Leading Greater Manchester Social Value group, ANTZ, has been recognised for its ability to support business bring about positive change in the communities in which they operate, via a national award win with its partner Atos – the Institute of Collaborative Working’s Award for Social Impact Working with the Third Sector.
The award recognises businesses who have excelled through partnership working with the third sector for social impact. ANTZ partners with Atos, a global leader in digital transformation, to deliver mentoring to prison leavers and those hard to reach in the community in Manchester and London. The programme is also a collaboration of Atos employees, clients and suppliers and has brought about societal cost savings of over £1.2 million since 2015, helping people return to work and break the cycle of reoffending.
Built on a strong business strategy involving Atos and its client’s employees volunteering to mentor, resulting in 3,300 hours being given in-kind to help tackle individual social difficulties, the programme has succeeded in meeting a number of key aims including; increasing employment opportunities, supporting mental health, reducing drug dependency, improving family connections, health and wellbeing, reducing incidents of crime, and alcohol dependency.
Importantly, the mentoring programme has demonstrated to all businesses what can be achieved via partnership and collaboration, a shared purpose and a unified approach to delivering the greatest social impact. It has contributed over 120k in-kind to address mental health problems, approximately 200 hours in training and group supervision to mentors to tackle reoffending, and resulted in 65% of mentees being back in employment, training and/or education.
Commenting on the award win, ANTZ CEO, Jen Pemberton says: “I am delighted our work with Atos and the results achieved have been recognised in such a way. Delivering social value within the communities in which a business operates should be as normal a part of the business strategy as health and safety and facilities management. Atos understands this and brings its supply chain and partners along with them on the journey, delivering real, sustainable change in both the community and commercially.
“This business-led approach is critical and means not only business growth can be achieved, but a company’s staff and that of its partners get to be part of something powerful, helping boost their own confidence, morale and sense of worth. For any business engaged in delivering proper Social Value it’s a win-win.”
Key to executing such a successful mentoring programme was ANTZ’ unique approach in ensuring a person-centred campaign with all community partners having a ‘seat around the table’ and an ‘equal voice’ when discussing how a programme of engagement should work, how best to reach out, what success looks like and how to deliver it. This strategy saw community partners playing a vital role including, in Manchester; community interest company, Yes Manchester; the Greater Manchester Youth Combined Authority; and Immediate Theatre, supporting the most vulnerable people in communities through drama and the arts.
Jen Gillies Pemberton adds: “Our approach is to listen, develop, and execute the right programme with the right partners through 100% collaboration. Every programme of engagement is different and only by listening to the community itself and taking a person-centred approach can we begin to understand how to bring about the right level of sustainable change.
“This was even more important when Covid struck at the start of 2020 and our mentoring programme needed to be agile enough to adapt and change in accordance with the new rules and declining mental health in mentees, increased anxiety, a digital gap, unemployment, and increased homelessness.”
The award-winning mentoring programme will continue to deliver sustainable change in communities, with plans to extend to more regions and bring about societal cost savings of over £5 million in the next five years.