New report reveals that every £1 we spend is worth £23.15 in community impact

Posted by Rob Smyth | 01/05/2018 | Category: Community

We can today reveal that every £1 it spends on good causes is worth an incredible £23.15 in positive community impact.

The Social Return on Investment (SROI) report takes an in-depth look at the impact of the Society’s community work in 2017 and focuses on the social value and return provided by the Society’s Co-operative Masterclasses, Membership and Community Council grants, Healthy Choices and Ethical Challenges Workshops, the installation of 300 defibrillators and a food and farming event.

The results showcased that for every £1 that the Society invests in community projects, the monetary value of the impact made is on average worth a massive £23.15.

The findings from the report, which was undertaken by SROI specialist ‘Make an Impact CIC’, will now play a major part in shaping the future of the Society.

In 2016, Central England Co-op was the first co-operative of its type to publish an SROI report and its overall figure then was £20.50 for every £1 spent on selected community projects.

Chief Executive of Central England Co-operative Martyn Cheatle said: “This amazing figure of £23.15 of impact for every £1 spent, truly showcases how the Society continues to make a real difference to people’s lives.

“This is the second time we have undertaken a robust analysis of our community impact and the SROI report continues to be great indicator of not just how we are doing but also helping us plan for the future.

“However, all of these great community projects are only possible due to the continued support and success of our trading businesses.

“Our ongoing commitment to support fantastic work in the community is underpinned by the strong financial performance of the Society and a long-term strategy to grow the business in a sustainable way.”

This report focuses on the difference these projects make to people, society, the environment and the wider community.

Co-operative Masterclasses are aimed at secondary school children and are based around educating them about co-operatives.

Membership and Community Council grants are handed out to local groups who want to make a difference, with a total of 48 grants worth over £32,000 handed out in 2017.

The Healthy Choices and Ethical Challenge Workshops are delivered in schools to educate students around making healthier food choices and to educate them about Fairtrade.  A total of 3,829 youngsters took part last year.

The Society’s defibrillator project has resulted in the installation of over 300 of the lifesaving devices outside of food stores and funeral homes. This was paid for via funds raised through the 5p carrier bag levy.

The Food and Farming event aimed to educate students about food, farming and the countryside in Peterborough.

The results of SROI report will now be used to help make effective, data driven decisions, to ensure relevant community impact will involve making the best use of the resources available, and to look at what possible social value could be achieved through new, innovative projects.

The projects highlighted in the report have helped Central England Co-op support the communities it trades in to the tune of over £2.2 million.

The publication of the SROI comes after the Society was praised for its work based around community, environment, marketplace and workplace by being awarded five stars out of five in the Business in the Community’s 2018 Corporate Responsibility Index.

About The Author: Rob Smyth

Public relations

Promoting the great work of Central England Co-operative across all forms of media.