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Announcing New Level One Associate Practitioner – Sophia Robinson!

Social Value UK are proud to announce Sophia Robinson, Director of Finance and Strategy at MCLAREN HOUSING SOCIETY OF BC has achieved Level One Associate Practitioner status.

“MCLAREN HOUSING SOCIETY OF BC is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide a healthy, responsive, and inclusive community for people living with HIV/AIDS.

Our mission is to provide housing and support services for individuals and families living with HIV/AIDS, and to increase their opportunities for improved health, wellness, independent living, and sense of community. MCLAREN HOUSING SOCIETY OF BC has been operating for over thirty years and has done many projects to raise awareness of the challenges of those living with HIV/AIDS. Our clients are living in BC are on low/limited incomes, inadequately housed or at risk of homeless. They may require additional resources to maintain suitable housing or shelter based on individual needs.”

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Ahead of this announcement, SV UK had a discussion about the Practitioner Pathway and Sophia’s experience with the Level One assessment process:

Why have you decided to undertake the Social Value International Practitioner Pathway?

I was interested in achieving the SROI Certification, because I believe it will benefit the organization that I work with several clients that I work on a contract basis with. One of the issues that many of the clients have been that the organization is unable to demonstrate how they add value. For example, an organization that helps people get work and viable employment for participants can provide statistics on employment and past training, but the question they had is “How do they measure the benefit that the programs are providing to the community and the wellbeing of the participants in the program?”. This is a question that I wanted to help them answer.

What did you learn and find useful from this assessment process?

I took the Social Value Certificate Course and the skills that I have learned have helped me determine and think about the value that programs are providing in my current organization as well as the ones that I have consulted with in the past.

Now that you are a Level 1 Associate Practitioner what do you plan to do next to develop your practice? How do you plan to use your practitioner skills? 

I would like to continue to do more SROI reports in both the non-profit and social enterprise fields and eventually learn to teach the social value initiatives to organizations in Canada.

Are there any specific projects or activities you are doing at the moment that are related to SROI/social value?

I recently completed a project with Artists for Mental Health for my report Assurance (A4MH). Artists for Mental Health (A4MH) located in Vancouver, British Columbia (BC), is a non-profit organization engaged in increasing mental health awareness to artists in communities in Canada and the UK. The organization started in 2018 in response to meeting the needs of struggling artists who have no avenue to turn to for mental health support. The organization encourages and strengthens an inclusive community by providing resources and support to those who experience mental illness. At my current position, we are looking at ways the McLaren Housing Society of BC can measure value in our programs by providing affordable housing to those in need.

You have now joined a community of practice around the globe. What does this mean to you and why do you want to participate and contribute to the development of the methodology and overall social value movement?

I am very happy to be part of this team. I have been participating with and collaborating with some other organizations in promoting social value. Also, as a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) in Canada I have been providing some input to papers and development of standards to the IFRS foundation and sustainability goals. I am also helping volunteer and collaborate with Social Value in Development and Humanitarian Assistance (SVDHA) as part of the leadership forums.

“I am very happy to have become a Level 1 Associate Practitioner with Social Value International. I look forward to working and collaborating with others in making a social impact in this world. Positive change is on the way!”Sophia Robinson, Director of Finance and Strategy at MCLAREN HOUSING SOCIETY OF BC