Place Category: Communities
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.
Social Impact Declaration: Social-Impact-Declaration_Renaisi.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 are asked to respond to a set of social impact questions, which are designed to help them think about the social impact they create, and to articulate this clearly and succinctly.
Updated April 2019
1) What social differences and changes have you aimed to create (or supported)?
Renaisi aims to improve ours and other’s understanding of what it takes to improve a place, this achieved predominantly through two mechanisms:
- We offer support at an individual level to reduce barriers for those in society who are disadvantaged and furthest from the labour market. Our goal is to support individuals into sustainable employment for the benefit of themselves and their immediate community.
- We help other organisations understand the impact of their work, usually by evaluating their service provision, and assess any benefits or progress for the clients stated aims.
Ultimately, we’re aiming to help create improvements that allow both places, and the people who experience them, to thrive.
2) What actions have you taken to address the above social aims?
To achieve these aims, we offer two distinct services:
Employment Support Services
Our employment services support those who are furthest from the labour market and/or 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. Our programmes then 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 & support
- Benefits advice and ‘better-off-in-work’ calculations
- Ongoing in-work support after clients have entered employment
Our support services is also focused on improving the ESOL of minority language speakers, for example, through our work in schools where our Bilingual Advisers work closely with 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. This 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.
Research & Consultancy services
Our research, consultancy and interim management teams deliver a diverse range of projects, such as:
- We deliver commissioned projects, such as scoping studies and evaluations. The team also delivers Renaisi’s own research programme, working with our service delivery teams
- We deliver consultancy services that develops and implements strategies for a variety of clients, including regional and local authorities and developers. Recent work has focused on skills development, employment, sector-specific appraisals, commercial workspace, inward investment, business planning and area-based appraisals
- We support the delivery of longer-term area engagement projects such as Big Local where Big Lottery has invested 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.
3) What has changed and what benefits have been realised as a result of your actions?
During 2018, Renaisi celebrated its 20th year as an organisation, specifically over the year leading up to this milestone our clients said of our employment services:
- Renaisi’s support advisers helped them achieve their goals (92% of respondents agreed)
- Having experienced our employment support services they feel confident about finding work as a result (72% respondents agreed)
- Within our work with parents in schools, our partner schools reported that interpreting and support that the parents received has been beneficial to the schools (100% of respondents agreed) in addition Parents who attended the program rated our service as good or excellent (100% of respondents agreed)
Within our consultancy services, we worked with 32 clients, including 7 charitable organisations, 6 public sector clients, and 1 national funder. In delivering 42 projects, our clients felt that:
- They would recommend working with Renaisi to other organisations (100% of respondents agreed)
- They felt our project management was good or excellent (100% of respondents agreed)
Across these projects we helped organisations to make a difference in the following areas:
- Gain a clearer internal view of the client organisation
- Help the organisation improve internal processes
- Work to improve partnerships for the organisations or communities
- Help organisations understand specific demographic groups
- Offered an external perspective
- Increase capacity and knowledge of our clients
4) How do you and other people know your aims are being achieved? Or how will you know?
Renaisi aims to foster a culture of continuous learning across our organisation, over the last 18 months, we have raised awareness of our work through various means that are detailed below:
20th anniversary event
In June 2018 we held our 20th Anniversary event at Hackney Town Hall, at the event we introduced 20 essays contributed by key stakeholders who have had involvement with Renaisi’s work. They highlighted their thinking around “place” and the work that is needed to improve these, through various perspectives.
We assessed the impact of the work we delivered across our different service areas, highlighting the outcomes of our work through both qualitative and quantitative means.
Internal feedback mechanisms
We capture a variety of feedback from our clients and participants upon completion of our relevant partnerships that helps further inform our service design and delivery. For example our RISE programs focussed on improving participants ESOL skills through our needs assessment, participants are reassessed after experiencing our service to understand their improvements and feedback on our delivery.
In addition to the above mechanism we regularly create and publish ad hoc communications relating to learnings from our work, through our digital blog, to encourage conversations with other similarly minded organisations.
The below questions are not mandatory, but Mark holders are encouraged to answer them where possible, to provide a fuller account of their social outcomes and the social value they create.
5) How many people have benefitted from your actions?
Employment support services
During 2018, we helped achieve a number of milestones, highlights of these were:
- Working with 1,500 individuals across our employment support programs
- Of this number, 220 participants were supported into sustained employment of at least 6 months
- We supported individuals who are residents of 15 London Boroughs
One of our RISE participant’s [name removed] experience has been explained below:
“She was an English teacher before the Syrian revolution, however due to conflict she had to flee her home land and recently came to London… She recently applied to a school as a teacher assistant, she got the job and has started work since last week. She is very happy that she has this role as it gives her experience in her desired working sector, and it allows her to still be a full time mother and spend time with her daughter after school hours.“
6) What examples can you provide of a typical service user experience, that helps illustrate the benefits they have experienced as a result of your actions?
Case studies detailed within our impact report.
7) What additional social benefits have you been able to deliver within your core services that distinguish you from other “for shareholder profit” providers?
On select consultancy contracts we are able to take a decision to include senior management advisory time free-of-charge to the client if we see a strong association between Renaisi and client missions. During 2018, eight of the 42 consultancy projects delivered included this unpaid time.
Our delivery, through both our main service areas, is person centred. This is reflected in our values below:
We Value Strengths
We treat people as people and not as just another client or project. For us, it’s about valuing and appreciating people’s strengths then working with them to make the most of those.
We Make Time
We ensure that the people we work with feel heard, clients as well as colleagues. We really want to understand how we can best support each other, and we make the time to do that.
We Are Curious
We believe questions matter as much as answers to understand then tackle challenges. We’re curious about what we and others can do to spark change in individual and organisational behaviours.
We Own it
We care about the long-term impact we can create. This means everyone on our team owns and takes responsibility for their own work and projects, to strive towards our mission.
We accept, and know from staff feedback, that making time for clients and owning issues that arise results in additional and unpaid time commitments to our work. We are not yet able to quantify the amount because it has been ingrained in Renaisi culture for years but we know from staff experience of other companies operating in our markets that this ethos is very different.
8) What other social benefits have you contributed that go beyond your core delivery activities (ones that are completely unrelated to your main services)?
Doing the year Renaisi incubated a fledgling charity, providing overhead and back office functions to allow the charity to focus on securing funding. This charity was successfully transitioned to a standalone business which continued to be supported by Renaisi providing financial and strategic support.
We provide up to five corporate social responsibility days for all staff to use as they see fit. Our benchmarking shows that this is in the upper quartile of CSR allowance for companies of our size.
9) What social and environmental benefits have you created from internal operational policies and actions?
Over the last year we have focussed our sustainability action plan on three areas:
- Increasing our recycling efforts, led by our sustainability group, we have worked to reduce single use plastic in our offices and our events
- Reducing energy use across our offices through educating our team and comparing utilities usage across offices
- Improving our employees commute through offering cycle to work benefits to our team
We also offer our team CSR days where they are able to take paid leave to volunteer at other organisations, for example we have employees who offer counselling support to at risk individuals.