A new report, Capital Communities, shows that in 2011-12 g15 invested over £40 million directly in economic and community development programmes, creating jobs, better skills, improved health and new opportunities for Londoners.
At a time when public spending is reducing, commissioning bodies are exploring new service delivery methods and unemployment is high, the powerful social enterprise role played by g15 in London’s communities is more vital than ever. In fact, since 2005, g15 members have more than doubled their social investment into communities.
In total, more than 87,000 Londoners benefited from 840 g15 economic and community development projects, mainly in more deprived neighbourhoods and localities where the support is needed most.
When reduced benefit payments, higher economic productivity and fewer young people not in employment, education or training (NEET) are taken into account, the overall social value to London of g15’s investment in economic and community development each year is at least £100 million.
Delivering for communities
In 2011-12, g15 investments achieved the following:
Jobs and employment support
- 2,000 people were supported into jobs – saving the public purse £46 million
- 3,000 people completed accredited training courses
- Nearly 300 people took up apprenticeships
- 1,125 people benefited from paid work placements or work experience
- Nearly 1,900 Londoners developed new skills through volunteering
- Over 23,000 Londoners gained access to training and employment support and over 14,000 more received advice and guidance
Inspiring young people
- 5,000 young people had educational or training needs addressed – with a potential saving to the public purse of at least £28.75 million
- 20,000 under 25s took part in a g15 project, including nearly 12,000 under 19s
- Over 300 community projects were specifically designed for young people
Creating stronger, more stable communities
- Over 6,000 people were engaged through health and well-being sessions
- Almost 4,000 family interventions were achieved
- More than 60 projects were targeted to deflect anti-social behaviour (over and above ‘day-to-day’ anti-social behaviour prevention and management)
- g15 supported many voluntary, community sector and social enterprise partners across the capital, helping them maintain important services even as public spending fell
The benefits society derives from these community investments complement the very significant social gains delivered by housing association capital investment in building and maintaining thousands of affordable homes each year. g15 has a long track record of extracting additional social value from procurement contracts and the supply chain. Government housing grants provide the vital base funding that enables housing associations to deliver these spin-off social benefits from building work.
Ideally placed to deliver social value
There is no compulsion on housing associations to provide economic and community development projects. We do it because we are social businesses committed to the communities we serve for the long-term.
Community investment has been an intrinsic part of g15’s work since the 1990s. Our longstanding and substantial presence in most of London’s more deprived communities means g15 housing associations:
- Have the ready-made infrastructure to deliver on social policy priorities
- Have easy access to and understanding of the communities and people government wish to target
- Can reach troubled families and help break the transmission of disadvantage from one generation to another
- Are trusted social partners, who work well in partnership, and can manage and devolve grants to local groups and organisations effectively and efficiently
- Have real experience and expertise in managing and delivering high impact community services, and can take a strategic approach, based on what works
- Ensure housing grant funding and other physical investments deliver substantial added community value
How g15 could achieve more
g15 housing associations have doubled discretionary investment into community projects since 2005, and have leveraged substantial further social value from public investment in housing development and community programmes. We will continue to invest to support the sustainability of our communities and new social and economic opportunities for Londoners.
But as government and commissioning bodies look for innovative ways to create extra value from each pound of public investment, collaborative approaches can achieve more in tackling London’s deep and enduring community needs.
As powerful, independent social businesses, embedded in London’s poorer communities, g15 are well placed to work with commissioners in shaping and implementing social agendas. Working more in partnership and investing with g15 will enable commissioning bodies to maximise the impact and social value of public spending on community programmes.
More information and access to case studies
For further information, please contact Kate Dodsworth, Director of Policy and External Affairs, AmicusHorizon.[Read summary report]
020 8726 8726