Four years ago, a small group of people with an interest in Greater Manchester, its people and Social Value developed the Greater Manchester Social Value Network (GMSVN). Constituted on a voluntary basis, the Network has sought to draw together the public, commercial and social sectors to put Social Value at the heart of everything which Greater Manchester does:
- We want Social Value to be embedded in our Mayor’s Economic Strategy;
- We want Social Value to be considered in every procurement exercise undertaken by our public sector;
- We want Social Value to grow into the culture of businesses of all sizes and in all sectors;
- We want Social Value to benefit and be delivered by our Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise sector organisations.
Over the last four years we have grown as a network and have achieved a lot:
- We have showcased Social Value practise at our regular conferences;
- We have developed training modules around Social Value;
- We have lobbied and influenced policy and practice, most notably around commissioning and procurement;
- And we have been successful in creating a movement for change.
We, however, have lots more to do to meet our vision of ‘embedding Social Value into everything that Greater Manchester does.’
On Tuesday 10th September 2019, the Co-op Group will be kindly hosting a Gathering of GMSVN Members and wider stakeholders to celebrate our successes, to engage with our existing members, and to attract a wider audience. The whole purpose of the Gathering is draw together stakeholders from different sectors to share practice, learn from each other, and collaborate moving forward to improve Greater Manchester economically, socially and environmentally. We will:
- Hear from Steve Murrells, the CEO of the Co-op Group about why Social Value is important;
- Explore what Members of GMSVN and others are already doing around Social Value;
- Converse with the ex-Cabinet Minister, Hazel Blears about what the future holds for Social Value;
- Identify through a ‘World Café’ session how the audience can contribute towards embedding Social Value at the heart of everything Greater Manchester does.
We already have a relatively diverse audience signed up. However, we would particularly welcome the engagement of the business community in Greater Manchester – you are integral to realising a more prosperous and socially just future for our residents. To sign up, please follow this link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/greater-manchester-social-value-network-gathering-tickets-63971990947
Matthew Baqueriza-Jackson is the Chair of the Greater Manchester Social Value Network.