From October 2013 – July 2017 IWM North and Manchester Museum delivered a volunteering, training and placement programme in partnership with 10 heritage venues in Greater Manchester. The project can be viewed as an exemplar in partnership working to tackle health inequalities.
In March 2013 IWM North and Manchester Museum were successful in a new application to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to develop and deliver Inspiring Futures: Volunteering for Wellbeing (if). This unique project was delivered across ten heritage venues to collectively achieve improvement, consistency and quality in volunteering practice as a key route to transforming wellbeing.
Participant recruitment was aimed at people who were long term unemployed or facing low-level mental wellbeing challenges and/or social isolation.
We set ourselves ambitious goals in terms of evaluation. We wanted to measure the impact and value of this project and, evidence the effectiveness of socially responsible volunteering practices for improving wellbeing, and reducing social and economic isolation. To do this we chose to work with Envoy Partnerships to carry out a longitudinal study following a Social Return on Investment methodology
Social Return on Investment Evaluation
The project wanted to demonstrate improved health and wellbeing through volunteering in heritage venues. To do this we chose to work with Envoy Partnerships to carry out a longitudinal three year study following a Social Return on Investment methodology. The study found that for every £1 invested, the project generated £3.50 in social and economic value!
“Has the course changed my life? Yes and more. It has actually given me back my life, a life seemingly lost to lack of hope and depression. I am the real Me again.”
- Clare, Volunteer
- 231 local people recruited over three years
- 75% in receipt of a benefit allowance
- Over 75% report a significant increase in wellbeing after a year
- Almost 60% report long term sustained wellbeing improvement over 2-3 years
- 30% of participants gained employment or other new opportunities for getting into work