Leeds based charity, Inspire North, has become the first organisation in Yorkshire to achieve the Social Value Quality Mark (SVQM) Level 1. The Quality Mark recognises distinction in values-led business that benefits clients, residents and tenants, communities, and the environment.

The Social Value Quality Mark is one of the most rigorously tested standards of its kind in the UK. To gain the Level 1 accreditation, Inspire North had to make a series of commitments to create, measure, and independently report its impact on the local communities in which it delivers services.

Pledges were made across key community themes including the cost savings for the public sector, the change in emotional, psychological, and physical wellbeing of service users, and how the environment is affected through the delivery of services.

There is no singularly accepted definition of social value but Inspire North defines it as: "the worth of the difference we make to people's lives and our local community".

Inspire North is the parent organisation of Foundation and Community Links and provides award-winning support services and accredited training in areas such as mental health, housing, and domestic abuse across the north of England.

As part of its social value strategy, Inspire North has produced a legacy statement that reads: “Creating an equitable society for all, raising aspirations and supporting people to be independent, visible, and heard.”

Ruth Kettle, CEO said: “We are delighted to achieve the Social Value Quality Mark Level 1 for our commitment to driving forward our social value and understanding our impact on the communities and societies in which we work.

“We want to be able to design and deliver services which enhance our positive impact, benefitting clients more holistically as well as people within wider communities, and the quality mark will help us to evidence the impact we do have.”

Richard Dickins, managing director at Social Value Quality Mark, said: “To be the first organisation in Yorkshire to be awarded with the quality mark is a significant achievement.

“This award recognises Inspire North’s outstanding commitment to create, report and embed social value. We are delighted to remain their social value partner as they move through up through the levels.”
Inspire North says it will measure its social value impact through social research, capturing health and wellbeing impact of service users, and calculating the financial value of its services and cost savings for local communities.