Making a Mark Competition Shortlist

Celebrate the vast and diverse social benefits created by Social Enterprise Mark holders

Following the success of the Making a Mark competition last year, which celebrated the vast impact that accredited social enterprises make through their diverse activities, we have decided to repeat the competition this year.

The Making a Mark competition highlights examples of how accredited social enterprises are creating considerable social impact within their local communities and in wider society. The winner will be announced at a special reception at our annual conference (in Winchester) on 5th June.

We have selected the below shortlist from our network of Social Enterprise Mark/Gold Mark holders, based on the social impact statements and any relevant reports that were submitted at their most recent renewal.

In deciding the shortlist, we have taken account of how carefully Mark Holders have measured their social impact and can show how income has been used to maximise this, and also considered how succinctly they have described their achievements in this regard and what sort of story these tell about the kind of social enterprise they are.

*The public vote has now closed*

You can view the Social Impact Statements of each shortlisted organisation below. The winner will be announced at a drinks reception at our Broadening Horizons conference in Winchester on 5th June 2017.

Please note voting has now closed – the winner will be announced on 5th June

Connection Crew

Connection Crew is an award-winning crewing company working in the UK and internationally. They work alongside venues, event organisers and producers, creative teams and other crews, providing the manpower to get the event up and running.

Connection Crew want to do good work in more ways than one. So they work with people who have been homeless in the past, training them up and helping them build a career in crewing. They employ 25% of their crew through a unique employment support programme, providing work placements and, ultimately, employment for work ready stable.

Social Impact Statements

Social Inputs - supporting those with experience of homelessness into employment

In order to reach a wider audience of those who have experienced homelessness, and in turn offer more opportunities to them, we have improved our ex-homeless recruitment strategy and now run Connection Crew Academy: a ten week training programme designed to allow those who have been homeless a structured and supportive transition back into employment.

Initial engagement has been through our charity partners and connecting with employability schemes such as the Crisis Employment Platform. We also hold a ‘Big Build Day’ to engage potential ex-homeless candidates, providing our knowledge and experience throughout a hands-on session so they can see potential opportunities for themselves.

The Academy aims to provide professional on-the-job training and experience, covering practical skills necessary for the crewing industry, professional and employability skills such as customer service and team work, as well as improve independence, confidence and overall access to employment.

We still encourage ex-homeless referrals into the business through general recruitment, as well as recruiting from other social businesses such as the House of St Barnabas.

Social outputs – measuring our impact

We have analysed various ways in which we can measure our impact and have created some Key Performance Indicators.

These are our results for 1st March 2015 and 29th February 2016:

  • Total number of ex-homeless people employed – 45
  • Proportion of ex-homeless people employed by Connection Crew – 18.4%
  • Proportion of new ex-homeless employees taken on by Connection Crew this year – 26%
  • Total hours of work completed by ex-homeless people – 13,962
  • Proportion of total hours work completed by ex-homeless employees – 20.3%

Social outcomes – creating positive impacts for beneficiaries

We measure the extent of our social impact with ‘hard outcomes’; e.g. we have provided employment to 18 people who have experienced homelessness, and started a new initiative to reach more, and have increased our charity partnerships from 2 to 12 to aid this.

However, we also have some softer outcomes that represent the positive impact working with ex-homeless has had on our clients, our crew, and the ex-homeless employees themselves.

Michael Crevier, Connection CrewOur trainees regularly report their increased confidence and overall employability skills, and this is verified by their acceptance to work for us after the Crew Academy.

Michael Crevier was one of Connection Crew’s first Crew Academy trainees: “If you’re humble enough, you’ll gain a lot. I’m definitely happy that I did it. I gained a lot more than I probably realised. Not just the practical skills, but something I never thought I’d end up gaining, which is people skills.”

Ealing Community Transport

Ealing Community Transport, part of ECT Charity, is a leading provider of local community transport in the UK, which offers essential transport solutions, particularly for socially isolated people and those with mobility difficulties unable to access other services.

ECT combines business thinking with social values to deliver high quality transport services that positively benefit the local communities.

By providing transport to people who are unable to access mainstream transport services, they deliver public benefit by supporting community participation and engagement and enabling people to access more opportunities to improve their lives.

Social Impact Statements

Social Inputs - providing high quality accessible community transport

We are committed to providing high quality, safe, friendly, accessible and affordable transport in local communities to voluntary, community and statutory groups. Our model sees us reinvest some of our surplus each year to provide subsidised transport to these groups, which enables them to carry out their activities.

In addition to group transport, we also provide accessible and affordable transport solutions to vulnerable individuals who otherwise would not be able to leave their homes, notably the elderly and people with disabilities. We seek to enable independent living and encourage social interaction for these vulnerable people who have serious difficulty in accessing other forms of transport. We build partnerships with local befriending organisations in Ealing that helps us identify and encourage lonely and socially isolated elderly people to get out of their homes.

As part of our work on highlighting the issue of isolation and loneliness and the work Community Transport outfits do in being part of the solution, we launched our report Why Community Transport Matters, which demonstrates the case for Community Transport in tackling the issues of Isolation and Loneliness and the significant side effects these have- both from an economic and social perspective.

Social outputs – measures of support provided

In the past year we enabled 75,340 passenger trips for 508 different groups across our operations. This ensured that community groups were able to continue their activities by having affordable and accessible transport at subsidised rates.

We also provide subsidised transport for individuals to access our door-to-door transport. Through the EASIE project, we set aside a fund of £20,000 to go towards subsidising the cost of door-to-door transport for these individuals so that those who need it most have access. In the past year we enabled over 5,000 people make over 87,000 trips.

Our methodology for showing the Social/ Economic Value of our activities demonstrates the social value to the end users. On an annualised basis, the Social Value added comes to over £750,000 per annum. From a cost saving perspective, our report demonstrates that Isolation and Loneliness costs the borough of Ealing about £10m each year. Working with Deloitte we calculate that Community Transport operators can contribute up to £4m in savings by reducing Isolation and Loneliness and keeping people independent longer.

Social outcomes – creating benefits for people and society

Our new methodology allows us to quantify the social outcomes of our activities, which include:

  • independent living
  • facilitating social interaction
  • enabling affordable trips for voluntary/community groups
  • supporting volunteering and the volunteer sector

We have worked with our local clinical commissioning group to provide an accessible door-to-door transport service for vulnerable patients to enable them to access GP surgeries, keeping them independent for longer and materially reducing the number of home visits that GPs are required to do. This frees up GP time due to a reduction in home visits, creating cost savings for the local CCG, and has led to an increase in patient wellbeing.

Emmaus Cambridge

Emmaus Cambridge helps homeless people to regain their self-esteem, by carrying out providing meaningful employment in its social enterprises. This, in turn, provides a lasting solution that restores self-esteem and confidence.

Emmaus runs a second hand goods warehouse selling donated furniture and household goods, which is open to the general public. In addition, they work with local agencies and support organisations by providing furniture and household goods to those people most in need but without the resources to provide these items for themselves.

The residents (called Companions) volunteer their time in the business in return for all of their accommodation needs and surpluses are used to support homeless and marginalised people.

Social Impact Statements

Social Inputs - helping homeless people to get back on their feet

Emmaus Cambridge supports formerly homeless people by giving them a home, meaningful work in a social enterprise and an opportunity to get back on their feet again.

For many people who experience homelessness, one of the biggest obstacles they must overcome is a loss of self-esteem. Emmaus provides an opportunity to regain this, with a chance to make a real contribution to their community. Emmaus communities are not hostels for the homeless; they provide a home for as long as someone needs it. For many, this support and stability is like the family they don’t have, providing a safe environment in which to settle and rebuild their lives. Often this is an opportunity to overcome issues such as addiction, get support with mental health issues or rebuild relationships with estranged family.

Social enterprise is central to the Emmaus model as it provides meaningful work for companions but also generates funding to maintain communities. Companions living in Emmaus communities are expected to sign off all benefits, with the exception of housing benefit which is used to help support the community. The rest of the funding that is needed is generated through social enterprise and fundraising.

Social outputs – example measures of support provided

Emmaus Cambridge currently has 37 bed spaces available for formerly homeless people and in 2016 52 people benefitted from access to these places. In addition, the community welcomes volunteers who come and work alongside our residents (known as companions).

Our social enterprise currently makes about 65 collections of donated furniture and household items per week and has also recently started offering full house clearances. Our shop is open seven days a week offering low cost, quality second hand goods to the general public and last year’s trading income from this was £725,000.

In the region of 87 families were referred to the community for support with reduced cost furniture (an average package is £400 worth of goods for a cost of £60) and the community has also worked with other local homelessness agencies to provide sleeping bags and other provisions for the alleviation of rough sleeping in Cambridge City.

Social outcomes – creating social return on investment

Emmaus Cambridge has spent approximately £15,800 supporting the 87 families who have benefitted from reduced cost furniture.

Support of Emmaus’s international work has cost the community approximately £28,628, and £28,556 has been spent supporting other Emmaus communities in the UK. £2,500 has been invested in supporting other organisations in addition to the provision of sleeping bags and bedding to people sleeping rough in Cambridge.

A social return on investment (SROI) study carried out in 2012 by social and economic company Just Economics demonstrates the impact of Emmaus’s work, both for individuals and for society. The research forecasts that for every £1 invested in a community, there is an £11 social, environmental and economic return, with savings to the benefits bill, health services and a reduction in crime.

Epic CIC

Epic CIC is the UK’s first youth service mutual; a social business combining a public service ethos with commercial dynamism. Their mission is to inspire children & young people to achieve their potential and make a positive difference to the communities in which they live.

Epic’s works with children and young people in London up to the age of 19 and 25 for those with a lifelong learning difficulty and/or disability (LLDD), providing a range of universal and targeted programmes to bring communities together and address some of the most pressing challenges facing young people in London, including poverty, employability and education, physical and mental health and serious youth violence.

Social Impact Statements

Social inputs - delivering services for children and young people

Our mission is to inspire children & young people to achieve their potential and make a positive difference to the communities in which we work. We believe that by working with children & young people we can facilitate long-term positive change for individuals, local communities and at a national system level in the UK.

Our focus is on working with children and young people in London up to the age of 19 and 25 for those with a lifelong learning difficulty and/or disability (LLDD). We are inclusive in all the work we do, providing a range of universal and targeted programmes to bring communities together and address some of the most pressing challenges facing young people in London including poverty, employability and education, physical and mental health and serious youth violence. We believe in working collaboratively with children & young people and other service providers to tackle these issues. If you have a programme or idea you would like to partner on please get in touch with us.

Our integrated model is built around the holistic needs and interests of children & young people at every step of their journey to adulthood. By providing a variety of universal and targeted programmes we identify and support children & young people to achieve their aspirations and tackle the challenges facing them. Our early intervention helps young people and their communities achieve positive long term outcomes. To see the change we are driving find out more about our impact.

We build high-quality programmes which address the needs and ambitions of children & young people by bringing together highly skilled professionals and quality facilities. Our programmes include sport & outdoor education, health and wellbeing, employability and alternative education, arts and citizenship. Find out more about our activities.

Social outputs - measures of children and young people supported

Over the past year Epic has engaged with 2,894 young people from ages 6 up to 25 with life long learning difficulty and/or disability (LLDD). This is made up of 59% male, 41% female who have engaged in 38,932 attendances in a wide range of projects and activities from kayaking to dance.

We have worked with 339 children and young people classed as deprived in Kensington and Chelsea and 111 classed as having LLDD. Through working with us young people have undergone 799 accreditations from subjects such as AQA’s in Sex & Relationship Education to NVQ Level 2’s in Plumbing.

Social outcomes - creating social return on investment

Using Social Return on Investment Principles:

  • For every £1 Epic invested in employability support to young people, we  created an extra £2.24 in social value through improvements in young people’s health and well-being, earning and savings to the state
  • For every pound invested in Serious Youth Violence programmes for young people, we created an extra £3.59 in social value through improvements in young people’s health and well-being, earning and savings to the state
  • Supporting all 43 schools and academies across Kensington and Our Healthy Youth Centres were responsible for changing 81% of users’ attitudes or behaviour in relation to their own health and well-being
  • Applying Economic Value on Investment principles, our volunteer programme generated £43,315 of social value
  • 100% of our KS4 students achieved 5 GCSEs including English and Maths. The national average for MAINSTREAM schools is 89.7% (11.7% for similar provisions in inner-London)
  • 100% of our students received a pass in any qualification. The national average for MAINSTREAM schools is 97.7% (57.6% for similar provisions in London)

Supporting documents

South Shropshire Furniture Scheme

South Shropshire Furniture Scheme was started in 1994 to address a growing need to find a way to reuse and recycle unwanted household items. The work of the scheme has directly placed resources into the homes of some of the most excluded members of the local community, ensuring these people can begin to build an independent life and home without increasing debt.

The core objectives at the heart of the organisation are to relieve poverty and eliminate discrimination through the provision of low cost essential household equipment and to protect the environment through the 3Rs – reduce, recycle and reuse. The delivery of the FS’s core services are made possible by a dynamic and driven approach that has led to the organisation becoming a diverse and innovative flagship social enterprise.

100% of funds raised are reinvested into the organisation. There are no shareholders or anyone else profiting from the operation; if a profit is made, it is used to support growth and help more people.


Social Impact Statements

Social inputs - Improving quality of life for disadvantaged individuals

The Furniture Scheme seeks to improve the quality of life for disadvantaged people living in southern Shropshire.

In the last year we have continued to offer a houseful of essential furniture for just £40 to those individuals and families most in need. We are also able to offer a 25% discount on furniture to people in receipt of means tested benefits.

We work to strengthen communities at our community centres where we facilitate a range of activities including regular community lunches, IT drop in sessions where local people can learn how to get online, create a CV and apply for jobs, fitness classes, training.

Across our organisation we provide training and volunteering opportunities – particularly for the unemployed. This can help those lacking in confidence to feel more able to start looking for work. Individuals learn new skills and it helps prevent loneliness and mental health issues. People of all ages and backgrounds come together to contribute to the charities core aims and in doing so develop a greater sense of community and mutual support.

In 2015/16 we focused on people aged between 25 and 55 who are suffering with mental ill health. Our ‘Working with Wood’ project aims to help those struggling with mental health by offering supported placements in our carpentry workshop. We have also run a series of workshops aimed a women called ‘Women in the workshop’ – this has helped women to develop new skills and confidence.

During 2015/16 we ran the ‘Fuel Poverty Fund’ which provided emergency grants to people who cannot afford gas and electricity. This is ran alongside a food bank at our Rockspring Community Centre.

We also run the HG enabling Fund which provides grants to those individuals who want to improve their prospects but need help to overcome certain barriers. The fund focusses on the unemployed and those people earning a low income.

We also seek to protect the environment and increase environmental sustainability. This is achieved through reuse and recycling and we encourage people to avoid sending items to landfill.

Social outputs - key measures

  • 40 households have received furniture referral packages worth between £550 and £1500 each
  • 1,337 items were sold at the discounted rate to those in receipt of benefits
  • 53 people living in social housing have loaned garden equipment from our community centres
  • 132 young people have taken part in holiday schemes and youth activities at our centres
  • More than 33,000 people have used our community centres and accessed community activities and services
  • 120 people completed training – 108 went into volunteering over 12 months, of these 25 went into employment

Social outcomes - creating benefits for local community

We are working to apply a value to our outputs and hope to have this within the next few months. We have numerous case studies that demonstrate how people have benefited from the services we provide. An example is shown below.

Ben came to the Rockspring Centre as a volunteer having been referred by County Training, a local employment support agency. Ben left school in 2013 and had been unable to secure regular training or employment. Ben is 3rd generation unemployed.

Following 3 months as a volunteer Ben was offered an apprenticeship in business administration with the Furniture Scheme. At the end of his apprenticeship he will be offered full time employment as a General Assistant and Receptionist at Rockspring Community Centre.

The Big Issue Group

The Big Issue Group is made up of The Big Issue Company, and Big Issue Invest, and the Big Issue Foundation, a related charity that supports vendors of the Big Issue magazine.

For over 25 years The Big Issue Group has strived to dismantle poverty through creating opportunity, in the process becoming one of the most recognised and trusted brands in the UK

The Big Issue exists to offer homeless and vulnerably housed people the opportunity to earn a legitimate income by selling a entertainment and current affairs magazine to the general public. Vendors buy the magazine for £1.25 and sell it for £2.50 meaning each seller is a micro-entrepreneur who is working, not begging.

The Big Issue believes in offering a hand up, not a hand out, but also recognise that earning an income is the first step on the journey away from homelessness.

Social Impact Statements

Social inputs - offering a business solution to a social problem

The Big Issue Company and Foundation primarily exist to support homeless and vulnerably housed people by providing a meaningful and legitimate income selling the Big Issue magazine. Big Issue Invest has a broader remit, investing in social enterprises that offer support and services to a variety of socially and economically disadvantaged groups.

The Big Issue welcomes people who are homeless and to become Vendors of the Big Issue Magazine. Big Issue Vendors buy the Magazine for £1.25 and sell it on to customers for £2.50, keeping £1.25 for every magazine they sell.

The Big Issue Foundation complements the work of the Big Issue Magazine. The Foundation works on a “Service Brokerage” model, connecting Vendors with the support and solutions that will help them continue to rebuild their lives. Support staff at the Foundation work in partnerships with other agencies to ensure Vendors are accessing all the support that is available and that services are working in a holistic manner.

While the Magazine offers “a hand up” to people in the depths of homelessness crises, Big Issue Invest supports the scale-up of social businesses, charities and ventures that respond to social needs and help prevent people from reaching crisis point in the first place. Big Issue Invest is a “social investment financial intermediary”; part of a growing movement of organisations that harness the power of financial investment to grow social enterprises that are responding to urgent social needs. Big Issue Invest raises money privately (not from the sale of the Magazine) and invests in organisations that are delivering vital community services to enable them to grow and achieve sustainability.

Social outputs - helping people take first steps on journey away from poverty

Homelessness often comes wrapped up with other problems and many people who are homeless are also deeply socially and financially excluded. Substance misuse, a history of personal trauma, and mental health problems are common. The Big Issue exists to offer people in this situation a first step on the path out of poverty.

On an average week in 2014/15 there were 1,490 Vendors selling the Big Issue Magazine across the UK, each selling an average of 43 Magazines. That’s £54 earned per Vendor per week. Earning a legitimate income is the first step on that journey.

The work of the Big Issue Foundation supports the next step. Last year the Big Issue Foundation with over 2,200 individuals to support them to achieve their goals. The road out of homelessness can be a long and difficult one. The Big Issue Foundation offers support to Vendors for as long as they need it. 17% of the Vendors that the Foundation supported in 2014/15 had been with the Big Issue for over four years.

While the Magazine and Foundation work directly with Vendors to help them move forward, Big Issue Invest supports other charities and social enterprises to do the same. Big Issue Invest has invested over £30 million in social ventures and advised on the investment of a further £85 million invested in the Threadneedle UK Social Bond Fund to ensure those funds are reaching businesses that have a positive social impact.

Social outcomes - changing lives for the better

Together, the Big Issue Magazine and Foundation help Vendors change their lives for the better. In 2014/15 the 2,244 Vendors achieved a total of 2,582 outcomes with the support of the Foundation. Here are some of the highlights:

  • 1910 Vendors were supported to achieve their personal sales goals, which about Vendors reaching milestones in their journey towards employability.
  • 153 Vendors were supported to achieve personal aspirations, which could be anything from re-connecting with family to taking up a hobby.
  • 114 Vendors were supported to achieve employment and volunteering outcomes, from the first steps of writing a CV to making the leap to a new job.
  • 112 Vendors were supported to access vital healthcare services.

Meanwhile, the investment of Big Issue Invest helped charities and social enterprises to develop their capacity and improve their own social outcomes. Highlights include:

  • The launch of the “Social Enterprise Investment Fund II”, which has already raised £9m and invested in innovative projects such as the “Mental Health and Employment Partnerships” 5-year social investment bond, which provides intensive support to enable people who have been long-term unemployed and have mental health problems to get back in to work.
  • The continued growth of the Threadneedle UK Social Bond Fund, which provides ordinary individuals to invest their savings in socially beneficial businesses, bringing social investment to the mainstream market.
  • Completion of the second Corporate Social Venturing programme, which has invested £891,000 in 26 nascent social businesses helping them to get off the ground.

Warrington Health Plus

Warrington Health Plus is a Community Interest Company (CIC) made up of Warrington’s 28 GP Practices, which work together to develop sustainable GP practice services to benefit patients today and in the future.

As a GP provider body, they are committed to finding ways to work at scale to help make GP services more sustainable. They have identified a number of main priorities, which include:

  • the introduction of clinical pharmacists into GP practices as part of the NHS England Clinical Pharmacists in General Practice Pilot
  • providing caretaker management of the three former CCA GP practices within the contract with NHS England
  • working with our stakeholders to promote the interests and delivery of general practice services in Warrington
  • development of Warrington Health Plus and exploring opportunities for GP practices

Social Impact Statements

Social inputs - delivering clinical services to improve health and wellbeing

We have delivered a range of clinical projects to test out new ways of working to improve residents’ health and wellbeing. These include the following:

  • Creating clusters of GP practices to enable practices to collaborate to provide a greater range of services. In this way, we have helped make primary care more sustainable for the future, safeguarding general practice for future generations
  • Working with partners to wrap community, social care, mental health and third sector services around our GP practice clusters to deliver care closer to home in a joined up way
  • Keeping vulnerable care home residents of care homes well and comfortable, living in their usual place of residence, by offering choices, working collectively and planning care to prevent crises. GPs, nurses and pharmacists have made regular visits to care homes to provide proactive and reactive care
  • Improving access to routine bookable appointments across Warrington to make it easier for patients to get an appointment when they need one. Appointments are available in the evenings and weekends, especially useful for people with work or caring commitments in usual practice opening hours
  • Children with minor illnesses being seen more quickly by a dedicated Advanced Paediatric Nurse Practitioner (APNP) within a general practice setting. Plus a Family Nurse Practitioner supporting families that need more support than a one-off GP appointment

Social outputs - evaluating our services

We have worked extensively with a range of stakeholders across the town to design, develop, deliver and evaluate the services we have provided.

Many of our services provide care and support to older people and we have worked closely with the Warrington Older People’s Engagement Group, that comprises representatives from older people’s groups across the town, with some really useful and lively sessions.

Examples of results from our projects:

  • An extra 1,000 GP appointments a month via the Extended Access Service
  • 500+ vulnerable patients assessed (initial and follow up appointments) by the Care Co-ordination service with over 25% referred to other agencies for support to promote independence & wellbeing
  • 400+ extra appointments a month for children within one of our GP clusters
  • 16 GP practices have new social care roles in practice at some point during the week to provide social care advice and support to GP practice patients
  • 700+ vulnerable care home residents assessed
  • The clusters of GP practices we have created, in partnership with our health and social care colleagues, are forming the foundation of the wider health and social care system transformation

Social outcomes - creating benefits for local community

All our projects have been, or are being, evaluated to demonstrate their effectiveness and to assist future service commissioning decisions. Legacy reports have been developed for each project that provide an overview of the project, the challenges and benefits.

Investment in information management and technology means that GPs and other health professionals can now have access to patient records outside the surgery, helping make best use of their time, improve communication between health professionals and improve patient safety.

The care home project has resulted in a wide range of benefits. These include:

  • residents feeling valued
  • improved continuity of care
  • safer use of medicines
  • more choice at end of life
  • life in the care home being less disrupted

Quotes from relatives and colleagues include:

“Residents feel more confident and enjoy seeing the same GP.”

“We noticed a big difference in the care our residents receive with the new system as it provides the consistency and continuity to the care.”

“The key benefit is simply the time I have to spend in the home – as this supports the weekly proactive monitoring and review which I have been able to provide, which in turn has meant that I have been able to really get to know my patients, their relatives and the care home staff.”

The care co-ordination service has improved access to and links with various third sector agencies that provide services to Warrington residents.

98% of those using the children’s care closer to home service would highly recommend it to friends and family.

Initial feedback from the Friends and Family Test comments is positive with comments including:

“Reassured and impressed by the doctor, who was able to relay other results I was waiting for.”

“Good service, seen quickly, I was put at ease, it was local so no travel – very pleased – nothing could be better!”

98% of patients would recommend the extended access service to their friends and family.

The public vote has now closed

The vote will account for 50% of the final result, with the other 50% being decided by the independent Certification Panel. The winner will be announced at a drinks reception at our Broadening Horizons conference in Winchester on 5th June 2016.