Social value encompasses those aspects of our lives that transform us for the better, but which can’t be measured in terms of financial value. From helping others to grow in confidence to enjoying parkland in a busy urban environment, social value stands for the things that we consider important to us.
Social value is central to how Pollard Thomas Edwards operates. It underpins our design ethos, which is shaped by dialogue with the communities we work with, and it informs our in-house culture - the way we work with each other – as well. Our method is simple: in everything we do, we aim to involve the people who matter most.
This not only helps us maximise the value we can create for our clients and give them a competitive advantage, it helps to enhance communications, both internally and externally and build stronger connections with the people who use the buildings and places we design.
Employment and mentoring
Our Architectural Apprenticeship programme is designed to attract those who have never previously considered or cannot afford a career in architecture and we take part in Open City’s Accelerate, an education and mentoring programme aimed at increasing diversity in the built environment professions. We often visit schools to introduce architecture to students as both a topic of interest and a career.
Our resident engagement programmes empower and enable residents to participate meaningfully in regeneration projects in their neighbourhoods and we support communities with work experience placements, careers’ guidance and upskilling local people to enable participation within collaborative design processes. We also host events for locals that provide expert advice on key topics, for example, an ecologist explaining the value of biodiversity and where possible, provide jobs for residents within our engagement and consultation programmes.
Sponsorship and funding
We prioritise giving to homeless charities and professional charities such as the Architect’s Benevolent Society and the RIBA’s hardship fund for students. We also support local and overseas charities, as well funding community groups and donating gifts in kind to local initiatives. In our own neighbourhood, we support the Angel Community Canal Boat which provides boat trips with learning activities for local children.
We host events and seminars to raise awareness of environmental issues and analyse the impact of our office on its surroundings, implementing measures to improve every year. We also seek to specify locally sourced materials in our building projects wherever possible.
Events and collaborations
Our office is ideal for hosting events alongside our clients and collaborators, from Open House, which connects us with a broad public audience to the industry-focused programmes of New London Architecture. Our work with Future of London includes providing mentors and mentees for its leaders’ training programme.
We actively promote opportunities through local community services that help people improve their employability and support local businesses and ensure that our supply chain is paid the Living Wage as a minimum on or before time.