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Social value

As architects and building consultants, we have an opportunity to enhance the health, wellbeing, and prosperity of the people who use our places and the communities we work in – making a positive contribution to social, economic, and environmental issues.

We create social value in many ways – through our projects, our external activities and partnerships, and as an employer. Examples include supporting local economies by boosting employment and investing in local suppliers, promoting opportunities for disadvantaged groups and creating inclusive communities.

Achieving social value is part of our wider focus on sustainability. We believe these two go hand in hand – because the future health, wellbeing, and prosperity of people is intrinsically linked to the quality of their environments.

By formalising our commitment to social value, we can generate greater impact and have put in place three objectives to guide our actions.


We champion a fair right to education for all

As passionate supporters of equal rights to education, we strive to inspire future generations and are committed to providing better opportunities to those from disadvantaged backgrounds. By continually sharing insights gathered from our work, we also aim to promote the open exchange of knowledge in our industry.

AHR Inclusive Accessible Communities Icon

We foster inclusive, accessible communities

By working with people from all cultures and backgrounds, we shape a society where everyone feels heard, is equally supported, and is able to flourish. We are continually becoming a more representative organisation, who delivers places that encourage diverse communities to thrive.


We support improved health and wellbeing

Just as sustainability is a fundamental part of the built environment, we believe so too is the concept of wellness. As advocates of healthy, responsible, and sustainable practices, we are committed to shaping places that support and improve people’s physical and mental wellbeing.

Social Value Moodbard 2023 Website
At a glance
IMG E1462
7 X5 A6459
Bristol office moss making workshop

Social Impact Report 2023

Sharing our journey towards positive change

As a socially responsible company, we embed a culture of positive impact. We are proud to share our journey towards positive change in our latest social impact report, highlighting our achievements and progress in 2023.

View our 2023 report to find out more

Our report provides an overview of our achievements in sustainability, diversity and inclusion, employee wellbeing and within communities, showcasing the progress we have made over the past year.

View our 2023 report to find out more

We remain committed to providing opportunities for all, supporting our people with career development, inspiring young people and creating alternative routes into the industry. We generate positive change by sharing knowledge and engaging in open conversations with everyone we work with.

View our 2023 report to find out more

Every year, we celebrate diversity in all its forms and we support a happy, healthy workforce. We have an opportunity to use our expertise and share our skills to enhance the health, wellbeing, and prosperity of the people who use our places and the communities we work in.

View our 2023 report to find out more

Over 2023 we have further embedded sustainable at the heart of our practice, by working together with others from across our industry so that collectively, we can leave the world a better place. We have implemented initiatives that promote physical, emotional, and financial wellbeing.

View our 2023 report to find out more

Key highlights

Mentoring students from schools, colleges and universities

Promoting employee happiness, health, and motivation through social activities

Supporting and donating to 18 key charities

Supporting our team in continuing professional development

Participating in numerous fundraising events

Inspiring future generations in collaboration with Speakers for Schools

Working to become a more representative and inclusive workplace

Industry insights and nurturing future generations

Promoting the open exchange of knowledge in our industry by sharing insights gathered from our work

How we action our objectives

Our robust methodology defines our approach, which offers an achievable and measurable way to deliver social value. By following rigorous measurement and reporting systems, for example, the National TOMs framework, we can track our successes and challenges and make informed decisions on ambitious targets year on year.

Giving focus to social value is not only right and responsible, but also a legal requirement or condition of funding for some projects. With decades of experience, we understand how long-term social value must be demonstrated across the lifecycle of a project – and provide full support to clients in achieving this.

We focus on how we can make a difference through our actions in three areas – the delivery of our project work; within our role as an employer and our internal initiatives; and through our external activities and partnerships.

External activities

We work with educators and charities to deliver talks, mentoring, careers support, work experience placements, and scholarships. Breaking down barriers and inspiring people from a diversity of backgrounds. By engaging with communities, we support their best interests and strengthen this connection by dedicating time to local projects, activities and charities. We embrace better health and wellbeing for all – by getting involved in fundraising activities for physical and mental health charities.

Internal initiatives

We actively encourage greater diversity in our industry and invest in all our people, providing the same opportunities for career progression and professional development. Alongside internal training days and mentoring schemes, we support ambitions for further education with paid study leave and are proud to offer apprenticeships. With our Mental Health First Aiders, Wellbeing Champions and a Social Committee, we create a positive and supportive working environment for all.

Project delivery

We believe a better future begins with better access to education and provide inclusive, sustainable, and flexible places to learn. We incorporate shared spaces to create sustainable communities and champion affordable housing for all. We focus on improving health and wellbeing across all our work. From delivering projects in the healthcare sector, to leading the transformation of town centres, we are revolutionising how people experience places across all our work.

our actions

Discover how we’re creating social value

Follow our activities on social media
Work experience presentation
Printmaking workshop
Passivhaus Conference site visit
Leeds social
RIBA AHR Scholarship
Wood St Mission
Jonathan Goldby apprentice
Thesis talk at Cardiff University
Local wellbeing walk in Huddersfield

Work experience

Every year, we provide work experience placements for students aged 15 and above, across the country. In 2023 we supported 47 students over 86 combined work experience weeks with us on placement. Students work across different departments within the practice, conduct site visits, as well as learn how to use different types of software and present to our colleagues and fellow students.

Printmaking workshop

Our Bristol team got creative with a print making evening. The workshops are designed to teach people how to use low tech print making techniques to create their own prints. The team also had the opportunity to showcase the work they’re doing, share ideas and insights, all while socialising outside of the office.

Replacement Woodmill and St Columba's RC High School visit

Our site visits give people and students an insight into what it's like to be an architect. As part of the UK Passivhaus Conference, associate director and certified Passivhaus designer Jamie Gregory led a guided tour of our Replacement Woodmill and St Columba’s RC High School project on the Dunfermline Learning Campus site, set to be the UK’s largest Passivhaus education building.

Learn more about the project here

Climbing social at the DEPOT Leeds

Colleagues at our Leeds office reached new heights as they got together for their first climbing social. This was a fantastic way for them to release stress, improve their focus and get an all-round workout. Afterwards, the climbers stopped off at the local pub for a well-deserved meal and drink, finishing off with a pub quiz to test their mental strength as well as their physical.

Learn more about our working culture

RIBA AHR Scholarship 2022

Reem Taha Hajj Ahmad was the recipient of the highly coveted 2022 RIBA AHR Scholarship. As part of the scholarship, Reem received personal mentoring from David De Sousa during a four-week paid work placement in our London office. Reem also received a £6,000 grant towards her studies.

Read more about Reem's experience

Work experience

We support the best interests of the communities we work with. Dedicating time to local projects, activities and charities. Over 2023 we donated food to local food banks, books and Christmas gifts to the Wood St Mission. We also held bake sales across the UK to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support, Bristol Pride, Caring in Bristol and Endometriosis UK.


We offer a variety of apprenticeships and are proud to give opportunities for people at all stages of their working lives from established professionals to those at the start of their careers. With a diverse mix of disciplines, there are apprenticeship schemes available not only within architecture and building consultancy, but also marketing, human resources, finance and administration, as well as many more.

Find out more about our apprenticeships

Engaging with universities

Each year we engage higher education establishments across the UK and 2023 was no different, as we worked with 15 universities. We work with students to hear their feedback on the work we do with universities, as well as partaking in the RIBA Future Architects Student Mentoring Progamme, providing work experience, design workshops, guest lectures and site visits.

Learn more about our work in universities

Our team of 19 Wellbeing Champions and two mental health first aiders provide a listening ear, signpost support available and work with the business to identify wellbeing benefits and initiatives that our employees will value. They offer guidance on coping with stress and managing anxiety and opportunities for teams to socialise through breakfasts, lunches, walks, yoga, meditation and team board games.

See more about Chester Northgate

The need to deliver relatively high-density housing had been cleverly met ... creating different types of building along a central “street”, which felt like “a processional way, culminating in a taller, elegant apartment block.

Houses and flats were equally well constructed and there was a positive sense of community among people living there.”

Judges feedback

Hertford Civic Society Award for visionary social housing

We can help your project make a positive impact

Our team of experts are ready to take on any challenge - no matter how big, small, or complex. If you've got a project you'd like to discuss, we'd love to hear from you.

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