Using our Well-being Questionnaires and stakeholder interviews we have established the impact of the PEaT project on beneficiaries. Participating in the PEaT garden leads to improvements in beneficiary’ sense of well-being, reduction in social isolation, reduction in depression and anxiety, helps certain beneficiaries to recover from addiction issues, improves self-esteem, enhances physical health and provides a space where beneficiaries can experience recovery. There was a statistically significant increase in beneficiary connectedness on the Friendship Scale scores from baseline (M=17.03, SD=5.45) to follow-up (M=18.65, SD=4.93), t (69) = 3.04, p= < 0.001. What we find when looking at the raw data is over half of the beneficiaries show significant improvement on the Friendship Scale. On each of the Office for National Statistics well-being indicators PEaT beneficiaries report improvement in their well-being to the extent that average well-being scores improve from a low base and are now higher than the English average. On the satisfaction and life is worthwhile indicators beneficiary scores are now higher than the region and county averages. On three of the four ONS indicators these improvements are statistically significant (p=0.0001).
Average PEaT attendance by beneficiaries were 12 sessions over a 12 month period averaging a total of 44 hours/beneficiary. Attendance compares favourably with alternative therapies available to local people living with anxiety and depression disorders e.g.: Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT). With locally commissioned IAPT services typically people with mild to moderate depression might receive between six and 10- sessions over eight to 12 weeks.
Analysis suggests the cost per of attending a local Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) session per patient is £102.38 for low intensity therapy, and £173.88 for high intensity therapy (Griffiths et. al. 2014). If all 108 PEaT beneficiaries were to be given 12 sessions of low intensity IAPT the actual cost would be £132, 684; i.e. 15% more expensive than running PEaT for a year. PEaT would be 50% cheaper than attending high intensity IAPT.
The use of SROI methodology is now accepted as an appropriate method for assessing third sector value (Cabinet Office, 2009). It enables third sector providers and commissioners an opportunity to see the broader value that third sector organizations can bring. SROI methodologies compare the monetary benefits of a program or intervention with the program costs. (Phillips, 1991)
In terms of an annual social value created through PEaT; improved mental health and well-being accounts for £221,279; improved physical health £32,945; improved gardens, gardening and food skills £16,081; improved employment and volunteering opportunities £13,218; enhanced environmental impact £9,919 and benefit to local businesses £10,560, making a total social value of £304,002.
Having established the impact of PEaT we calculate a Social Return on Investment ratio of £2:£1. This means that for every £1 of investment £2 of social value is created. We feel this is a very parsimonious reflection of the value created. Health economists like Knapp et. al. (2011) suggest actually quantifying these impacts across all beneficiary life years, whereas we are just quantifying the value for one year.
Through a sensitivity analysis we drew all PEaT beneficiaries into the calculation and valorised all their claims of impact, not just the ones we were able to independently validate by our own primary research. This suggests that the impact of PEaT can be calculated to be a Social Return on Investment ratio of £3.68: £1