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18 Sep 2017
That is the main finding of the company’s first social value report which used a range of methods to identify the financial benefits of Thirteen’s many activities in the area.
Social value allows organisations to examine the work they do in communities and attach a financial value to that work. Covering the three key areas of society, economy and the environment, examining social value has helped Thirteen to demonstrate the impact of its wide and varied work.
Gemma Stockdale, business development project officer at Thirteen is the author of the report. She said: “Social value plays an important role in demonstrating the effect that Thirteen has on our local area and the world around us.
“This report uses tools developed by HACT – the housing sector’s ideas and innovations agency – to attach a monetary value to the work we do in our communities as well as looking at the actual outcomes for customers.
“This is the first time that we have produced such a comprehensive social value report and it’s clear that as well as providing affordable homes for more than 70,000 people in the area, Thirteen has a massive impact on the local economy.”
As one of the largest social landlords in the country, Thirteen has identified a number of highlights in its 2016/17 social value report: Thirteen spent £32.9m on major development and improvement work on over 4,000 properties; £48m went into the Tees Valley economy through spending on staff and suppliers; £5.6m was gained for Thirteen customers by our money advice services; Thirteen supported projects run by community groups to the value of £127,000; a total social value recorded through HACT was £6million.
As well as attaching a financial value to the work of Thirteen, the social value report has helped to identify the number of people the company has helped throughout the last financial year: Thirteen’s services have helped 7,600 people over and above its usual landlord services; the Money Advice Team and Know Your Money project provided specialist advice around debts, budgeting, benefits and jobs to 4,000 customers; New Directions has worked with around 700 young people and found jobs, employment or training for 252 of them; Thirteen Care and Support supported 1,458 clients with over 29,000 hours of services, covering everything from personal care to budgeting and tenancy management.
Thirteen’s Support to Stay project worked with 211 customers who were at risk of eviction or termination, and the volunteer programme provided 31 volunteers with skills for working in the care sector, generating almost £65,000 in added social value.
Another important aspect of Thirteen’s work is that the financial value generated by the company’s activities should stay within the local economy. 88% of our spending on salaries goes into the Tees Valley with 99% staying within the North East. 55% of our spending with suppliers – over £42m - stays in the North East region, providing almost £20m in support to local businesses in the Tees Valley.
Ian Wardle, Chief Executive at Thirteen, said: “Thirteen is a caring landlord providing almost 33,000 homes in the North East and we work to create opportunities for our customers and contribute to the wider regeneration of the Tees Valley.
“We’re committed to making a positive impact in our communities which means that we look at all areas of our business to see where we add further value.
“The social value report provides a really interesting overview of some of the social value that Thirteen has generated over the last year, and the massive impact that our work has on the region.”
Improving the environment is the third area key area where Thirteen has had a major impact over the past year. The company has improved the energy efficiency of its properties and reduced customers’ fuel bills by upgrading over 2,100 heating systems and renewing double glazing for almost 1,500 homes.
Making changes to office accommodation such as installing rainwater collection, air-source heat pumps, intelligent lighting controls and photovoltaic panels at some of the company’s offices helped to reduce our carbon footprint and save money. Changes to office locations and ways of working reduced the distance travelled by staff by 34% since 2015.
You can find the full social value report and an easily accessible summary.