Group of ISG social value employees volunteering in a community garden

The key to successful social value? Keep people at the centre

Social Value Advisor Daniella Dei dives into some of the amazing work our teams are taking on in The City and East London. 

There's no denying that the last few years have been challenging for everyone. For people who were already struggling before the pandemic, the realities of life after covid and the ongoing cost of living crisis has made things even more difficult. Because everyone has been impacted in a unique way, we believe listening to people’s stories and learning where their biggest struggles lie will help us to provide the most effective support.

Social value for us, is about keeping people at the centre of everything we do.

How we keep people at the heart of our projects’ social value strategies

For our project teams, it’s never been more important to feel a sense of connection and belonging to the communities where we work and live. One of the best ways we support this is by championing giving back to the local community.

On Project Orbit – situated near Moorgate station – we reached out to grassroots community organisations working hard to support people who are struggling in Islington.

Despite its perception of wealth and affluence, Islington has high levels of poverty and unemployment, with extreme inequalities and increased polarisation between rich and poor.

Our partners shared their concerns about the high rates of ill mental health and domestic abuse. Because Islington is the most densely populated local authority in the UK with the least amount of green space per head, people living there are struggling to access safe and quality outdoor space.

We know that getting outside and connecting has a marked improvement on mental health and wellbeing, so finding a solution to this is a priority for the borough.

Working with local charity Solace Women's Aid, corporate partnerships manager, Poppy Robinson, shared an unsettling insight into the run-down garden space at the charity’s refuge centre in Islington. For women and children fleeing unthinkable trauma and abusive situations, having a healthy garden space aids in their recovery process.

That’s all ISG construction manager, Annie-May Smith, needed to hear to leap into action!

Bringing together a team of ISG colleagues and supply chain partners from Construction Logistics Group Ltd and TMJ Interiors to improve the conditions of the refuge centre, the team gathered materials and volunteered to refurbish the garden space.

We were humbled to receive some great feedback from our charity and supply chain partners who were involved on the day:

“I just wanted to say a huge thank you for all your efforts in making yesterday’s volunteer day possible. The team were incredible, and they got everything done so efficiently – the place looks gorgeous! The residents and staff are extremely grateful so thank you on behalf of all of us, and please pass our thanks to all who made yesterday possible.”

Poppy Robinson, Corporate Partnerships Manager, Solace Women’s Aid

Woman working in a community garden

“The team at TMJ are proud to have been able to be involved in this project. We are really pleased that the staff and residents of Solace Women’s Aid are happy with the results and the positive impact it’s had. We are looking forward to returning with the Gazebo in the coming weeks! We hope that all the residents at the women’s refuge centre continue to receive enjoyment out of the garden.”

Sarah Tilley, Project Manager, TMJ Interiors

Group of ISG social value employees painting a fence in a community garden

“The CLG team were really pleased to have been given the opportunity to support ISG at the women’s refuge centre yesterday. It was nice to see how the garden developed over the day with just a few simple additions, which we hope has left a positive impact for the women and children that reside at the refuge. We are looking forward to returning in the autumn to overhaul the space by providing artificial lawn.”

Brett Taylor, Director, Construction Logistics Group

So far, we know that our social value initiatives have impacted 396 individual lives in Islington. That’s what it’s all about – keeping people at the centre of what we do.

Delivering Social value is so much more meaningful when everybody gets involved. It takes a team committed to doing the right thing, which has been exemplar on Project Orbit.

And it’s been an absolute joy to watch.

Social value | ISG

Find out more about ISG's approach to Social Value

Our goal is to make a real difference to people’s lives by enhancing the social, environmental and economic well-being of the communities in which we operate.

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