Social value in Sandwell: McCann supports the refurbishment of a community church

The Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 says that public authorities are required to “have regard to economic, social and environmental well-being in connection with public services contracts; and for connected purposes”.

Sandwell Council has long subscribed to a similar ethos, and welcomed the Act when it came into force.

McCann volunteers with Kath Tranter at Kings Community Church, Oldbury
Left to right: Chris Brownlow, Jason Wright and Josh Beck from McCann, with Kath Tranter of Kings Community Church

It’s always great to see social value in action, having direct positive impact on communities across Sandwell.

Sandwell Council’s civil and electrical engineering contractor McCann, for example, has a two-year contract to replace and upgrade street lighting in the borough. Alongside this contracted work, it has contributed to the refurbishment of a community church in Oldbury.

With guidance from Sandwell Council’s Social Value Impact Coordinator Karen Richards, McCann partnered with King’s Community Church to improve both the inside and outside of the building.

This included replacing existing fittings with energy-efficient lighting for the consulting, basement, computer and storage rooms. McCann also upgraded the current car park bulkheads and flood lighting, and installed additional flood lighting to improve visibility for staff and visitors.

McCann also made contributions to Smethwick Food Bank to help local people facing hardship during the winter months.

‘A lovely gesture of additional support’

“It’s always a delight to have this additional commitment from our council contractors in meeting the needs for our Sandwell community,” Karen Richards said.

Kath Tranter [pictured above right] is the church warden at King’s Community Church. She said McCann’s input gave a real boost to a building that is at the heart of its community.

“It’s been wonderful seeing the work happen and Chris and Josh from McCann have been great to have around. The team even brought me some large cardboard boxes to use in a play group – a lovely gesture of additional support.

She said: “It was almost 10pm when I locked up after one evening group and I felt so much safer leaving with the new external lights illuminating the car park. The improvements have made a huge difference and mean so much to us as a small, independent community church. To pay to have this kind of work done would cost a lot – something we’re simply not in a position to do.

“We’ve thoroughly enjoyed having the McCann team here. There’s been no disruption at all and to say that we’re happy with the end result really doesn’t show just how grateful we are!”

‘Supporting the communities within which we operate’

Nick Brownlow is McCann’s Project Manager in Sandwell. He said being able to bring social value to local communities means a lot to him, his team and the business.

“We’re employed to work across a wide range of infrastructure projects across the UK but alongside that, as a business, we’re passionate about supporting the communities within which we operate.

“Kath has been incredibly hospitable and welcoming, and she’s really made us feel like a part of the community. We understand the difference these upgrades will make for her and the church and we’re proud of being able to give back in this way.”

Well done to everyone involved. You can learn more about giving back on our social value page, which may help your Sandwell business when tendering for work with Sandwell Council.

Update in June 2022: We also now have a ‘Giving back, feeling good’ page of resources for Sandwell businesses inspired to ‘do more’ in our communities.