Purpose of this Statement
This statement outlines Riverside’s commitment to social value, and explains our approach to how we will deliver, measure and report on this work.
What do we mean by Social Value?
Projects or services that deliver an improvement to the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of an area.
Why is it important to Riverside?
Riverside is a housing association that has been providing affordable homes and investing in communities for over 90 years. Our vision is “Transforming Lives, Revitalising Communities”. In order to achieve this vision, it is essential that we go beyond than just providing homes. We must also deliver services and projects that can enhance our customers’ lives and ensure our communities remain sustainable.
What we currently do?
Riverside Foundation is an independent, registered charity, but The Riverside Group is its main donor. Its charitable object is to: “To promote any charitable purpose within and around the area where the charity The Riverside Group Limited… has provided housing accommodation… and in particular charitable purposes… with the object of improving the conditions of life for the inhabitants of the area of benefit”. The charity is a grant giving body so doesn’t deliver projects, but provides grants to Riverside group projects and small external community projects.
In 2018, our 90th year, we signed up to the Commitment to Refer, and later to the Homes for Cathy campaign. Together, these form the basis of our “Ending Homelessness” project, which seeks to not only prevent homelessness for our most vulnerable customers thought tenancy sustainment activities, but also actively attempts to house more families and induvial who have been homeless.
Informed by both Regional Plan and Neighbourhood Plan priorities, Regional Planning teams in Liverpool City, North and South and Central deliver projects and initiatives that address local priorities and challenges. The teams work with local partners, utilise social value extracted from contracts, and promote volunteering opportunities to internal staff to maximise the impact of their work.
The two below services form part of Regional Services which are delivered across business streams in Liverpool City Region, North and South and Central.
Employment and Training
The Employment and Training team work with both customers of Riverside and other local residents to support them into employment and training opportunities by providing an intensive support service and grants.
The Income Maximisation team supports customers who are in, or who are in danger of becoming in financial difficulty. The team offers two services: Affordable Warmth and Money Advice, together with an emergency fund called Helping Hands which offers small grants and furniture packages.
Care and Support
Care and Support undertake numerous social value activities, including those related to improving health and wellbeing, reducing social isolation and promoting volunteering and peer mentoring. Activities are often delivered on a very local level, such as within a retirement living scheme, but national campaigns are also recognised, such as The Big Lunch.
Asset Management supported by the two wholly owned subsidiaries: Evolve and Riverside Direct often provide asset and environmental improvement projects in Riverside communities. They also take on a number of apprentices each year and offer work experience to local college students.
A new social value framework has recently been established that will allow Riverside to take a more strategic approach to securing social value across the communities in which it works and will enable it to better hold contractors to account.
Social Value Priorities
There is currently no set priorities for social value activities. However, Riverside will align with the new strategic priorities of the Riverside Foundation which are:
- Employment and opportunities: Supporting people to fulfil their potential by supporting their academic and professional goals through support, training and volunteering opportunities.
- Neighbourhood and environment: Ensuring Riverside communities remain sustainable, inclusive and safe places for people to live, work and play, and which inspire a sense of neighbourhood pride and togetherness.
- Supporting vulnerable people: Giving the most vulnerable people in Riverside communities and schemes the opportunity to improve their health, wellbeing and inclusion, and to maintain a safe and stable home.
What do we want to achieve in the future?
We want a co-ordinated approach to social value that will bring maximum opportunities and benefits to our customers and communities to support their economic prosperity, health and wellbeing and independence. We want to ensure we can genuinely measure the impact of our social value projects and services and be confident in communicating this story to our customers, staff and stakeholders.
How will we do it?
- Riverside Foundation with an agreed Business Plan which will fund services and projects that will have a positive impact on our customers and communities.
- A robust understanding of customers and communities needs through Regional and Neighbourhood Plans to be able inform services and projects.
- A commitment to securing and extracting social value through our procurement activities, to be informed by our strategic objectives and local need.
- An agreed approach to how we monitor our social value activities and how we measure the impact.
- An agreed approach to how we publicise our social value work.
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