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Place Category: Communities

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Social Impact Declaration
Social Impact Statements
  • Renaisi is an award-winning social enterprise that helps people and places to thrive. We launched almost 20 years ago (in 1998), originating in Hackney Council as a company created to spearhead the regeneration of the borough. Since then, we have gone on to support a wide range of clients across London and the South East – helping to transform disadvantaged communities and secure opportunities for local people.

    Our mission is to help people and places to thrive and we do this via a range of services which provide social impact:

    • Employment and training services
    • Bilingual Adviser Service
    • Big Local – a Big Lottery-funded initiative, investing up to £1m each in 150 neighbourhoods. We manage 64 Big Local reps
    • Research, consultancy and interim management services – helping non-profit and public sector organisations to understand and measure their impact and deliver major neighbourhood, community and economic development initiatives.

    Explore the impact we make in each of our work areas and download our impact report here.

  • Address: Unit 2, 290 Mare St
    Greater London
    E8 1HE
    United Kingdom
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  • Social Impact Declaration: Social-Impact-Declaration_Renaisi-1.pdf
  • Social Impact Statements:

    Social Impact Statements

    The Social Enterprise Mark criteria includes a requirement that the applicant can demonstrate that social and/or environmental objectives are being achieved.

    In support of this, new applicants and renewing Mark holders must submit Social Impact Statements that summarise their headline activities and achievements, helping show how they are striving to make a difference and stand up to scrutiny of purpose as a social enterprise.


    Updated February 2016

    1) Social inputs

    Employment and training services

    Our employment services are for people who have been unemployed for significant periods and are receiving work-related benefits. Clients are either referred to us by our partners in the public, private and community and voluntary sector, or we reach them via our outreach team.

    We provide:

    • One-to-one information, advice and guidance
    • Vacancy brokerage to connect clients to job opportunities
    • Employability, interview and CV writing skills workshops
    • Motivation and confidence-building workshops
    • Work experience, work trials and volunteering
    • Self-employment advice
    • Benefits advice and ‘better-off-in-work’ calculations
    • Ongoing in-work support after clients have entered employment

    Our training services are also available to people who are unemployed and are receiving work-related benefits. All training courses are free for unemployed people over 19 years of age, who are claiming JSA, ESA or Income Support. Other benefits may also permit free access, which is granted on a case-by-case basis. We provide:

    • Training in Employability Skills
    • Level 1 and 2 qualifications in Customer Service, Retail, Literacy and Numeracy, Health and Social Care, and Health and Safety in Construction environments
    • Our construction courses give successful trainees their Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card. All our courses are accredited by Pearson, an internationally-recognised awarding body

    Bilingual Adviser Service

    Our Bilingual Adviser Service aims to raise the attainment levels of bilingual children through improved parental engagement. We have been providing the service since 2012, working in schools across four London boroughs: Haringey, Islington, Westminster and Lewisham.

    Through schools, our Bilingual Advisers work closely with minority language parents and children who may struggle to communicate in English. They use bilingual advocacy and group support to improve parental engagement with education and promote social integration within schools and the wider community. The service provides a mix of informal and formal support to parents through one-to-one advice, coffee mornings, social and learning events and outings, and parenting classes.

    Big Local

    Big Local is a Big Lottery-funded initiative that is investing up to £1m each in 150 neighbourhoods across England until 2026. At a local level, the programme is resident-led, with decision-making power placed in the hands of those who live in Big Local areas. It involves local people coming together to develop a vision for their area, establish priorities for action, form a partnership, and develop a plan for their £1m.

    Renaisi manages 64 Big Local Reps, who work with local areas to develop their initiatives, on behalf of Local Trust, to whom they are contracted. We are working on the programme until March 2016, with potential to extend beyond this date. Our work involves all aspects of managing the reps, including recruitment, performance monitoring, progress reporting and practical support.

    Research, consultancy and interim management

    Renaisi’s research, consultancy and interim management teams carry out a diverse range of projects:

    • Research conducts commissioned projects, such as scoping studies and evaluations. The team also delivers Renaisi’s own research programme, working with our service delivery teams
    • Consultancy develops and implements strategies for a variety of clients, including regional and local authorities and developers. Recent work has focused on commercial workspace, skills development, employment, sector-specific appraisals, inward investment, business planning and area-based appraisals
    • Interim management involves assisting local authorities at times of organisational or service delivery change. Our team is embedded in the relevant council team to support change and service delivery management and adaptation

    A large proportion (89%) of projects involved collecting and communicating information to clients, or identifying potential for individuals, communities, and places. For example, we gathered information regarding education and skills levels within communities for local authorities. We also worked with charities to evaluate their impacts, processes, and service delivery. This includes assessing current activities against aims, and developing frameworks that enable them to work more efficiently and scale up. Our activity in this area has increased recently due to Renaisi’s involvement in Nesta’s Centre for Social Action Innovation Fund Evaluator List. The £14m fund supports the growth of innovations in organisations working with volunteers to further social action.


    2) Social outputs

    We delivered the social outputs below through our services in the financial year 2014-2015.

    Employment and training services

    • We provided support to 2,531 clients across our three sites
    • We worked with 450 different employers to place our Work Programme clients into new jobs
    • We trained 289 clients across our three sites

    Bilingual Adviser Service

    Renaisi is in the process of putting an evaluation framework in place to create a more detailed picture of the impact of our service. This is currently being piloted to ensure it is implemented effectively. Because of the early stage in its implementation, the measurement framework is not yet able to reveal full information about our impact in 2014/15. Initial findings from the pilot in Islington include:

    • BPSAs recorded 950 attendances at events
    • Through family learning activities and bilingual advocacy support, BSPAs increased parental engagement by 44%, from 317 to 633
    • Parents who took part in the Bilingual Storytelling project increased confidence in supporting their children’s literacy, from 30% to 58%
    • Children who took part in the Bilingual Storytelling project increased confidence in sharing stories, from 26% to 58%

    Big Local

    • More than 60 Big Local reps have been recruited, inducted and trained to support areas
    • Over 50 visits to reps took place, resulting in numerous actions being taken to improve their role, or prevent problems from arising
    • Over 40 contract review calls to reps were made – checking their progress and providing support
    • Around 60 recommendations to support reps’ performance were made

    Research, consultancy and interim management

    The research, consultancy and interim management team worked on 27 projects with:

    • 13 local authorities in London and the South East
    • 10 charities
    • 1 public-private strategic partnership
    • 5 property, housing or development organisations


    3) Social outcomes

    We created the social outcomes below through our services in the financial year 2014-2015.

    Employment and training services

    • We supported 205 long-term unemployed clients (those who had been unemployed for at least 12 months) into first jobs
    • 39% of clients supported into work did so within three months of being referred to our services
    • 80% of clients that were helped into employment did so within six months of their referral our services

    Clients referred to our services on a mandatory basis often have low confidence informed by long periods of unemployment. For example, 86% of training participants had been unemployed for longer than one year. This presents a considerable challenge for our service in terms of changing attitudes to work. However, the majority of clients interviewed for our Impact Report 2015-2016 highlighted positive aspects of our advice and guidance services.

    Those who had positive experiences cited our staff‘s approach, which contrasts with their previous experiences of welfare to work services:

    “It’s definitely been positive for me. At the [previous provider] you feel a bit dehumanised but my adviser is very encouraging and turns that negative into a positive.” Work Programme client

    “In the [previous provider] it’s ‘in and out’ whereas here they take a care as to the outcome.” Work Programme client

    All clients we interviewed who had undertaken training felt they gained knowledge that had improved their employment prospects. The majority believed that teaching on the course was good and that their teacher knew the subject well. This suggests that satisfaction with trainers’ knowledge and outline of expectations is high among our clients:

    “I’ve learned so much including how to work with others through the group tasks and how to write better covering letters and application forms. The tutor is great and listens to what I have to say and treats me like an individual. I am more inspired now to find a job.” Training client

    Bilingual Adviser Service

    Anecdotally, there are signs that the service is improving outcomes for parents. Advisers reported stronger relationships and greater trust among parents. This is improving parents’ capacity and willingness to engage with activities designed to improve their skills and build relationships with other parents:

    “It took a while to build trusting relationship with parents…But once you have built that trust it makes life a lot easier. For example, running ESOL and computer classes, it’s a lot easier now than at the beginning, parents are more willing to take part”. Bilingual Adviser

    “You can see parents’ confidence grow... we show them how to access the computer, internet. Now they are confident in opening their email, sending mail, surfing the internet...they are keen to come, too, which is really good” Bilingual Adviser

    “In the early days, if you were asking for parents to support the school you would have a key group of perhaps one or two people, and I do mean one or two. I don’t remember it moving beyond two for nearly ten years. So now we have quite a flourishing group. It was very hard before we had the [Bilingual Advisers].” Barrie O’Shea, Head Teacher, Duncombe Primary School

    Big Local

    Big Local was evaluated by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) in 2014. The report, ‘Big Local: the early years’ found that that the rep role is a key part of the Big Local programme, and that Renaisi’s support is of a high quality. It concluded that:

    • The support offered through the Big Local reps network is highly effective
    • Reps are highly valued, serving as a conduit to new ideas and learning, ensuring that Big Local is truly resident-led, and providing reassurance and encouragement to residents
    • National partners have delivered in line with the programme’s core values and the programme is doing things differently, with light touch support at its heart
    • The flexibility of the light-touch approach is recognised as a key enabling factor of resident-led progress; where they are not overly dependent on the programme’s support

    Although it is difficult to evaluate the contribution Renaisi’s support to reps has made to Big Local’s wider impact, the evaluation found the following impact:

    • Those most actively involved in Big Local have gained confidence, knowledge and understanding, and learnt new skills. 72% of partnership members said they had learnt new things since being involved
    • Local steering groups and partnerships are becoming stronger and more effective. They feel better able
      to identify and act on what is needed in their area because of their experience. 85% said being involved
      in Big Local had enabled them to put their existing skills to good use
    • Residents are learning as much from each other as from external agents, with 83% of partnership members indicating those on the journey with them are the main source of their learning

    While most areas felt it too early to talk about wider changes, early observations include:

    • People are coming together more, with more opportunities to learn and socialise
    • New and better places are available for community activity
    • Networks are stronger, with people feeling connected and organisations working better together

    Some areas felt that residents were starting to have more influence locally, while others felt they could identify ‘a bit of a buzz,’ a change in how people are feeling.

    Research, consultancy and interim management

    • 16 research, consultancy and interim management projects that were completed in 2014-2015 which enabled our clients to:
      • Gain a clearer view of their organisation
      • Gain a new perspective on external circumstances
      • Improve their understanding of audience groups
      •  Increase capacity and knowledge
      • Improve services, processes and use of resources
    • 100% of these contributed to improving access to employment opportunities
    • 6 projects supported organisations to contribute to long-term increased attractiveness of areas to businesses or residents
    • 4 contributed to long-term business growth
    • 8 helped clients to gain new or improved partnerships

    Despite some gaps in our knowledge, we have seen many successes in terms of projects completed, relationships formed, challenges overcome, and practical recommendations to promote positive changes in communities. A client who was asked whether he would re-commission Renaisi after his experience last year sums this up:

    “Based on the experience we have had so far I would absolutely re-commission Renaisi. I think that your work is thoughtful, sensitive, diligent and seemingly robust in a much, much more honest way than traditional academic studies…you want to get into the spirit of what we are doing and then express that on our behalf and that is a very useful thing to have from an independent researcher. ”

    Clients were overwhelmingly positive about our work in the past year. A key theme was that our teams possess a valuable skill of being able to understand the needs of the client and the project quickly. One respondent commented:

    “Renaisi seemed to understand what we’re trying to do and what we wanted to achieve.”