More than one million Scots have benefitted either directly or indirectly from social investment according to Social Investment Scotland’s (SIS) latest annual Social Impact report.
Significantly, this investment, totalling £63 million, has helped nearly 300,000 people living in the 0-15% most deprived areas in Scotland.
The report from SIS is the result of in-depth research amongst 139 customers comprising social enterprises, charities and community organisations to measure the impact of investment on their social and economic goals.
Investments by SIS have benefited 1.3 million Scots, which is an increase of 19% from the 2017 figure. Over the past year alone, SIS customers have created 319 full-time equivalent jobs and sustained more than 3,000 jobs. Encouragingly 71% of customers anticipate turnover to increase in the next year.
The cumulative benefit of SIS investments has been felt across all 32 local authorities in Scotland. Over the course of the past year SIS has invested in customers located in 28 of those 32 local authorities.
Importantly, the impact of the services being provided by these customers is being felt where it is needed most – 60% are children, young people and families, 47% those experiencing long term unemployment, 45% people living in poverty, 25% former offenders, 22% people with addiction issues and 14% homeless.
The report also provides a breakdown of key sectors where SIS is providing the biggest financial investment and overall social impact. The keys sector with the main primary social impact delivered by customers is in employment, training and education cited by 39% of customers. Arts, heritage, sports and faith is the second most popular at 17%, followed by citizenship and community (16%) and physical health (8%).
The launch of the report coincides with a Parliamentary reception at Holyrood celebrating Social Investment, Impact and Innovation. The event, sponsored by Jackie Bailie MSP, marked SIS chairman Nick Kuenssberg’s retiral from this role, with Ken Barclay taking over in January 2019.
Social Investment Scotland’s chief executive, Alastair Davis, said: “Our Social Impact Report is a key indicator of how well SIS is doing to meet our mission of connecting capital with communities. By showing both the social and economic impact, we can measure the positive benefits of the investments we’re making on people’s lives. Most importantly, we can tell whether our investments are helping those who need it most.
“It’s particularly rewarding to see that 22% of those that have benefitted from the creative and innovative work of our customers are those living in the most deprived parts of the country. We are also pleased to see how our diverse social enterprises are contributing towards creating inclusive economic growth.”
Nick Kuenssberg added: “2018 has been another strong year for SIS, working with more customers than ever before to make a difference to those who need it most. I am delighted that we have been able to celebrate SIS’s recent achievements with our key stakeholder and I am very confident that with a high calibre board and with Ken Barclay as my successor, SIS will continue to make significant social impacts across the country in 2019 and beyond.”