Social Value Manager for Yorkshire scoops Top 30 Under 30 Award

Esh Group’s Megan Roberts recognised in new business talent list for Leeds and West Yorkshire.

Esh Group’s Social Value Manager for Yorkshire, Megan Roberts, has been named as a Top 30 Under 30 award winner for new business talent in the Leeds and West Yorkshire area.

The 25-year-old joined Esh as a community coordinator in November 2021 and was promoted to social value manager by the summer of 2022 as she spearheaded Esh’s social value into Yorkshire, taking the lead in forging key partnerships.

In receiving the accolade, Megan will be privy to a place on the prestigious Leadership Excellence Acceleration Programme, which provides 30 hours of expert leadership training to help young professionals grow into highly valuable leaders within their business.

She said: “I feel proud to have been recognised and nominated for this award. I hope that it shows our next generation that women in construction and career paths focused on social value are very much growing. I’m fortunate to work for a company that is fully invested in social value, and I am surrounded by a supportive team that has enabled me to flourish in my role, while driving the social value agenda forward. I’m excited to see where the LEAP training will take both my personal development and managerial growth and meeting likeminded young professionals from different industries will provide great networking opportunities.”

Building on its community-focused roots, supporting communities and young people, and providing aspirational opportunities has been embedded into Esh Group’s culture from day one. As part of its fabric, social value continues to thrive, and Esh is taking Yorkshire along on its journey.

Spearheading Esh’s social value activities in Yorkshire, Megan has seen opportunities blossom, with over £2.8 million worth of social value delivered in the region in the last 12 months alone, with an average 18% social value return on investment. The steadfast approach to social value has not gone unnoticed, with Megan’s work externally recognised in July 2023 with the award of The South Yorkshire Careers Hub’s Most Committed/Engaged Employer in Barnsley.

Attendance at key industry events, including the North Star Science School at Gulliver’s Valley Theme Park and Get Up to Speed with STEM at Magna Science Adventure Centre both this year and last year bore fruit as Esh engaged with over 4,000 students and linked up with RNN Group, The Work-wise Foundation and Skills Street.

Key initiatives launched in the last two years include Construction in the Curriculum and a water themed Get into STEM programme, which offer real life insight into construction careers. It results in communities surrounding Esh’s live and pipeline projects benefitting from a range of opportunities, as the company drives local employment and local spend opportunities to subcontractors and suppliers, while taking part in volunteering and providing charitable donations to relevant community groups.

Esh’s social value commitments in the region have been developed in line with key housing and civils contracts through the last few years. From housing developments at Fir View Gardens and Pemberton Road in Sheffield and Castleford respectively, to active travel projects that are improving the transport infrastructure between Broom Road and Wellgate, Sheffield Road and the Maltby Bus Corridor in Rotherham, Esh’s visibility in South Yorkshire has grown too.

Earlier this month, Esh was announced as a Skills Investor partner with Skills Street at its new interactive learning facility at Gulliver’s Valley Theme Park. The site is expected to welcome 16,000 students annually, while activities will be accessible to the general public, community groups and leisure visitors.

Megan said: “There has been a monumental shift in mindset on social value in the last 5-10 years and we’re seeing clients join us on our journey. The majority of Esh’s projects in the region involve improving infrastructure and public realm and new build affordable housing schemes, and we can deliver a targeted and tailored approach to social value in partnership with our respective client for each project.

“In the past 12-18 months though, there has been vast change and improvement in our social value programmes and partnerships, coinciding with growth in our work in the South Yorkshire region – it’s a really exciting time to be working in social value, and construction. By working collaboratively, we can progress on the social value journey together and develop a lasting legacy locally.”

In the past 12-18 months though, there has been vast change and improvement in our social value programmes and partnerships, coinciding with growth in our work in the South Yorkshire region – it's a really exciting time to be working in social value, and construction.”

Esh’s Social Value Manager for Yorkshire, Megan Roberts