Embedding social value into a £70m organisation – with Jean Jarvis

Interview - Will Jackson - interview

Jean Jarvis MBE is the managing director of Fuse Enterprise CIC, part of Wrekin Housing Group, a £70m-turnover organisation using its spending power to buy social, embedding social value into every decision, and using champions to spread the social enterprise message.

Fuse has a cleaning, grounds maintenance and environmental services division which has grown from 1 to 13 staff, and launched and manages the Northfield Centre, a Social Enterprise Hub including a women’s refuge, GP surgery and pharmacy in Staffordshire.

Jean also leads on social investment in the Wrekin Housing Group. When Fuse originally became part of Wrekin in 2013 few people knew about social enterprise, but now the group recognises itself as a social enterprise.

In this episode Jean covers Wrekin’s journey embracing (and becoming a) social enterprise and delivering social value.

Here’s the podcast. Click the large arrow to play, or hover over the media player and click on the icon on the bottom right corner to download it. Or listen through SpotifyApple Podcasts or Google Podcasts if you prefer.

Jean talks about:

  • Her excitement over Wrekin’s transition into a social enterprise
  • How Jean built support for the social investment strategy
  • Social value is now embedded into decisions made throughout Wrekin
  • Measuring a range of social value metrics to be reported at every board meeting
  • Recognising the need to buy local as well as social
  • Building capacity in the social enterprise sector and building an environment of social awareness
  • How Wrekin’s 35+ social enterprise champions were recruited and educated, spread the word and build enthusiasm for social enterprise
  • They also promote replication and a culture of change
  • Why Jean believes all businesses should be social enterprises – and other housing associations should follow Wrekin’s examples

What next?

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  • And if you are interested in being interviewed and are from an existing social enterprise creating a proven impact, please contact presenter Heidi Fisher at Make An Impact CIC