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  • Charlotte Miller + Emily Abbott

Building Healthy Communities: Finding the Social Value in Intergenerational Housing

In today's rapidly changing world, the need for sustainable and inclusive communities has never been more pressing. When building these communities, an important consideration should be measuring their social value.

Social value refers to the broader impact that organisations and initiatives have on society beyond financial profit. It encompasses various aspects, such as community wellbeing, economic development, environmental sustainability and the overall betterment of people's lives. Recognising and building on social value is a crucial first step in understanding the profound intergenerational value it can bring.

Clarion Housing Group, a leading social landlord in the UK, understands this urgency and is committed to creating homes that last for generations while increasing resilience to climate change. However, their dedication to social value goes beyond just providing housing. Through their integration of intergenerational practice, Clarion is forging connections, bridging divides and building stronger and more vibrant communities for all.

The recently released Supply Chain Impact Report by Clarion Housing Group resonates deeply with the mission of Intergenerational England. In this blog post, we respond to the key points presented in the report and emphasise the importance of intergenerational initiatives in shaping a better future for communities.

Understanding the Social Value Approach

Clarion Housing Group's Supply Chain Impact Report 2022-23 outlines a commitment to creating meaningful and lasting value by working closely with its supply chain to generate more opportunities for residents and communities. Clarion recognises that its suppliers play a vital role in shaping the impact it has on society. Through a collaborative approach, Clarion has successfully facilitated employment and training initiatives, encouraged local sourcing, and supported community-led projects, achieving tangible outcomes that include job creation, skills development and the revitalisation of local community centres.

The UK Social Value Bank focusses on individual wellbeing as a determinant for social impact. The bank will enable companies to measure their social and environmental impact through improvements to wellbeing and savings made to the state, and use the information to:

  • improve services

  • enhance decision-making

  • increase the impact you make

Intergenerational Social Value

Intergenerational value goes beyond the immediate benefits of any given program or initiative. It recognises the long-term positive outcomes that intergenerational connections and integrated housing practices can have on individuals and communities across generations. These benefits include enhanced community cohesion, improved wellbeing, and a stronger sense of belonging. By emphasising and building on the social value generated by intergenerational initiatives, we acknowledge their transformative potential in creating lasting, positive change. We believe that by encouraging an intergenerational ethos and highlighting the social value that this brings, we can collectively strive to creating a meaningful difference in and across our communities.

Creating Accessible Tools To Measure Social Value Challenging Language and Barriers

To empower individuals to have agency over their health and wellbeing, it is essential to create accessible tools and resources that address language and other barriers. This means developing tools and information that are easily understandable, regardless of a person's background, education, or linguistic abilities. Accessible tools can take the form of simplified educational materials, multilingual resources, easy-to-read guides, and inclusive digital platforms. These tools should challenge language barriers by ensuring that the information is presented in a clear, concise, and culturally sensitive manner. They should also be designed with the needs of diverse communities in mind. Additionally, addressing barriers goes beyond language and includes considerations for physical accessibility, affordability, and cultural inclusivity. By providing accessible tools, we empower individuals of all ages to make informed decisions about their health and well-being, fostering a sense of agency and control.

Considering People at Every Level of the Community Ecosystem

A community ecosystem is a complex network of interconnected elements, including individuals, families, local organizations, government institutions, and more. To support people in having agency over their health and wellbeing, it is crucial to consider and involve individuals at every level of this ecosystem. At the individual level, this means recognizing that each person has unique needs, experiences, and challenges. It involves tailoring interventions and resources to address these individual circumstances. For example, a young adult may have different health needs and priorities compared to an elderly person, and both perspectives should be considered.

Beyond individuals, interventions and policies should also consider families, neighbourhoods, and broader community structures. This holistic approach ensures that the entire community ecosystem is engaged and benefited.

Bringing in Clear Intergenerational Measures to Enhance Social Value

Measuring the impact of intergenerational programs and initiatives is essential to enhancing their social value. Clear intergenerational measures help quantify the benefits these programs bring to individuals, communities, and society as a whole. These measures may include assessing improvements in wellbeing, reduced social isolation, increased cross-generational understanding, and tangible outcomes like academic performance, job creation, and community revitalization. By quantifying these impacts, organisations can better communicate the value of their intergenerational efforts and make informed decisions on resource allocation. Additionally, clear intergenerational measures facilitate collaboration and knowledge-sharing among organisations and communities, helping identify best practices and areas for improvement. They are essential for demonstrating the long-term benefits of intergenerational programs and for advocating for their continued support and expansion.

In summary, building on social value to recognize intergenerational value involves acknowledging the broader impact of intergenerational initiatives on society, creating accessible tools to empower individuals, considering people at every level of the community ecosystem, and implementing clear intergenerational measures to enhance the overall social value generated by these initiatives. These principles work together to create a more inclusive and intergenerational approach to community wellbeing and development. Intergenerational programs bridge gaps, create opportunities, and foster bonds that span generations. They carry with them the potential to strengthen communities and empower individuals, transforming lives and ensuring a more inclusive, compassionate future. It's a testament to the power of shared goals, collaboration and the understanding that we're all part of an interconnected tapestry of lives. By recognising and championing intergenerational social value, we take a significant step towards a brighter future for all. We invite you to join the journey towards fostering intergenerational social value, exploring how this approach can lead to a more inclusive, harmonious, and enriched society. Together with organisations like Clarion, we can make a lasting impact, one generation at a time.

Join the conversation and stay Informed:

Knowledge is a powerful tool for creating change. Do keep reading more about social value and share your insights with others.

To register interest for receive further details on the development of Intergenerational England and current intergenerational projects contact:


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