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MB Associates becomes newest Organisational Member of Social Value UK

MB Associates logo

Last month MB Associates joined Social Value UK to become our newest organisational member.

MB Associates logo

Based in Cumbria, MB Associates have had a long standing and influential involvement in SROI in the UK. Mandy Barnett, Director of MB Associates and an Accredited SROI Practitioner, began studying SROI in 2002, as part of her MBA specialism in managing cultural value at the LBS. Since then, MB Associates have developed a plain English guide to SROI as part of SROI training delivery, trained five members of staff as SROI Practitioners, developed a range of evaluation and management tools for the cultural sector, and developed a knowledge exchange network for the cultural sector, Make Culture Work.

MB Associates have also been involved in a wide range of SROI analyses for cultural and social projects across the UK, including Onside NW, Museum of East Anglian Life, Suffolk Artlink and Kids Takeover at the Southbank Centre, most available on their website.

Mandy says: “We have worked with the network for a while and have joined to reap the benefits of a closer relationship for a wider group of our associates.  We want to create a really strong team that consistently pushes each other to get better and better at consultation that gives people a real voice, and communication that means commissioners and funders really listen.

“We see being part of the network as a way of adding our voice to a national debate about what makes a health and happy society.

“Again and again services for young people and in the cultural sectors have failed to make their case as critical ingredients of a healthy society.  . SROI does a really good job of supporting managers  to understand their ‘story of change’ and to see laid bare the strengths and weaknesses of their service – and happily, the often huge value people place on the difference they make. The way we work then is action-focused, allowing managers to be really rigorous about what works, and what they should prioritise.”

MB Associates’ current work includes an evaluation of Transported, a large-scale creative inclusion project based in Lincolnshire, and production of an Arts and Commissioning Toolkit as part of an effort to open up the Social Value Act for cultural organisations.


About MB Associates

Supporting people and partnerships to make a difference, in the cultural, learning and care sectors.

We are action-focused and combine rigour with creative facilitation; we believe that change is most effective when people are given a real say.

We support clients to


– National guidance and forecasting for organisations


– Collaborative working and change management


– Evaluation and impact analyses

How we work

We put together the right team for each project from our pool of associates, meaning our overheads are low and we offer good value.

Logic modelling methodology underpins every stage, from agreeing the goals of our work to planning research that is fit for purpose. This rigour helps clarify partnerships, provide persuasive evidence and encourage buy-in.

We look for opportunities to empower and share skills. We build capacity at all levels, from coaching senior leaders to engaging local communities in re-designing their own services.

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