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Social Value at Serco: “a passionate drive to make a positive difference”

“We keep Social Value at the heart of our business through the services we offer; however, it is vital that we make the additional commitment to engage and understand the communities in which we work. Serco’s Social Value ambition is to always cultivate a positive economic impact for our communities, customers and, in partnership with UK Government, to strengthen and build a better future for all.” 

- Frank Spraggs, Head of Social Value, Serco UK & Europe 

Frank Spraggs’ focus on generating Social Value for local communities predates the UK Public Services Act 2012 which set the legislative foundations for focus on broader economic, social and environmental outcomes in public service contracts. He has led on the delivery of Social Value through major and award-winning infrastructure projects in the London area, including for Sky and Chelsea Football Club. 

Frank joined Serco in 2021, to lead development of Social Value culture and capability for its UK & Europe Division, building on a long history of commitment to serving and supporting local communities: 

“Social Value is already embedded in how Serco operates and how it thinks. It’s written into Group policy. Leisure centres, hospitals, public transport, waste and recycling services – so much of what Serco does focuses on building local wellbeing and prosperity.” 

The challenge is not to reinvent but to reinforce all the good work being done: 

“Some of it is truly remarkable and moving. We don’t want to stifle that – we want to shine a light on it, learn from it, help it to grow, and harness it as a strategic enabler for the Group.” 

For Frank, how Serco engages with and impacts upon local communities has always been – and will always be – key to superb service delivery and the sustainable growth of the business: 

“As an employer of local people, a customer of local suppliers, and a provider of local services, we are every bit a part of our local communities. Sharper focus on how we do that creates greater connection and understanding. And that’s how we attract the right talent, engage the right partners, and deliver the right social outcomes.” 

Frank feels close connection to the Social Value agenda, with deep personal affinity for socio-economic improvement and social mobility: 

“My professional background is ‘employment and skills’. Growing up, I had my own learning challenges and struggled to find opportunity. I’m passionate about helping people recognise that they can achieve and have a right to opportunity. But you can’t just open your door and expect people to walk into the opportunity shop. You have to go out into those communities, knock on their doors and speak to them in language they understand, offering opportunities that make sense. And you have to keep doing it.” 

Serco’s capacity for outreach and the resilient, charitable compassion of its people is what sets Serco apart: 

“There’s a passionate drive to make a positive difference in Serco that I’ve not encountered anywhere else. It reverberates powerfully at every level.” 

As an example, Frank shares that the Serco UK & Europe Executive Management Team started 2022 volunteering at the Children’s Book Project in West London, sorting books for dads in prison to gift to their children. Well received by the charity and prisoners, this was a sleeves-up call to action for the business from its senior leadership. In 2022, as part of its Social Value strategy, Serco UK & Europe is launching a new Division-wide employee volunteering programme. 

“We want to make more time available for every colleague to support the local causes that matter most to them. We’re also exploring partnerships to identify the most relevant and impactful volunteering opportunities and facilitating cross-site and cross-sector team volunteering events to help bring our people together in the process.”