SOCIAL IMPACT 

As the Social Value Act percolates through Local Authority and other commissioning organisations, the ability to demonstrate social impact has become a key success factor. Moreover, as the environment in which Ashley Community Housing operates is becoming increasingly competitive, the ability to demonstrate a robustly evidenced social impact is a key differentiator. In this context Ashley Community Housing have adopted a Social return on investment (SROI) approach to ensure that we rigorously and professionally measure our social impact in order to guide our decision making processes, benchmark ourselves against similar organisations and communicate to partners and commissioners the value of our activities. 
Ashley Community Housing employability stats
 
The impact this has had in terms of strategic planning and process improvement cannot be underestimated. For example, analysis of our training provision identified that our relatively low cost Pre-ESOL training was valued most by learners and had significant impact on learner retention and completion rates on subsequent courses. This is because it boosted confidence and provided a gentle introduction to formal learning. As a result of this, we started to provide this beginners’ course in conjunction with a personal development programme, and this resulted in 100% progression onto further learning with Ashley Community Housing and City of Bristol College. Building in this change has enabled us to work more closely with the college in a supply chain arrangement which has already led to a 50% increase in contract revenue. 
 
 
As part of this, unlike other methodologies, SROI allows us to identify negative outcomes as well as the positive ones and adjust our operations accordingly. For example, through this process we have also identified the need to diversify our housing stock by creating move-on accommodation and develop specific financial inclusion and pre-tenancy training. This ensures that individuals we work with are not exploited by their new landlords and employers as they move on to independent living. 
Ashley Community Housing - where do our tenants go?
Ashley Community Housing physical health stats
Our own internal social impact report for 2013/14 shows us generating £7.66 of value for every £1 spent. To build up this figure we assess our individual projects for impact whilst, also using the same methodology to forecast the impact of new projects. Currently we are developing a pilot gardening project which we forecast will generate £9.26 of value by improving mental health and well being, whereas our longer established English My Way Pre-ESOL course demonstrates a value of £28.25 resulting from the complexity of its impacts associated with moving people towards further training and personal independence. 
Ashley Community Housing mental health stats