Social value

The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust has built a strong reputation for developing comprehensive and imaginative programmes that enhance the social value element of housing developments across London.

Expanding on the Building Futures programme, we have worked with architecture practices specialising in public housing to deliver meaningful Social Value Enhancement programmes across the capital, with a portfolio spanning work in Enfield, Harrow, South Kilburn, Wembley and other boroughs across east London.

Social value secured a formal place on the pre-procurement agenda of public sector clients in the Public Services (Social Value) Act in 2012. The act calls for authorities to consider how a project ‘might improve the economic, social and environmental well-being of the relevant area, and how, in conducting the process of procurement, it might act with a view to securing that improvement’.

The Trust developed its first Social Value Enhancement project in partnership with Karakusevic Carson Architects. Together, we developed a bespoke programme of opportunities for young people in Enfield as part of the Meridian Water Development Opportunity Area and Housing Zone Project.

Young people living or studying in the area were offered work experience placements and mentoring to gain a better understanding of the professional world of architecture, as well as the process involved in applying to architecture at university. During work experience placements, students worked on a mini brief set in the context of the project’s live site. This allowed students to incorporate their local knowledge into their design. Students undertaking the placement programme were also able to apply for financial bursaries to aid in supporting the costs of architectural study.

Our approach allows us to feed the young people we engage with into the Building Futures programme after our commissioned work is completed in any given borough, ensuring there is continuous support and engagement for young aspiring architects.  We believe that true project success can only be achieved when social, environmental, and economic objectives align, and stakeholders are involved in the design process.