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Social Return on Investment report of the Change Step service in partnership with Veterans’ NHS Wales.

This report details the Social Return on Investment (SROI) forecast analysis conducted on the Change Step project in partnership with Veterans’ NHS Wales. The results demonstrate that significant social value is created through the project’s activities, with a SROI result of £6.79:1 – meaning that for each £1 invested, £6.79 of value is created.

Fundamental to the success of the service is the peer mentors who as veterans themselves could offer a level of understanding and empathy, but also the guidance to support them before their therapy, during and post therapy. This balance was seen as ‘unique’, and as veterans themselves provided the clients with immediate trust and reassurance.

The collaboration with Veterans’ NHS Wales allows the peer mentor and veteran therapists to work together to ensure the best possible outcomes for veterans and families. Alongside their therapy, peer mentors are able to provide guidance and advice on issues such as finances, housing, employment, education, and mental and physical health concerns. Under the supervision of the therapists, they were also able to focus on particular areas that needed attention as well as gather a further understanding of their needs. By the time clients had reached therapy, many had already made some improvements in certain areas and already some positive changes had happened in their lives which included improved relationships with family members, improved mental health and also feeling less isolated and alone in their situation.

These outcomes also created significant value for other stakeholders. Family members expressed that the peer mentors support provided them with reassurance by gaining an understanding about what their loved ones were experiencing, as well as reducing their anxiety and stress levels as support was available. Identifying that their loved ones were making small but positive steps towards recovery ensured that the whole family benefited.

This collaboration will also have an impact on the Veterans’ NHS Wales service, as well as other health and social care costs. Further data is needed to continue the discussion on potential cost reallocation here, however, by involving all stakeholders which included the veterans, family members, peer mentors and the veteran therapists, there was agreement that when considering ‘what could have happened’ without this support, many felt that they could have deteriorated, and for many they feared that could result in a worse situation which could include the breakdown of relationships, homelessness, hospitalisation or, as many suggested, life loss.

The Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 puts a great focus on prevention and that the needs of the individual are central to their care. This model responds positively to these requirements and looks at the needs of every client and responds accordingly. We have a duty to listen to our stakeholders and they are best placed to tell us what changes in their lives as a result of a service.

This report does not place a price on everything; instead it values those things that are important so that we can be more accountable for our decisions, make better decisions, and create even more social value in the lives of people.

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