The Craft Café is a programme from Impact Arts that attempts to reduce the isolation and loneliness experienced by older people, to enable them to make positive lifestyle changes associated with ageing and, ultimately, to bring about a better quality of life. With the programme growing in scale and reach, Impact Arts challenged the team at Social Value Lab to put some numbers to the social impact arising from the programme.
The social impact evaluation of the Craft Café programme was based on a Social Return on Investment (SROI) analysis; an accepted method of measuring the social and environmental impact of activities and of placing a monetary value on them. The analysis included:
- Research into the evidence base as it stood, relating to the impact of creative arts on older people.
- Development of a theory of change for the programme, drawn from programme documentation and data, which was tested and later refined.
- Primary research to gather the views of older people and their families at each pilot site as well as the views of delivery staff and partners.
- Development of an Impact Map for the Craft Café programme, including monetisation of identified outcomes and associated SROI calculation and sensitivity testing.
Launched by the Minister for Public Health, the SROI evaluation helped to demonstrate the substantial impact that arts-based activity can have on the confidence, motivation, mental health, and general wellbeing of older people. It revealed positive effects not just on older people of the programme, but also their families and the agencies and services that support them. Based on rigorous research the programme was found to create £8.27 in social value for every £1 invested in it. This has led to a much better understanding by Impact Arts of the ways in which it creates value for older people and ways it can maximise this impact. It has also provided needed evidence to convince others.
“We have worked with Social Value Lab on a number of key projects. I have always found them to be reliable and deliver consistently high quality results. They have taken the time to understand our organisation and therefore can quickly grasp what we are trying to achieve. We enjoy working with Social Value Lab which is why we have done so many times!”.
Download the SROI Evaluation Report for the Craft Café here.