Campaign for the Social Value Act wins Big Impact Award


Members of Social Enterprise UK's Policy & Communications team attended the Third Sector Excellence Awards to pick up the trophy, presented by Shadow Minister for Civil Society, Gareth Thomas MP.

This year Social Enterprise UK completed a 19 month project to help design and ensure safe passage of the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012, for which it won a Third Sector Excellence award.

For decades charities and social enterprises have worked to play a greater role in public services, delivering social value and making a positive impact on national life. Successive governments have promised a greater role for charities and social enterprises, but contracts are increasingly weighted towards large businesses and the prime contractor model has gathered strength.

Concern has mounted in recent years about large private companies taking excess profits and forming oligopolies in public service markets; about their poor delivery, and even fraud in the case of A4E which has come under recent scrutiny by the Public Accounts Committee. Yet social enterprise and charities report that they are losing ground to large private companies. As more markets open, with the NHS and parts of the police force now under consideration, this problem has serious implications – for the voluntary sector and for UK citizens.

The Public Services (Social Value) Act was passed against the odds, with a galvanized third sector behind it. Now, for the first time by law, social value must be factored into public spending decisions, currently worth £236 billion annually. The Bill’s passage marks a watershed: we finally have the foundation in place to shift the way that public services work. It is a priceless opportunity for the third sector. The legislation is already being copied internationally.

Pictured L-R: Celia Richardson, Ceri Jones, Fran Gorman, Charlotte Chung.

Helpful Links

Find out more about the Social Value Act

Come to the Social Value Conference - an event for social enterprises and public bodies

FInd out more about the work of the Policy & Campaigns team