Recycling Lives reports £8m of social value

Recycling Lives has reported that its charitable programmes have created £8m of created social value in 2017/18.

Recycling Lies social value report

The figure includes savings to the taxpayer and communities through rehabilitating offenders, supporting the homeless and redistributing food.

The Preston-based recycling and waste management business runs a social enterprise and charity alongside its commercial operations.

Key goals include reducing reoffending by rehabilitating offenders, reducing welfare dependency by supporting the homeless, and redistributing food to reduce charities’ running costs.

In the organisation's third annual Social Value Report, Recycling Lives demonstrates that it by reducing reoffending Recycling Lives created savings to taxpayer worth £4.5m in 2017/18.

It runs 11 prison-based recycling and fabrication workshops, employing 250 men and women and supporting each to secure work and housing ready for release. It is the most successful offender rehabilitation programme of its kind in the UK, recording unprecedented results for reducing reoffending.

Of 66 men and women released from the programme in 2017/18 only three reoffended – a rate of less than 5 per cent, against a national average is around 67 per cent. Its success rate in supporting ex-offenders into employment is as significant, as more than 70 per cent moved into work, compared to a national average of around 27 per cent.

By reducing welfare dependency Recycling Lives created savings to the taxpayer worth £167,000 in 2017/18.

Recycling Lives’ residential charity offers accommodation, support and training to men facing homelessness. It supported six men into work and independent housing in the last year.

By reducing running costs for charitable groups Recycling Lives created savings worth £3.4m in 2017/18

Recycling Lives runs a Food Redistribution Centre taking surplus goods from supermarkets to deliver to charities and community groups. It delivered 945,000 meals via 180 organisations across Lancashire and Cumbria in 2017/18, allowing groups to reduce their running costs and channel funds into their core objectives.

Each charitable programme is supported and sustained by Recycling Lives commercial operations, comprising recycling, waste management, compliance and recruitment businesses operating nationwide.

William Fletcher, chief executive of Recycling Lives Group, said: “Reporting our annual Social Value figures allows us to reflect on the massive impact of our work – of the lives changed and communities improved.

"We’re proud to tell stories of parents rebuilding lives with their children on release from prison, men living independently for the first time, and charities expanding their services for vulnerable communities. We are able to deliver these programmes as more and more businesses see the commercial and social value of working with us.” The £8m savings Recycling Lives created in 2017/18 follows social value of £5.2m and £4.1m in 2016/17 and 2015/16 respectively. The business is committed to delivering social value relative to its business growth, which has expanded nationally and doubled its sales in recent years.