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Social outcomes

All over the UK, the pandemic has further highlighted the need for better ways of addressing complex social issues. This is hard to do through traditionally siloed public service delivery. Local social enterprises and charities are often best placed to deliver a range of these public services through a holistic approach. They tackle many issues, from supporting people into work and improving educational attainment, to reducing re-offending and tackling addiction.

It is our objective to build an ecosystem that supports the delivery of outcomes contracts at scale, in a broad range of policy areas that are supported with appropriate funding, and delivery and management expertise.

  • 55000+ people with complex needs supported
  • 90 social outcomes contracts in the UK
  • 220+ social sector delivery partners

Our approach

We work with stakeholders across the market to convene and share learnings, while ensuring that there is enough socially motivated capital in the market to service these projects, including investing our own capital.

Building the market

In 2021, we worked to build the market, concentrating efforts on public advocacy to build knowledge and networks across all areas of Government, at both local and central level. The organisation also worked within its existing investments, to support continued performance of established projects and showcase best practice. To date, the investments have supported over 45,000 people with complex needs across the areas of homelessness, children’s services, health, education and employment.

Who are our investments reaching?

To date we have committed over £23 million across both of Bridges’ Social Outcomes Funds. In 2021, through the second fund, Bridges created Refugee Better Outcomes Partnership (RBOP), a partnership co-ordinator that supports the development of local delivery partnerships in each area, including a mix of local authority and charity delivery teams. Many of the delivery frontline teams are former refugees themselves, who have come through the asylum process.

Refugee Better Outcomes Partnership (RBOP)

The UK offers protection to over 13,000 refugees each year. Refugees face multiple barriers to self-sufficiency, including high levels of unemployment, lack of access to stable housing, mental health issues, low levels of English language and limited social connections.

Over 80% of refugees are people who come through the asylum system. Many of these people will have waited years to receive their refugee decision, living in asylum accommodation during this time with limited access to any support. The Refugee Better Outcomes Partnership provides one-to-one support to refugees, as they transition out of asylum accommodation and into the community.

The partnership successfully bid to the Home Office and was awarded contracts to deliver services in Plymouth and across ten local authorities in the Northeast of England.