Results for 'volunteers'
Final evaluation of the Reducing Social Isolation and Loneliness Grant programme, designed to encourage the voluntary and community sector (VCS) to develop innovative approaches to reduce social isolation and loneliness amongst Manchester residents aged 50 plus. The programme was commissioned and funded by North, Central and South Manchester Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), and administered and managed by Manchester Community Central (Macc). It awarded nine large (£10,000-£50,000) and eighteen small grants (less than £10,000) to local VCS organisations across Manchester's three Clinical Commissioning Group areas. This report provides an overview of the programme and discusses evidence of impact in the following areas: reducing social isolation and loneliness; improving confidence and independence; and improving health, wellbeing and quality of life. It also looks at learning from the project around identifying socially isolated and lonely people and engaging with, and retaining, people's involvement in initiatives. The evaluation reported increased social connections, with almost all respondents (97 per cent) meeting new people through the project; the creation of new friendships; increased quality of life; and improvements in self-reported health. It demonstrates that VCS-led model are capable of delivering desired outcomes and also highlights the importance of effective partnership arrangements between VCS umbrella organisations and CCG funders. Individual case studies showcasing learning and impact evidence from the individual projects are included in the appendices.
APTELIGEN, et al
An evaluation of Prevention Matters, a whole county change programme designed to facilitate access to frontline community services and groups in Buckinghamshire. The programme targets those whose needs are below the substantial need threshold for adult social care, building on a referral system, rather than on direct support. Fourteen Community Practice Workers (CPWs) are aligned to the seven GP localities in Buckinghamshire, and lead on the referral process, from first contact with the users to final review and exit. The CPWs are supported by seven Community Links Officers who ensure that the necessary resources are available in the community to meet users’ needs, including identification of opportunities to build new capacity. A wide network of frontline community services and groups provides direct face-to-face support to users through activities such as befriending, transport, fitness, and lunch clubs. The evaluation found that the potential to maintain independence and delay access to adult social care may be less than originally intended as a result of the complexity of the needs and frailty of some programme users. Nonetheless, nearly half of all programme users reported improvement in their satisfaction with the level of social contact they had and a third of programme users reported that their quality of life was better at the review stage compared to the time of their baseline assessment. In addition, the evaluation concluded that the programme has been particularly successful at facilitating access to information. The analysis indicates that the benefits associated with the programme are £1,000 per user per year, including the value of the improvements in health suggested by the impact evaluation (£500), and estimated spill-over effects on the need for informal social care (£492). The report also highlights the positive impact on organisations and systems, and increased volunteering capacity and sets out a series of recommendations to strengthen the delivery of the programme.
An evaluation report of the Altogether Better Wellbeing 2 Programme, working with citizens and services keen to find new ways to improve the health and well-being of their local community. Through the two year programme, funded by the Big Lottery Fund, people were invited to become health champions, they were then nurtured as a group and encouraged to take action to improve local health and well-being in ways that their local NHS or statutory services wanted to support. The report finds that champions, and participants in the groups and activities that they have run, have benefited significantly from their involvement in a wide range of activities; with over 98 per cent reporting increased involvement in social activities and social groups and over 86 per cent reporting increased levels of confidence, well-being and new knowledge related to health and well-being. The NHS and statutory organisations have come to a greater recognition of the resourcefulness and generosity of the citizens who use their services. They are beginning to recognise that it is legitimate and effective for them to divert more of their time and resources into supporting volunteers who themselves support the health and well-being of their communities. This in turn raises the possibility of these organisations radically changing the way they provide services. The report concludes by arguing that the success of the approach depends critically on the quality of the working relationship between health champions and their organisation and that there are grounds for optimism, as a result of these relationships, that support for health champions will be sustainable into the long term, becoming simply ‘how we do things round here’.
THOMSON Linda J., CAMIC Paul M., CHATTERJEE Helen J.
Sets the scene for the conditions under which social prescribing has arisen and considers the efficacy of different referral options. Social prescribing is a non-medical intervention linking patients with social, emotional or practical needs to a range of local, non-clinical services. The review provides definitions, models and notable examples of social prescribing schemes and assesses the means by which and the extent to which these schemes have been evaluated. Models outlined in this review include: Arts on Prescription, Books on Prescription, Education on Prescription, Exercise on Prescription, Green Gyms, Healthy Living Initiatives, Information Prescriptions, Museums on Prescription, Social Enterprise Schemes, Supported Referral, and Time Banks. The report makes recommendations for practice, policy and future research, focusing on best practice guidance for sector workers, frameworks for setting up social prescribing schemes, and methods for evaluating social prescribing schemes.
A brief review of the literature on social prescribing. Social prescribing is a way of linking primary care patients with psycho-social issues, with sources of appropriate, non-medical support in the community. Suitable referrals to social prescribing initiatives are vulnerable and at risk groups such as: people with mild to moderate depression and anxiety; low income single parents; recently bereaved older people; people with long term conditions and frequent attendees in primary and secondary care. The review highlights that prescribed activities have typically included arts and creative activities, physical activity, learning and volunteering opportunities and courses, self-care and support with practical issues such as benefits, housing, debt and employment. The evidence on the impact of social prescribing is currently limited and inconsistent. While some initiatives have shown improved outcomes for patients and potential for cost-savings (in the longer term), few have been subject to economic analysis or the kind of rigorous evaluation which would inform commissioners. The report recommends that any new, local social prescribing initiatives should aim to add to the current evidence base and conduct transparent and thorough.
LAWLOR Brian, et al
Loneliness is a significant problem among older people living in Ireland. The negative effects of loneliness on physical and emotional health are well documented in the literature. This study was established in the context of a dearth of effective interventions to alleviate loneliness. A peer visiting intervention for community dwelling older adults experiencing loneliness was designed and subjected to the rigour of a randomised controlled trial. It consisted of ten home visits to the intervention participants from a volunteer, themselves an older person. The volunteer built up a rapport with the participant and encouraged them to identify a social connection they wished to establish. Several participants made new social connections outside their home while most continued to receive visits from their volunteer following the end of the study period. The main study finding was very positive. The primary outcome, loneliness, decreased in the intervention group at one month and three month follow up. Potential benefits for the volunteers were also identified, in particular a decrease in loneliness. Both participants and volunteers reported that they enjoyed the intervention. The intervention is low cost and could be incorporated into existing support services or non-government organisations caring for community dwelling older adults. It is a potentially scalable model to deal with the major societal challenge of loneliness.
SEMPLE Amy, WILLIS Elizabeth, de WAAL Hugo
Reports on a study using Social Return on Investment (SROI) analysis to examine the impact and social value of peer support groups as an intervention for people with dementia. Three peer support groups in South London participated in the study. A separate SROI analysis was carried out for each individual group to find out what people valued about the groups and how they helped them. The report presents the outcomes for each group, the indicators for evidencing these outcomes and the quality and duration of outcomes experienced. It then provides detail on the methodology used to calculate the impact and the social return on investment. Overall, the study found that peer support groups provide positive outcomes for people with dementia, their carers and the volunteers who support the groups. The benefits of participating in peer support groups included: reduced isolation and loneliness; increased stimulation, including mental stimulation; and increased wellbeing. Carers experienced a reduction in carer stress, carer burden and reduction in the feeling of loneliness. Volunteers had an increased sense of wellbeing through their engagement with the group, improved knowledge of dementia and gained transferrable skills. Overall the study found that for every pound (£) of investment the social value created by the three groups evaluated ranged from £1.17 to £5.18.
Royal Voluntary Service
Hospital 2 Home Leicestershire provides low level practical support for people returning home from hospital after illness, surgery or accident. The service aims to ensure people achieve full rehabilitation and regain independence, whilst also enabling quicker discharge from hospital.
FLATTERS Paul, JOHNSON Tom, O'SHEA Ruairi
Presents key information and data on the UK ageing population, including an analysis of current trends and the implications for the future. The report sets out the national picture, focusing on the demographic context, the state of income, pensions and retirement arrangements, and health issues. In addition, the report considers a range of aspects associated with old age, including: loneliness, dementia, older carers, volunteering, and digital inclusion. The report indicates that the population of the UK is set to increase significantly over the next decade, with much of this growth driven by an ageing population and sustained increases in the number of people over 65 years old. While the number of older people living in relative or absolute poverty has not increased since the start of the economic downturn, the minimum income standard for pensioners has risen and many of those on low incomes have trouble meeting everyday expenditure. The report suggests that higher dependency ratios will place huge demand on already strained public services, requiring greater support from the charitable sector. The impact of dementia will be a significant area of need in the future: even if incidence rates remain stable, the growth in the population of people over the age of 65 will see the number affected more than double from c.800,000 in 2012 to 2.2m in 2051. However, the report concludes that it is likely that incidence rates for dementia will increase as longevity continues to increase and diagnosis improves.
NHS Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group
The Living Well programme aims to help people to build self-confidence and self-reliance by providing practical support, navigation and coordination to those most at risk of increased dependency and hospitalisation.