Aspire is trying to understand better the difference it makes to the lives of those who use our services. We want to ensure that we are achieving outcomes that are relevant and meet the needs of our members and carers. It is also important that we find a way of measuring this so we can share our story of change to others. This will also help us to retain and win new work and grow our business to help more people.
In order to do this Aspire has been successful in being one of a small group of social enterprises that has been awarded a grant from the Cabinet Office’s Impact Readiness Fund. We have started a small project to begin to identify the outcomes we are achieving, the way we are doing this and how we can create a simple measurement system.
One of the things we will be producing is ‘Our Theory of Change’ – this is our ‘map’ of the way we make a difference and will help us to explain our work to others and think about how we can bring about even more positive change.
Our ‘Seven Ways to Wellbeing’ which underpins our programmes of work will be an important part of this. We will also be looking at some of the recent work by others in this area, including Big Society Capital’s work on social outcomes.
We are very pleased to be working on this project with Local Partnerships. Local Partnerships has been supporting Aspire in its journey over the last few years and are bringing their expertise and knowledge of social enterprise to help us with our impact project.
As part of the project, it is important that we talk to members and carers to collect their views on what Aspire is helping them to achieve and whether there are other things we should be thinking about trying to do.
We have held a number of very successful lunchtime sessions with members and carers. We have had groups of over 30 people join us and this included representatives of our commissioners at Lambeth Council and professionals from Health.
We will posting more details of the project in due course – please watch this space…
On the 29/05/15, Aspire conducted a members meeting on the topic of The Impact Readiness Grant. The Impact Readiness Grant is grant that supports social enterprises to help them evidence their social impact and demonstrate improvements to social ventures and commissioners. It is vital to sustainability and growth of commissioners and investors increasingly only seek relationships with ventures that are able to demonstrate the extent of their social and public value.
Aspire seek to Impact 5 Key Areas:
Independent Living Skills
Employment, Training and Education
The feedback from members and carers was amazing. Here is a summary of the feedback received for each section during the members meeting.
Service Area: Gym
Our members were really interested in adding more exercises and activities to the existing exercise programme for day-care and health members. These exercises included swimming, boxing, Pilates, Ti- Chi, Football, Tennis, Cricket, Table Tennis and Basketball. After this consultation with Aspire members, we are now looking for ways to incorporate these activities in their daily exercise programme.
Service Area: Respite
We look forward to taking some of our members to the Isle of Wight on Friday, 10th July 2015. From the consultation it has been highlighted that more support would be given to carers that need more support. In addition, Aspire members and carers would be receive much more notice about Respite and be provided with more venues for Respite to take place in the near future.
Service Area: Community Integration
Aspire members suggested more community events to involve local people from the community. Creating a forum for members and carers to post their queries and connect with other carers and members. This would be an effective way to network with people from the local community and other businesses locally and nationally.
Service Area: Employment, Training and Education
Aspire members really enjoy the computer sessions where they are able to learn how to use the computer, play games, create emails, do online shopping, connect on social media and apply for jobs. It was suggested that Aspire provide members to take up voluntary placement work at Aspire to further their experience in training and education.
Service Area: Independent Living Skills
Members were really satisfied with the service given and therefore recommended that there should be no amendments to this service area.
The feedback has been amazing and we look forward to making more adjustments to meet the needs of the members and the carers. Check out our pictures for more insight into the meeting.