About the Salford Men’s Wellbeing Project
The Salford Men’s Wellbeing Project ran from August 2013 to July 2015 and was aimed at improving children’s wellbeing through improving the wellbeing of their fathers. Unlimited Potential initiated the project as an asset based community development project, applying four steps of an approach to action enquiry called Positive Deviance. The project was based in a deprived ward of Salford called Little Hulton.
The fathers that the project involved include many who have a background of severe and multiple disadvantage. Importantly a small number of more recently disadvantaged fathers, facing redundancy and other challenging life events, participated in the project. Furthermore a significant number of fathers motivated by helping others supported the Project.
Unlimited Potential recruited a local father as an Engagement Worker; this dad was seen as a peer by the core group of fathers that the project reached. They also established a Council of Dadz, made up of local fathers, who progressively took responsibility for the project. Using four steps of Positive Deviance, known locally as the “4 Ds”, the project discovered an uncommon but successful coping strategy amongst fathers experiencing serious life challenges – they shared their problems openly with other and with a spirit of helping others. The Project then designed ways to encourage this behaviour to be more widely spread, including most notably a Saturday Dadz and Kidz Club. In April 2015, three months before the end of the project, responsibility for ongoing work with fathers in Little Hulton, including continuing the activities that had been set up by the project, was transferred to a newly constituted body known as Salford Dadz – Little Hulton.
About this Social Return on Investment Analysis
This Social Return on Investment (SROI) analysis reports on the value of the results of the work undertaken in the two years of the project. It follows the seven principles of SROI and the methodology in “A guide to Social Return on Investment”1 It has been undertaken by Jenni Inglis 2, Managing Director of VIE for Life Ltd. SROI is a principles-based framework for identifying and managing value for stakeholders affected by projects, activities and services.
1. Involve stakeholders
2. Understand change
3. Value what matters
4. Do not overclaim
5. Only include what is material
6. Be transparent
7. Verify the result
Overview of results
The project has created social value as follows:
- £1 invested yielded approximately £20 of social value
Of which the potential financial return to the public sector is:
- £1 of public money yielded £2.25 of potential savings
- £1 of the total invested yielded approximately £14 of value for the Core Fathers
These headline figures perhaps give a flavour of how utterly transformational the Project has been in the lives of the affected fathers. Indeed most of the group of 9 fathers who have taken responsibility for Salford Dadz experienced significant changes in the extent to which they are able to cope with serious challenges, how confident and involved they are as fathers and the extent to which they find that their life has meaning. It has also clearly made a positive difference in the lives of a group of other fathers in a similar way, but to a lesser extent.
1 The SROI Network (2012)
2 Jenni Inglis is referred to as “the Analyst” throughout the report