We are delighted to have recently been commissioned by Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council to evaluate their Making Connections Walsall (MCW) programme.
The MCW programme takes a social prescribing approach to tackle loneliness and social isolation of older people living in Walsall, with the aim to improve their wellbeing and reduce preventable health service and social care service usage. The programme is a free service which provides service users, GPs, health & social care professionals, carers and housing and other partners with one route of referral into community social support to address loneliness and social isolation.
The evaluation will focus on the effectiveness and social impact of the programme, using social return on investment (SROI) as an evaluation tool. The type of SROI that we will use in the MCW programme evaluation is Forecast SROI. This is a framework for measuring and taking account of the social, environmental and economic costs and benefits of an intervention, and predicting how much social value will be created if activities meet their intended outcomes. This approach will help the Council and key stakeholders identify where and how impact of the MCW Programme can be maximised for its users during the initial two years and potentially beyond.