the City programme, the Government’s Public Procurement Reform Green Paper and the Treasury Committee’s Green Book Call for Evidence – all of which afford social value a high profile.

The Chamber is involved in initiatives such as Positive Pathways, working with refugees to start their own business and, Boosting Women in Business and ongoing business start-up support.

Lisa Healings of Voluntary action Stoke-on-Trent (VAST) reported that Totally Stoked, an exciting opportunity for the city to explore a new way of resourcing local social action in a sustainable manner, has received renewed funding and that VAST continues to work with Stoke-on-Trent City Council to achieve digital inclusion, through the supply of computer equipment to those in need.

Our next meeting will be on Friday 7th May 2021 at 9am. We are hopeful that we will have someone from HS2 to speak to us about procurement opportunities arising from HS2, and how social value is being incorporated into the plans.

If you would like to find out more about what we do or are considering joining the Social Value Forum, please email me:

If you want to talk about any business issues, you can call the Chambers switchboard on 01782 202222 or call the Stoke and Staffs Growth Hub Helpline on 0300 111 8002 or email:

To join the Forum discussion click here Hot Topics — Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce

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