Wates exceeds social value targets and launches social enterprise programme for fourth consecutive year

Wates exceeds social value targets and launches social enterprise programme for fourth consecutive year

Wates has exceeded its social value targets to assist social enterprises and get young people engaged in a career in the construction industry and launched its unique social enterprise support programme, ASSETS, in partnership with Impact Hub London, for a fourth consecutive year.

The UK’s family-owned development, building and property maintenance company has spent £31m with social enterprises since 2020, exceeding its original target of £25m by 2025. Wates has now extended its target to £36m by the end of 2025.

On the 13th February, Wates announced that it is launching a groundbreaking business support initiative for social enterprises for a fourth consecutive year.

The seven-month Assisting Social Enterprises to Succeed (ASSETS) programme is a partnership between Wates and Impact Hub London. It offers social enterprises operating in the construction supply chain, bespoke support to help them secure larger contracts and expand nationally. It provides expert mentoring, workshops and peer sessions for a carefully selected group of social or environmental impact-driven suppliers.

The programme has supported 17 social enterprises so far, driving an average of 25% growth across the businesses supported, and leading to the creation of 43 new jobs. Applications are encouraged from social enterprises in the construction sector across the UK.

Wates employees will be volunteering their time to support the social enterprises as part of the project and Wates’ wider social value commitments. Over the last three years, 56 mentors have provided more than 1,000 hours of support through the programme.

Participants in the programme said it strengthened their knowledge of the market and built confidence and passion, setting them up for future business success and growth.

The programme is led by Wates and Impact Hub London, with additional partners the People’s Postcode Lottery and Travis Perkins Group.

Sebastian Harley, Head of Projects and Operations at Down to Earth, who took part in the programme in 2023, said: “Our journey on the programme was exceptional and enlightening. The team have been very supportive and respectful of our aims and objectives, supporting us in developing our ideas and direction for growth. They have had a profound impact on us individually and we look forward to maintaining contact with them all.”

Su Pickerill, Head of Social Value, Wates, commented: “At Wates, we are very proud of our commitments to support the communities that we work in. I am delighted that we have already exceeded some of our 2025 targets, set out in our 2020 strategy, and am pleased to have the opportunity to extend these targets even further. It is a privilege to be embarking on our fourth year of ASSETS and we look forward to helping another cohort of social enterprises to scale and succeed.”

Angelica Santodomingo, Programmes Director, Impact Hub London, added: “We are delighted to launch the 2024 ASSETS programme and I would encourage social enterprises across the construction sector supply chain to apply. The programme has a strong track record of helping social enterprises to grow, and we are very excited to work with this year’s cohort to help them achieve their goals and have greater impact.”

Additionally, Wates has exceeded its target to engage with young people, reaching more than 80,000 young people through workshops and assemblies at primary and secondary schools since 2020 — more than three times its original target of reaching 25,000 young people by 2025. Wates is now looking to extend this target to reach 100,000 young people by the end of 2025.

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