Evaluation of four Ageing Better in Birmingham projects within the Tyburn Local Action Plan


Background

Between 2018-2020, M·E·L Research carried out an evaluation of four National Lottery Community Fund projects tackling loneliness and social isolation amongst residents in Castle Vale, Pype Hayes, Birches Green and Bromford. The four projects were part of the Ageing Better in Birmingham Tyburn Local Action Plan. Ageing Better in Birmingham aims to reduce isolation in later life and facilitate change in the way older people are considered by and within communities, to empower citizens to take part in and influence activities.

About the projects being evaluated

The evaluation explored the effectiveness of project delivery, assessed project progress against key outcomes, and identified lessons learned. The four projects were:

  1. Community Organisers Scheme: delivered by Compass Support. The recruitment of a team of active Volunteer Community Organisers to work in local communities to promote neighbourliness and encouraging active citizenship
  2. Happy Streets Campaign: delivered by Compass Support. A range of campaigns and community activities to strengthen a sense of community and tackle isolation.
  3. Walking Maps: delivered by Sustrans. Working with communities to co-produce easy and safe routes to facilitate walking, lead to healthier lifestyles and overcome isolation.
  4. Happy Streets Environmental: delivered by Compass Support. Encouraging residents to report local issues that affect the physical environment of highways and rights of way, to help develop age-friendly neighbourhoods.

Methodology

As this was a concurrent evaluation, we produced our first report in Autumn 2018, second report in February 2020 and final evaluation report in September 2020. Our evaluation methodology included the review and analysis of project data, observng a range of project activities, consulting stakeholders and beneficiaries, and carrying out a pre and post-survey of resident perceptions.

Outcomes

Evaluation findings have contributed to the ‘test and learn’ approach embraced by the Ageing Better in Birmingham Programme and have assessed the impact and effectiveness of the four projects, as well as exploring learning from synergy between the projects.