A construction company manager who has enhanced the lives of thousands though his career-long commitment to ‘social value’ has been honoured with a national award.
Herman Kok, of North Hykeham-based Lindum Group, was named Social Value Champion at a ceremony in London, recognising the impact of his commitment to improving access to training and employment in Lincolnshire, supporting the growth of other businesses in the region, and encouraging growth and investment in the area.
The award was one of 11 handed out by Social Value Portal, an organisation set up to promote better business and community wellbeing through the integration of social value into day-to-day business.
Judges said: “He breaks the mould! Herman is a creative and strategic thinker who has made a massive impact on the construction skills agenda, particularly in Greater Lincolnshire.
“He has been a genuinely effective, major champion of social value since long before the Social Value Act (2012) was enacted. He understands the critical importance of harnessing the different strengths and combined interests of people to go beyond the ordinary and make a real difference to businesses and communities and believes in the valuable contribution of socially focussed actions.
“Herman is passionate about skills and employment, advocating the use of local supply chains and the need for innovation to attract, retain, champion and upskill people in the construction industry especially on supporting disadvantaged communities.”
Herman said: “I’m really flattered to win the award, but I share it with 600 Lindum employees who deliver social value daily – I merely articulate their efforts.
“The term ‘Social Value’ is relatively new, but the concept has been around for years. For us, being a good neighbour, attempting to do some good and trying to leave things a little better than we found them has been at the core of our business almost 70 years.
“Of course, we need to make a bob or two to keep the business running and to keep paying wages. But it’s vital that employers see their responsibilities with a broader lens. If there was ever a time to give something back, then it’s now.”
Since arriving in the UK from Holland in 1976, Herman has held directorships and trusteeships for organisations, including companies and public-private partnerships, education institutions, charities and grant-making bodies. He was Chair of Lincolnshire’s Employment and Skills Board, part of the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership until 2019, and played a role in making Lindum Group an employee-owned business.