Stories from the National Social Value Awards 2018 – Inspiring Leadership with Cindy Nadesan


The recipients of the Individual Inspiring Leadership in Social Value Award are selected for their commitment to work beyond the expected parameters of social value and their dedication to create strong collaborative ties between the public, private and third sectors.

In her piece from NSVC2018, winner Cindy Nadesan discusses a series of projects lead by her that have paved the way for the successful implementation of social value.


The Public Services Social Value Act (2012) presented an opportunity for us who are responsible for spending public money to secure additional benefits for our local communities. I developed and implemented a strategy that built on the good practice the legislation intended but also broadened the depth and scope of the compliance requirements i.e. At Surrey & East Sussex Councils social value is considered for all goods & works in addition to services. The financial threshold for including social value is aligned to internal Procurement Standing Orders of £100k. In addition, all strategic sourcing plans (SSP’s) completed by the central procurement team (including contracts below the £100k threshold) must include social value in order to secure approval to tender the contract. If a SSP is put forward that suggests social value has been considered and is not relevant then clear reasons must be submitted to the Sourcing Governance Board where it is subject to scrutiny and challenge from senior managers (Procurement / Legal & Finance). I designed this robust governance to maximise our opportunities to build social capital in our local communities and prevent social value from being a tick box exercise.

This commitment has been embedded in the Orbis Procurement Strategy for both Surrey County Council (SCC) and East Sussex County Council (ESCC). The new strategy which is currently being developed will include Brighton & Hove City Council. Monitoring & Measuring Social Value I developed and successfully implemented the Orbis Social Value Measurement (SVM) Charter which is a bespoke version of the National Themes, Outcomes and Measures (TOM’s). Our SVM Charter is aligned to the priorities of our partner Councils and through this approach we have been able to include social value as a weighted criterion within all tenders managed by the central procurement team. I am an advocate for the TOM’s because it provides an open, fair and transparent approach to embedding social value within the procurement process whilst enabling us to operate within the requirements of the public contract regulations.

This approach received a very positive response from our suppliers especially SME’s and those in the social sector (voluntary / community organisations and social enterprises) as many of them were already delivering social value but never had the benefit of it helping them to secure public contracts. I believe that as a public officer my role is to enable and facilitate the delivery of social value by inspiring others to work with us so that together we can target our resources and maximise the positive impact we can have on the people and places that need it the most. Since 2015 I have been championing this both internally within my organisation and externally across all sectors.


 The Social Value Marketplace

 I designed the social value marketplace to bridge the gap between what we think will make a positive impact and what our local communities actually need. This online space facilitates the exchange of resources and allows our voluntary and community organisations to post specific requests for support. Our suppliers can select social value opportunities and/or post offers of support to help our local organisations. This platform compliments our TOM’s approach as suppliers can deliver social value based on actual need and align the outcomes to our TOM’s enabling the financial quantification of the social value they deliver. My vision is to work collaboratively with all public sector organisations in our localities and encourage their suppliers and supply chains to target their resources to support the actual needs articulated by our local communities.

We Are Surrey

Working as part of a cross functional team within the Council we designed this event to raise awareness about social value, provide training for suppliers and local businesses and showcase our local voluntary/community organisations and social enterprises. The event has and continues to be funded through social value contributions from suppliers and local businesses. In 2018 we launched Surrey’s first Social Value Awards to acknowledge the organisations who are making a positive impact in our communities. We have also partnered with the Federation of Small Businesses to encourage greater incorporation of micro and small businesses into supply chains.

Influencing central governments approach to social value

In December 2017 I was invited by Social Enterprise UK to be the supporting speaker to Chris White at the House of Commons where we debated and discussed the findings of Our Money, Our Future. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to share the approach I had implemented at SCC and ESCC whereby I influenced the achievement of better social value outcomes through a cultural change by working collaboratively and winning hearts and minds rather than focusing on compliance. This approach resulted in me being offered a secondment to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport where I now I have the opportunity to share my knowledge, inspire, encourage and support others across central government departments to begin and/or improve current approaches to securing social value for our communities using the TOM’s framework

National Social Value Taskforce

I have been a member of the social value taskforce since it began in 2016. I have used the opportunity to both learn from and share my experience with other colleagues on the taskforce through presenting at the annual conferences and actively contributing to the guidance we publish every year.

Local Government Association (LGA)

To support local authorities implement the TOM’s approach the LGA are creating a knowledge share video with the Social Value Portal. As this approach is now business as usual for us at Orbis Procurement one of the case studies featured will be the first project I manged at ESCC. I have also been invited to deliver a workshop at the Local Government Procurement Expo in November to share with other public sector colleagues how we have delivered social value outcomes using the TOM’s approach.

Promoting social value through Public Health

 In November 2017 I supported the Social Value Portal in a presentation to Public Health England to share how I had implemented the TOM’s in a public health procurement project and how through this approach we were able to secure social value that contributed to the improvement of health outcomes. Following our presentation Public Health hosted its first social value conference in June 2018 and jointly with a Public Health commissioner from ESCC we delivered 2 workshops to share our experience and raise awareness of the opportunities and additional value the TOM’s framework could deliver if it was incorporated into Public Health commissioning. In addition to the above I have delivered presentations at various local and national events hosted by public, private and third sector organisations to encourage others to grasp the opportunity that social value presents. I believe that through the practical and simple framework of the TOM’s we have a real opportunity to help alleviate the significant demand and financial pressures that all public sector organisations and their supply chains are experiencing. Receiving the individual inspiring leadership award from the Social Value Portal that designed the TOM’s framework would be both a personal and professional achievement for me. It would be a mandate to continue being an ambassador for this approach and would support my credibility as I strive to encourage and help central government departments and arm length bodies to implement this approach into their procurement processes and supply chain management activities.

Cindy Nadesan, Surrey County Council – November 2018



Entries for the National Social Value Awards 2020 are now open! We encourage organisations from across the public, private and third sectors to submit case studies that show how they are leading, innovating and delivering social value for the communities they work in.

Visit for full details on how to submit your entries and to view the judging criteria. The awards are free to enter - submission deadline 20 November 2019.


Entries for the National Social Value Awards 2020 are now open!

We encourage organisations from across the public, private and third sectors to submit case studies that show how they are leading, innovating and delivering social value for the communities they work in.

Visit for full details on how to submit your entries and to view the judging criteria. The awards are free to enter - submission deadline 20 November 2019.

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Anna Farquharson