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Kirklees Council: Growing Social Capital in Kirklees

Measuring what matters is an increasing challenge for local councils as they are required to move away from narrow unit cost into areas of outcomes and social value. This is particularly true for social care where finding ways to quantify the “triple bottom line” – social, economic and environmental impact – sits alongside a new relationship with the community.

The findings show that for every £1 invested in The Nerve Centre, £1.99 of additional ‘value’ is created. For The Denby Dale Centre, £1.94 of additional ‘value’ is created and for Meltham Sports and Community Group the additional ‘value’ was £2.75.

It was clear there benefits for the groups through simply telling their story and through articulating the reasons for their existence. Focus groups and interviews with volunteers and service users showed that a focus on increasing a person’s friendships and contacts through involvement with the groups can improve their wellbeing, quality of life and increased independence in their own neighbourhood or community.

This work helps the Trustees and Management Teams of the three organisations to make a strong business case to future funders for investment in their organisations and their activities and services. It puts them in a stronger position to develop new services or activities and to sustain the organisation into the future.

For the council, the studies are helping them explore how to best evidence the impact of investment and how the principles of social return on investment can be used in a variety of settings across commissioning, contracting and community investment.