Minister launches Craft Café SROI

Thu 01st March 2012

Impact Arts welcomed the Minister for Public Health Scotland Michael Matheson to launch their Social Return on Investment for their innovative Craft Café project on Wednesday this week at the Castlemilk Stables.

The Minister waxed lyrical about the project, citing the visionary partnership between Impact Arts and Elderpark and Cassiltoun Housing Associations as a brilliant example of the integrated approach needed to tackle isolation amongst the elderly, and the poor health synonymous with it.

The SROI demonstrates a return of £8.27:£1. This means that clients benefit from improved health and partnership organisations have a new means to communicate with older residents enabling them to ensure that tenancies are sustained for longer. This return also means a reduction on public spend through reduced medical bills for the NHS through preventative intervention.

The event was a resounding success and Impact Arts is looking forward to rolling out this innovative project on a national level in the months to come.

Press Release

Minister for Public Health launches Craft Café SROI

Impact Arts, the UK’s leading community arts charity, welcomes the Minister for Public Health in Scotland Michael Matheson to launch their Social Return on Investment for their innovative Craft Café project.

The Craft Café programme is currently being piloted in the Castlemilk and Govan areas of Glasgow in partnership with Cassiltoun and Elderpark Housing Associations. In these areas of multiple deprivation there is a high percentage of older tenants living alone and facing exclusion from social and cultural life.

Minister for Public Health Michael Matheson said:

“I very much welcome activities such as Impact Art’s Craft Café that tackle older people’s isolation and its negative consequences, for example a decline in good mental health. Such activities not only bring together individuals and communities, but also improve their overall health and well-being.”

“I believe that such activities can have a positive effect on shifting the balance of care away from the unnecessary or inappropriate use of hospital and institutional care towards strong community-based supports which enable older people to remain living healthily, happily and independently in their own communities.”

Craft Café is open from 10am to 4pm, 3 days per week, offering a range of creative activities supported by a professional artist and the opportunity to socialise with peers. Craft Café members attend for free and are encouraged to take the lead on their own learning with a constant supply of materials and access to expertise. There is also the opportunity to sell their works at local craft sales and to exhibit in settings such as the Peoples Palace.

Charlie Millar CEO of Cassiltoun Housing Association said:

“Cassiltoun Housing Association`s role within the community goes beyond our landlord role as we face huge challenges supporting our elderly and vulnerable tenants. The success of Craft Cafe illustrates perfectly what we and our partners are trying to achieve. I would like to thank the Scottish Government for their funding support and also Impact Arts for their cutting edge approach to community development, which benefits many of our elderly and vulnerable tenants .What has been achieved is truly inspirational and I am pleased that the SROI report validates the return on investment.”

The SROI study was undertaken by the Social Value Lab and focuses on the impact of the Craft Café on reducing the isolation and loneliness experienced by older people. Attending the Café enables them to make positive lifestyle changes associated with ageing and, ultimately, to bring about a better quality of life.

Rick Rijsdijk, Director of the Social Value Lab said:

“The team at the Lab are delighted to have been involved in this piece of collaborative research. The SROI evidence gathered has demonstrated the remarkable impact that arts based activity can have on the confidence, motivation, mental health, and general wellbeing of older people. It has revealed significant positive effects not just on older people, but also their families and the agencies and services that support them.”

Shirley McKnight CEO of Elderpark Housing Association said:

“We are pleased to be working with Impact Arts to provide the Craft Café facility to our over 50’s. It is not just an arts & crafts club, the Craft Café has had such a major impact on the lives of the members, giving them more confidence, improving their health & wellbeing and reducing depression and isolation. Coming together at the centre gives them a sense of purpose and many have made new friends as a result.”

The analysis shows that overall the Craft Café pilots have created between £4.86 and £9.57 of social value for every pound of investment. Based on rigorous research and best assumptions, the report estimates a Social Return on Investment of £8.27:£1.

Susan Aktemel, Director of Impact Arts said “We are delighted to have received confirmation of what we have known all along – Craft Café works. The health and monetary implications of the UK’s aging population are at the forefront of people’s minds right now and the results of the Craft Café SROI should go to show that once again prevention is better than cure. We are looking forward to rolling out this unique and innovative project on a national level as a proven model of reducing Isolation and loneliness and the many benefits that come with that”.

The results of the SROI will mean that Craft Café will become a national programme, allowing more elderly people to have positive experiences similar to Craft Café member Margaret Millmaker: “This is better than medicine. I’ve had two strokes and this has given me my life back”.

Other News You Might Like