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Agents for change: an evaluation of the Somerset Village Agents programme

Author(s)

COMMUNITY COUNCIL FOR SOMERSET

Publisher(s):

Community Council for Somerset

Publication year:

2017

An evaluation of the Somerset Village Agents programme, which aims to reduce isolation and help connect excluded and vulnerable people with services that support them to improve their independence, health and wellbeing. It uses locally based staff who act as first point of contact for people needing information and support. The evaluation, undertaken jointly by South West Forum and Clarity CiC with support from University of Gloucestershire, included analysis of client data, interviews with clients and discussions with locally based staff. Analysis was carried out between October 2016 and February 2017. The results of the evaluation found that the Somerset Village Agents programme is highly regarded by clients, statutory agencies and voluntary and public organisations who have a connection with the programme. It is also helping the most isolated, lonely and vulnerable people in the community, especially older people and those with disabilities and/or long-term health conditions. Areas for potential improvement identified by the evaluation included expanding reach of the programme to reach more younger people and more work to build community capacity. A cost benefit analysis of the programme estimates that for the 21-month period reviewed the Village Agents programme cost £646,000 to deliver and generated £2.5 million in direct savings to the state and a further £2.74 million in wider social value. The report makes recommendations for the future development of the programme. (Edited publisher abstract)


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