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Exploring the Social Value Themes

In this section, we take a deep dive into some of the Essex County Council Social Value Themes. Depending on the Theme and Outcome we provide here:

  • Guidance information including factsheets, research reports, white papers, and manuals.
  • Resources: tools for practical application including, where available, funding opportunities.
  • Examples: lessons learned from previous projects. These are illustrative examples only; you can use your own solutions.

Employment and Skills are ECC Social Value Priority Measures, and we have lots of advice and guidance to share with you. Therefore, we have a whole separate section of this Catalogue for these measures. See here for information about inclusive and entry-level employment schemes, funding opportunities and employers' guidance.

Faster economic growth will improve not only the living standards of people in Essex but also their health and wellbeing, opportunities, and life chances. Securing economic prosperity is the best means of helping people help themselves; and an inclusive economy is one where the benefit of growth is shared by all.

This Theme comprises three Outcomes: Increase sustainable employment within Essex, Increase the skills of people within Essex, and Support the growth of local business.


Increasing sustainable employment within Essex


This Outcome is about promoting sustainable employment as an employer, focused on the creation and support of local employment.  A complete set of resources is shared in the catalogue section Employment and Skills Development.


Increase the skills of people within Essex


This Outcome is about investing in your team skills, your business and contributing to increase the number of well qualified adults in Essex, supporting workers in Essex to access skilled jobs and fulfil their potential.


  • Employer Toolkit: A guide to Apprenticeships with ACL (PDF, 2,161KB). This step-by-step guide provides simplified information and guidance on all aspects of an apprenticeship journey you need to know as an employer. It has been designed by ACL Essex; an apprentice delivery partner available to help you delivering your apprenticeship programme. Find out more about ACL apprenticeship support to employers at their website.
  • If you have unspent levy funds, you can transfer them to SMEs and support upskilling Essex small business workforce. The Essex Apprenticeship Levy Transfer Service can help you, it is a free service for employers. For more information visit . See below some SMEs successful stories.


Support the growth of local business


This Outcome is about the impact of your business in the Essex communities through your supply chain, looking at your expenditure within local business and local SMEs. A complete set of Guidance and Resources resources is shared in the catalogue section Small Businesses, Social Enterprises and Voluntary Organisations

This Theme comprises three Outcomes: Improving the health of people in Essex, Improve opportunities for young people in Essex, and Support vulnerable people to live independently.

Improving the health of people in Essex


This Outcome is about initiatives that engage and support Essex residents in a range of health-related topics, such as interventions focused on mental health, health in general and tackling homelessness.

Improve opportunities for young people in Essex


This Outcome is about initiatives to support and engage young people into their work life, bringing together employers and the school community. It is about preparing young people for employment, ensuring they are aware of opportunities, and creating pre-employment opportunities, meaningful work experiences, and apprenticeships.


Find a complete set of resources about in the catalogue section Employment and Skills Development.

Supporting vulnerable people to live independently


This Outcome is about initiatives that support older, disabled and vulnerable people to build stronger community networks, such as befriending schemes and digital inclusion clubs.

Great places to live and work are created by the improvement of the quality of life for Essex residents, the commitment to wellbeing, health, and mental health, and to reduction of the environment impact and the carbon emissions.

This Theme comprises three Outcomes: Improve the environment in Essex, Create supported workforces, and Reduce crime.


Improve the environment in Essex


Care of the environment is an important consideration for any organisation. At Essex County Council, we value social value contributions that can help us to reduce negative environmental impacts including savings from renewable energy, carbon emission reduction programmes, green infrastructure to increase biodiversity, and reduction of single use plastics.


  • Collaboration opportunity: Solar Together Essex (PDF, 68KB). Information on how to access accessible solar energy solutions for smaller organisations and local residents living in participating local authorities from Essex.
  • Funding opportunity:  LoCASE (Low Carbon Across the South East) (Word, 20KB). A grant funding opportunity for SMEs who are looking at 'green' projects. An opportunity to apply for £20,000 grant funding and workshops for organisations which offer green and low carbon goods and services.


  • Find here cases studies from small businesses who implemented environmental practices with assistance provided by the Steps To Environmental Management for businesses (STEM) initiative:


Create supported workforces


This Outcome is about work practices that improve staff wellbeing, recognise mental health  and reduce absenteeism due to ill health, including time dedicated for wellbeing learning and development. It also covers diversity training provided for contractors and subcontractors.



  • Mental Health for Employers Toolkit: Business in the Community (BITC) has partnered with Public Health England to produce a toolkit to help every organisation support the mental health and wellbeing of its employees.


Reduce crime


This Outcome is about initiatives aimed at reducing crime in the organisation communities of operation and regions, such as support for local youth groups, lighting for public spaces, and private security.

This Theme is about working collaboratively with partners, suppliers and communities build community capacity and capability.

This Theme comprises 4 Outcomes: Promote volunteering through our supply chains, Support communities' projects and reduce demand for public services, Promote Social Value and Ethical procurement through supply chains, and Collaborate with local voluntary organisations to build capacity.


Promote volunteering through our supply chains


This Outcome is about volunteering efforts to support VCSEs, working towards community development and cohesion, but not expert businesses advice.


  • Volunteering with Civil Society: Government guidance for businesses seeking to help voluntary, community, and social enterprise organisations during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.


Support communities' projects and reduce demand for public services


Supporting the Community is about contributing to thriving communities and creating a positive legacy for our residents, including capacity buildings.


  • Laptop Recycling Scheme (PDF, 129KB): A scheme in which used and old laptops are recycled and donated to young people within Essex so they are able to utilise the technology. 
  • Library of Things: find out at how to support communities through this Circular Economy initiative. 


Promote Social Value and Ethical procurement through supply chains


The promotion of Ethical, Sustainable and Social Value commitments through supply chains by including in contracts, and monitor, requirements and measures.


NB: this is not a comprehensive list of all Themes and Outcomes; they are provided as illustrative examples only. Please refer to the full set of ECC TOMs (PDF, 298KB), and always read and follow the instructions in the tender document.

We are providing links to external resources to aid general knowledge development only and these links do not imply endorsement of particular products, services or organisations. When bidding for ECC contracts always read the tender documents provided and follow the instructions carefully.

If you have any questions about ECC social value approach or if you need information on this website in a different format, please email . We’d appreciate your feedback too, let us know how we can make this web page better.

Last updated: 16/09/2022