The First Ark Group has announced an increase of 30% in its social value to £29m from its core activity – in its latest annual social accounts for 2017/18. In addition, it has enabled partner organisations to create a further £24m of social value across the North West of England as a result of its financial Investments. The inspiring, life changing work which the First Ark Group does has grown significantly over the last 12 months thanks to its unique social business model; which now includes awarding grants and loans to charities and social enterprise organisations to help them grow and enhance the opportunities of the communities and people that they work with.
Measuring Social value in this way highlights the true impact of First Ark’s activities and the effects these have on a people’s lives, quantifying the outcomes as a tangible financial value. These principles guide the investments made by First Ark in companies that are driving social value themselves.
First Ark has also developed a number of programmes within its core social housing business, Knowsley Housing Trust (KHT), and the services it provides to tenants, which have had an impact on local people worth £29m. First Ark’s impact programmes have supported 125 people into employment a further 900 people with skills and employment training and supported 66 Businesses to start up or grow, while engagement with KHT tenants has helped 1,149 families to secure £2.7m in appropriate benefits and additional income.
Tony Cahill, Executive Director, First Ark said: “We have continued our focus this year on maximising the impact we have on people’s lives, by working in partnership with others to expand the scale of support we can provide to local communities. This year, that includes a significant increase in the impact we have had as a result of our social investments, supported by funding from the Access Foundation, Big Society Capital and the Big Lottery Fund.”