The Council and democracy Social Value

Social values in action

Social value is an important factor for us when we decide on any contract or contractor. We want social value that will bring about real change to our residents’ and communities’ daily lives. 
Here are some case studies illustrating the growth and development possible through this social value.

Nicola social value story


The Work and Skills Team has a wide remit of a role, from supporting employers, to building residents’ skills and helping residents get into employment within Manchester. Nicola did a six month placement in the Data Governance Team, and her manager Meryl said it was like a breath of fresh air having her in the office.

Hi, I’m Nicola. Yes, it did help with my confidence and my communication skills by talking with my team and getting to know them. We had a laugh and yeah, it was really good. Disabled people can do jobs, can do this. Okay, we adapt a bit. But we can do the work. We just need the opportunity to do the work. 

Nicola was fantastic, she had a great time whilst she was here – we had a great time supporting her. She did a whole variety of roles and was able to do lots of meetings, and she just grasped everything, so it was really good. So through social value, we were able to link Nicola up with Kiely Brothers. In the interview she was successful with that, and she’s been working for them now for a fair few months. I know she’s really, really happy there – and I know Kiely Brothers are really happy with her as well. So it’s worked out very well.
I like working at my job. 

Chris' Story at Redgate


I’m James Manley, I work for Redgate Holdings Ltd. We’re a waste management business here in Manchester. Social Value was introduced to us by the Council from a contract, from our first ever contract with them.

I’m Chris Grimes, but I’ve been working here like eight or nine years now. It was pretty hard because of the recession and that, it was pretty hard. Everywhere you went it was like, no we’re not taking no one on or nothing. I’ve come in here because my mate works here. He said he’d give me a job, so he can get me a job here, so he said I’ll put your name down. So I put my name down and I kept on coming back. I just kept on phoning them up, I kept on mithering for a job, until they finally give me one.

I think that some of our employment, Chris for example, the chap that you’ve just spoken to. He’d never really had much of a job, he’d only just done bits of casual work. Chris had just kept ringing. He literally just kept ringing the phone, and at the point at we were looking for people I thought I’d better ring this lad back that’s phoned that many times. And as it happens it worked perfectly because he lived local, he was new and he wanted something new to look at.

When I first started, I was in the picking station, picking off the belt like your wood, timber, brick, hardcore, you know what I mean? One of the machine drivers had to go out, so I was on the machine then. I’ve been on it ever since.

Chris, whilst he has worked with us has needed help along the way. So alright, he’ll come here and you can help him with things within work. He then wanted to drive so we paid for him to do his lessons, got him a car, organized it all. He’s paid for it, he’s paying for it through his own wages, but we’re facilitating it, making it work for him. So outside of his job what he comes here to do just for work, he gets lots of other things and appreciates those things so then he works better for you, it’s almost like a family. It’s hard when you’ve got a growing business to keep staff treating - having that family relationship. Especially when you’ve gone from having ten staff to fifty staff, but with people like Chris, it’s easy because they’re getting a good part of the deal as well as we are, so yeah, it works well.

Social value at the UDP


In 2017 we engaged with a company called Labour Ready, and they gave us the opportunity to look at bringing ex-offenders out of the prisons and into the workplace.

For us now, we’re on our third prisoner, and it’s been a thorough success. It gives the guys a second chance in life. It gives them an opportunity to come out of prison, knowing that they’ve got something to look towards. And again, for UDP, it’s been a real success.

I think you’ve got to give it a go. We were quite apprehensive when we took on our first prisoner in the middle of last year. I guess everybody deserves a second chance - we’ve all made mistakes. Everybody needs a chance in life to better themselves, and there’s no better way than this.

We engaged with Labour Ready. We took on our first prisoner, Gavin Noakes, in 2017. It’s been a real success story – you know, Gavin’s engaged with the team, we’ve put him through various training programmes, and we get real loyalty and commitment from him. I guess if we hadn’t given him that opportunity to come out of prison and given him a job where he could gain a wage and there’s a long-term sustainable future for him, then he probably would have gone back to a life of crime.

So, for us, it’s been a really, really big thing. We’re now on our third prisoner, and the business is going to continue to invest into these people.

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