Why people matter

Social impact starts with people and it ends with people. It starts with innovators and entrepreneurs getting together and agreeing to do something, rather than just talking about it. And then to get to scale, more people, whether as individuals or representing their organisations, will join that first group.

We work in partnership with a wide range of organisations, including British Gas, Jaguar Land Rover, Bristol City Council, UnLtd and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. We engage with stakeholders from every sector because we believe this is an essential part of achieving social impact which is sustainable and embedded at a system level. Indeed, the market failures that lead to entrenched disadvantage are often the result of a lack of understanding, and hence cooperation, between sectors.

But equally important is to concentrate on the “end user”. Too many well-intentioned programmes and organisations become overly bureaucratic and end up by making de-humanising generalisations and become part of the problem, not part of the solution. The Shaftesbury Partnership views all people as essential parts of society, with individual assets and in the context of their social networks - their connectedness to family, friends and access to resources. This perspective reduces dependency and creates new ways to help people get out of exclusion and inequality.