Our Social Value priority areas 2021 to 2026

Delivering Social Value in Surrey means maximising our positive impact,

  • achieving more than we can with our own resources
  • achieving better, more long-lasting outcomes through working together

The Social Value Priority Areas for 2021 ensure that we focus the additional value on what is most important in Surrey right now. These are based on our shared Community Vision for Surrey 2030, which was shaped by people and organisations from across the county, and they also support the current organisation and health and wellbeing strategies.

You can read more about each of these priority areas in the six sections below:

Reduce inequality

In Surrey we have a particular focus over the next five years on tackling health inequality, as detailed in the Organisation Strategy 2021-2026. There are four groups of people who we particularly want to work together with to achieve this: those with special education needs and learning disabilities; people living with long-term illness or physical disabilities; those with caring responsibilities and people living in material deprivation or with other vulnerabilities.

Our recently reinforced commitment to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion also includes additional areas of focus, as we work towards equality of education and skills, inclusion in democratic processes and decision-making and greater diversity in the workforce. This is not only a Council commitment, but one we work together with our partners and suppliers across the county to fulfil through all community engagement and service delivery.

Promote independence and wellbeing

Every organisation can play a role in improving the mental and physical health of others, especially with regards to their own workforce. At Surrey Council we are working towards a set of Healthy Workplace Commitments that we would like to invite others to join.

Greater independence can be built through more inclusive access, whether to physical locations or to online platforms, and also through technological advances, whether in physical equipment or in digital tools. Understanding the lives and experiences of those who lack independence will help to generate the best solutions, and we will work together to design services that truly empower others.

Unlock hidden talent

A number of people in Surrey feel underconfident and/or are unable to enter the workplace for a variety of reasons. Many of these people have skills, attributes and behaviours that could add huge value to businesses and organisations that offer them employment opportunities. Those who might benefit most include people with disabilities or learning difficulties; young people leaving residential care or from disadvantaged backgrounds; or adults returning from military service, family care or long-term illness.

At Surrey County Council we have recently set up the Hidden Talent network to improve our own recruitment and management processes and we will work with an increasingly wider range of suppliers and partner organisations who share this commitment, to improve practice, expand referral pathways and develop shared resources.

Think local

Our refreshed organisation strategy has a strong focus on growing a sustainable local economy, which is especially meaningful in the growth and recovery period following the Covid-19 pandemic. New procurement guidance enabling increased investment in local businesses and social enterprise will play a part in this recovery, as will increased partnership working within and between sectors, sharing resources and expertise to support growth. The One Surrey Growth Board (PDF) offers a shared approach to prioritising and maximising these opportunities whilst ensuring that this growth is both sustainable and equitable.

Tackle root causes of climate change

Reducing carbon emissions is the Council's number one priority in this area, and we are working together across the organisation, with our suppliers and with people and organisations across Surrey to reach our county's net zero carbon target by 2050. Changes to means of transport, energy usage and waste management are just a few areas as part of the wider Climate Change Strategy where we can make a significant difference both as individuals and as organisations.

Invest in Surrey's greener future

The majority of purchases made with public money can involve additional investment in improving the local environment and increasing biodiversity, and people and organisations across the county can play a very hands-on role through the way we manage our own land no matter how small, for example by rewilding or planting trees. Surrey's New Tree Strategy 2020 contains detailed guidance as well as links to other initiatives such as the Blue Campaign.