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Evaluation of the People and Places Programme Annual Report 2010


Evaluation of the People and Places Programme Annual Report 2010

Acknowledgements The evaluation team is extremely grateful to the many people who were interviewed as part of the research for this report. In particular, we would like to thank the beneficiaries, staff and volunteers of those projects who formed the basis for the 2010 Annual Report who gave their time and help so willingly and answered our questions honestly and in such detail. This evaluation would not have been possible without all these contributions.

Report prepared by:

Endaf Griffiths, Director - endaf.griffiths@wavehill.com Louise Petrie, Researcher Dr. Tony Hyde, Associate Senior Consultant

Client contact:

Renu Verma, Policy and Partnership Directorate, Big Lottery Fund - renu.verma@biglotteryfund.org.uk

Version:

FINAL

Date:

November 2010

Prepared for the Big Lottery Fund by Wavehill, November 2010

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Evaluation of the People and Places Programme Annual Report 2010

Contents Executive Summary .............................................................................................................. 3 1 Introduction, Background & Context............................................................................ 8 1.1 The People and Places Programme ............................................................................. 8 1.2 The Evaluation .............................................................................................................. 8 1.3 Previous Evaluation Report .......................................................................................... 9 1.4 Structure of the Report ............................................................................................... 12 2 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8

Supply and demand - the geographic spread of People and Places grants and funding .......................................................................................................................... 13 Introduction ................................................................................................................. 13 Comparing the geographic distribution of People & Places grants to levels of deprivation ................................................................................................................. 16 The capacity of potential applicants ........................................................................... 19 The support available to potential applicants ............................................................. 21 Demand for support from People and Places and the availability of alternative sources of funding ..................................................................................................... 23 Unmet needs and gaps in the type of support available ............................................. 25 Strategic links with local authority areas ..................................................................... 27 Implications for BIG for discussion ............................................................................. 28

3 The outcomes of People and Places projects ........................................................... 31 3.1 The projects included within the evaluation ................................................................ 32 3.2 The evidence available and gathered ......................................................................... 34 3.3 Understanding the impact of a People and Places project ......................................... 36 3.4 Developing a common set of indicators that demonstrate that the key outcomes of People and Places are being achieved ..................................................................... 36 3.5 Improving the skills and abilities of members of the community ................................. 38 3.6 Improving the physical and mental well-being of individuals ...................................... 43 3.7 Improving relationships and greater participation in the community ........................... 52 3.8 Improvements to the quality of the local environment and individuals attitude and behaviour towards the environment ........................................................................... 56 3.9 Enhancing community services and buildings ............................................................ 60 3.10 Implications for BIG for discussion ............................................................................. 64 4 The legacy of the projects on delivery organisations............................................... 65 4.1 Short and longer-term positive impacts ...................................................................... 65 4.2 The implications of funding coming to an end ............................................................ 66 4.3 Implications for BIG for discussion ............................................................................. 67 5 Key findings and recommendations........................................................................... 68 5.1 The geographic distribution of support ....................................................................... 68 5.2 The outcomes of the programme ............................................................................... 68 5.3 The legacy of People and Places funding on delivery organisations ......................... 69 5.4 Closing comments ...................................................................................................... 69 Appendix 1: Outline monitoring and evaluation framework ........................................... 70 Appendix 2: A list of organisations that contributed to the research on the geographic spread of People and Places support .................................................... 75

Prepared for the Big Lottery Fund by Wavehill, November 2010

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Evaluation of the People and Places Programme Annual Report 2010

Executive Summary This is the 2010 Annual Report for the evaluation of the Big Lottery Fund’s (BIG) People and Places programme which is being undertaken over a five year period in parallel to the implementation of the projects funded by the programme. The evaluation is being undertaken by social research and evaluation specialists Wavehill. This is the third programme evaluation report1. Launched in 2005, the aim of People and Places is to enable people to work together for strong communities, social justice and better rural and urban environments. The programme has three outcomes: revitalised communities, improved community relations and enhanced local environment, community services and buildings. People and Places is open to applications from voluntary, community and public organisations representing geographical communities or communities of interest. Private organisations and individuals may work in partnership with statutory, voluntary or community organisations. Projects must benefit people in Wales or the Welsh environment. In 2010, the focus of the evaluation was on:   

Understanding the issues that influence the geographic spread of People and Places grants and funding in Wales and how the projects being funded are perceived to fit with key local strategies; Exploring the outcomes of People and Places projects as identified by those who participate and benefit from projects and by key external stakeholders; and Considering the positive and negative legacy of People and Places on the organisations that are delivering the projects it funds.

The geographic spread of People and Places grants and funding In order to gather evidence for this element of the evaluation, 41 interviews were undertaken with the relevant department(s) in Local Authorities and the County Voluntary Councils (CVC’s) across Wales. An interview was also undertaken with the Welsh Assembly Government (the Department for Social Justice and Local Government) to gain a national insight into the issues being discussed. In addition, an analysis was undertaken of the data that is available on the distribution of People and Places funding and grants across Wales.

1

The 2009 Annual Report can be found here: http://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/pp_2009_annual_report.pdf The 2008 Annual Report in is available here: http://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/pp2008_annual_report_final.pdf

Prepared for the Big Lottery Fund by Wavehill, November 2010

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Evaluation of the People and Places Programme Annual Report 2010

A wide range of factors influence the geographic distribution of People and Places grants and funding. Our interviews with stakeholders who work in community regeneration in Wales have however found that the main factors are: a) b) c) d)

The need for funding in the area (i.e. the number of potential People and Places projects) The alternative funding that is available for projects in the area The capacity of local organisations – particularly their ability to apply for grant funding The availability of advice and support to potential applicants

Importantly, the evaluation found that the situation in each local authority area is different. The influence each of the above factors has on the number of People and Places grants awarded in each area is also different. For example, in one area, the main influence on the distribution of People and Places grants may be the capacity of local organisations. In another area, the main influence may be the amount of alternative funding available. The implication for BIG is that it should not look at any factors in isolation when considering whether funding or, for example, promotional activities, needs to be focused in any geographic area in particular. It is useful to consider these factors in terms of barriers faced by: a) Applicants when applying for funding; and b) BIG when seeking to distribute funds. Three main ‘barriers’ have been identified and illustrated below. One or all of these barriers could restrict the number of applications being submitted and grants being awarded in any particular part of Wales. The key issue for BIG to consider is what is their role in overcoming these barriers, if any?

Prepared for the Big Lottery Fund by Wavehill, November 2010

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Evaluation of the People and Places Programme Annual Report 2010

Stakeholders interviewed also stressed the need to build stronger ‘strategic’ links between BIG and local stakeholders. Stakeholders feel that they have a contribution to make in terms of reviewing the ‘fit’ of applications with local strategies and other ongoing development in the area. The logic for this is clear, projects funded by People and Places should not be delivered in isolation to other local developments. And, as discussed in the 2009 Annual Report, a lack of a local and/or specialist ‘check’ on the quality and accuracy of the evidence presented by applicants to demonstrate the need for their proposed project is a weakness in the current appraisal process. The outcomes of People and Places projects For this element of the evaluation, in-depth research was undertaken with 8 projects funded by People and Places. Over the next two years (2011 and 2012), this sample will increase to 24. Therefore, whilst the evidence gathered to date and discussed in this section of the report provides a basis for considering the outcomes of People and Places projects (and therefore the programme), they should only be considered as emerging findings; further evidence will be added to the analysis over the next two years. There is no set definition of the key outcomes of People and Places as a programme. Examples of what activity could be funded under each outcome are given in the guidance that is available to applicants. But, it is up to the applicant to define these outcomes as they relate to their ‘community’ and their project. From an evaluation perspective, this creates a problem as it leads to a situation where each project is measuring what it achieves in different ways and it is difficult to assess the impact of the programme as a whole. The evaluation team has therefore developed a set of 9 ‘indicators’ that can be used to assess whether People and Places projects are achieving the programme’s key outcomes: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

Improvements to the skills of members of the community Improvements to the well-being of members of the community Improved relationships between groups within the community Greater and wider participation in community and civic life Improvements to the quality of the local physical environment Improvements to the quality of the local natural environment Improvements to individuals’ pro-environmental behaviour Improvements to the range of local services / facilities Improvements to the quality of local services / facilities

Prepared for the Big Lottery Fund by Wavehill, November 2010

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Evaluation of the People and Places Programme Annual Report 2010

Bearing in mind that the sample to date is relatively small and while the emphasis within projects differs, the evidence gathered suggests that the People and Places projects will (as a group) achieve positive outcomes against each of the above indicators and, hence, all three of the programme’s key outcomes: revitalised communities, improved community relations and enhanced local environment, community services and buildings. The most significant outcome identified by participants and beneficiaries of the projects was their ability to communicate and mix with other and different people within the community; 98% (48/49) of participants who responded to the survey undertaken as part of the evaluation said that the project had helped their ability to meet other and different people. There was also evidence to suggest that People and Places projects will create an ongoing benefit within the communities supported specifically in terms of the ‘capacity building’ benefits generated. For example, some of the participants in People and Places projects go on to undertake more and different types of volunteering within their local community because of the fact that they have participated in a People and Places project. The legacy of the projects on delivery organisations Interviews with those managing People and Places projects has found that delivering a People and Places project generates a range of benefits for the delivery organisation in the short and long-term. For example, it increases the range of services that they can provide and improves their financial stability. There are also a number of less obvious benefits such as organisations introduced improved management procedures in order to deal with the increase in the range and volume of services that they are providing. However, the evaluation also found that organisations delivering People and Places projects need to plan for how they are going to deal with the problems that they could face when the People and Places funding ends. For example, staff may be made redundant. Feedback from the projects interviewed shows that this can have a serious impact on an organisation. Organisations should have clear ‘exit strategies’ in place so that they can manage these types of issues at the end of project-based funding.

Prepared for the Big Lottery Fund by Wavehill, November 2010

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Evaluation of the People and Places Programme Annual Report 2010

Recommendations The following recommendations are being made based on the findings of the evaluation in 2010: 1.

BIG should consider what, if any, role it has in assisting applicants to overcome barriers when applying for People and Places funding:   

Awareness and understanding of the People and Places programme amongst potential applicants and those who provide advice and support to potential applicants; The need for support in an area (are there projects or potential projects in the area that People and Places can fund?) and the availability of alternative sources of grant funding; and The capacity of potential applicants to submit an application that meets the criteria and necessary standards.

BIG should also discuss these matters with its key partners in Wales including the Welsh Government and the WCVA. 2.

BIG should consider the potential to introduce a more robust monitoring and evaluation framework and further support for projects in order to improve their monitoring and evaluation activities as part of any successor to People and Places. This could be based on the indicators and the outline framework developed by this evaluation.

3.

BIG should stress to organisations delivering projects the need for a fully developed exit strategy which takes into account all the possible implications of People and Places funding coming to an end. BIG should also consider whether it has a role in helping the organisations delivering People and Places projects to develop strategies that minimise the potential negative impacts that can occur when projects / funding streams come to an end.

Prepared for the Big Lottery Fund by Wavehill, November 2010

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Evaluation of the People and Places Programme Annual Report 2010

1

Introduction, Background & Context

This is the 2010 Annual Report for the evaluation of the People and Places programme which is being undertaken over a five year period in parallel with the implementation of projects funded by the programme. The evaluation is being undertaken by social research and evaluation specialists Wavehill. This is the third programme evaluation report. 1.1

The People and Places Programme

People and Places was launched in November 2005 and is the largest of the current programmes being delivered by the Big Lottery Fund (BIG) in Wales. Its aim is to enable people to work together for strong communities, social justice and better rural and urban environments. The three key programme outcomes are:   

Revitalised communities Improved community relations Enhanced local environment, community services and buildings

The programme is open to applications from voluntary, community and public organisations representing geographical communities or communities of interest. Private organisations and individuals may work in partnership with statutory, voluntary or community organisations. Projects must benefit people in Wales or the Welsh environment. People and Places is split into three levels of grant:   

Grants between £5,001 and £250,000 for projects which meet one programme outcome; Grants between £250,001 and £500,000 for projects which meet all three programme outcomes; Strategic grants over £500,000 and up to £1 million for projects which meet all three programme outcomes, are innovative and strategically important for Wales.

Awards are made for up to three years, with further funding considered only in specific circumstances. 1.2

The Evaluation

Over the first two years, the evaluation has largely focused on the process of managing and delivering the People and Places programme. During that period, representatives from 180 projects funded by People and Places were interviewed as part of the evaluation. In 2009, a small sample (50) of organisations that had unsuccessful applications to the programme were also interviewed in order to gain their perspective on the application process.

Prepared for the Big Lottery Fund by Wavehill, November 2010

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Evaluation of the People and Places Programme Annual Report 2010

For 2010, the focus of the evaluation was on:   

Understanding the issues that influence the geographic spread of People and Places grants and funding in Wales and how the projects being funded are perceived to fit with key local strategies; Exploring the outcomes of People and Places projects as identified by those who participate and benefit from projects and by key external stakeholders; and Considering the legacy of the projects on delivery organisations – the positive and negative impact of delivering a People and Places project.

The methodology has therefore evolved into more in-depth research with a smaller but representative sample of projects that reflects the geographic spread, financial value and programme outcome of the projects that have been awarded a grant to date. Eight projects participated in the evaluation in 2010 and it is anticipated that a further 16 will participate during 2011 and 2012. For the review of the geographic spread of People and Places grants and funding discussed within this report, interviews were undertaken with the Welsh Government, Local Authorities and the Community Voluntary Councils across Wales. In addition, the evaluation team also hold regular discussions with the team within BIG who are responsible for managing the delivery of the People and Places programme and with members of the programme’s management committee. 1.3

Previous Evaluation Report

The following is a brief summary of the main findings of the 2008 and 2009 Annual Reports2 and is included in order to provide context for the 2010 report which has sought to build on the previous year’s findings. Identifying and addressing need within the community 

The evaluation found that the two main methods being used by applicants to identify the need for a project were: ‘new research’ which explores the needs of the community and, the use of evidence gathered by the applicant during the delivery of previous projects. One of the factors that differentiated successful and unsuccessful applications was whether or not they were able to provide evidence of the delivery of previous projects in their application. In other words, applicants that had delivered similar projects in the past would seem to be more likely to have an application for People and Places funding approved.

2

The 2009 Annual Report can be found here: http://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/pp_2009_annual_report.pdf The 2008 Annual Report in is available here: http://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/pp2008_annual_report_final.pdf

Prepared for the Big Lottery Fund by Wavehill, November 2010

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Evaluation of the People and Places Programme Annual Report 2010

The evaluation team shared the concerns of some People and Places Committee Members that the appraisal process was too dependent on the evidence being presented by the applicants which will inevitably be biased towards supporting the need for the project being presented for funding.

The application and appraisal process 

The evaluation identified a concern amongst stakeholders and some applicants that it is difficult for smaller, less experienced, community groups to access People and Places funding.

The majority of the funding has supported well established applicants. These are organisations that are likely to be more experienced in terms of delivering projects and therefore – from a funder’s perspective - low risk. This is important to any funder especially in a situation where the success of a programme is being measured by the outcomes it generates.

When discussing the type of support needed applicants highlighted a desire for additional direct contact with BIG staff to discuss applications either on a one-to-one basis or via a training event / workshop in order to fully understand BIG’s requirements.

In 2008 and 2009, the feedback from applicants on the application process was generally favourable; 72% (116/161) of successful applicants rate the process as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’.

Why are some areas more ‘successful’ than others? 

To explore the above question, interviews were undertaken with applicants and stakeholders in two local authority areas which have been particularly ‘successful’ (i.e. have submitted a high number of applications and had a high number of projects approved) and two which have not. These interviews found that a lack of applications from an area does not necessarily mean that the ‘need’ for projects is lower or greater than in other parts of Wales.

Involvement by the local community and beneficiaries in projects 

A number of benefits of involving the local community in the management and delivery of the project were identified in 2008 and again in 2009. These include communities taking a greater ownership of projects, improved learning about the needs of local people and local people and project beneficiaries are provided with opportunities to improve their practical skills and confidence. However, it is important to be aware that these are perceived benefits and outcomes; they are the benefits that the organisations and project managers interviewed believe that the involvement of the community generates. The benefit from the perspective of the community and actual impact of that benefit (i.e. the amount of benefit derived by projects) is unclear.

Prepared for the Big Lottery Fund by Wavehill, November 2010

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Evaluation of the People and Places Programme Annual Report 2010

Partnership working 

The most common benefit of partnership working identified by project managers was that working in partnership improves the delivery of the project by, for example, bringing in additional knowledge and skills. Other respondents made reference to the fact that working with local partners improves a project’s ‘credibility’ whilst others stressed the need to develop partnerships as a means of securing on-going funding for their projects; this was a key part of their exit strategy.

Looking forward - the sustainability of projects 

61% (99/161) of the People and Places projects surveyed in 2008 and 2009 (combined) said that they would be seeking further grants to support their work when their current funding ends. This clearly has implications for BIG given the considerable investment that has, and is, being made in the organisations being supported.

There is inevitably a risk that some of the benefit that the investment could generate, beyond the lifetime of the project funded by People and Places, will be lost if the project is not maintained in some way. There is also a risk that much of the capacity and expertise built up by projects could be lost if the projects (or the services that they provide) are not sustained.

Project Outcomes 

Project managers reported that their projects were already or would in the future generate a series of common outcomes including: o o o o o

Improvements in the social life of beneficiaries Improved social networks of beneficiaries Improved health and well-being of beneficiaries Improved the skills of beneficiaries Improved confidence and self-esteem amongst beneficiaries

Whilst the links between these outcomes and two of the Programme’s ‘headline’ outcomes is clear (‘revitalised communities’ and ‘improved community relations’) no common indicators relating to the environment have been identified. Accordingly, it will be necessary to identify further ‘environmental’ outcomes if the list of common outcomes is to be used as a basis for assessing whether People and Places has achieved its ‘headline’ outcomes.

The most effective way in which to evidence the achievement of the outcomes of the programme is to undertake an in-depth evaluation of a small but representative sample of projects funded by the programme.

Prepared for the Big Lottery Fund by Wavehill, November 2010

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Evaluation of the People and Places Programme Annual Report 2010

1.4

Structure of the Report

The remainder of this report discusses the key findings of the research undertaken in 2010. It is split into the following sections, which reflect the key issues which the evaluation is considering:    

Section 2 discusses the geographic spread of People and Places grants and funding in Wales; Section 3 considers the emerging findings of the evaluation with regard to the outcomes of People and Places projects; Section 4 focuses on the legacy of the projects on delivery organisations – the positive and negative impact of delivering a People and Places project; and finally Section 5 draws together the key findings of the 2010 report and sets out a number of recommendations for discussion.

Where applicable, the implications of the findings, both for BIG and the on-going evaluation are discussed at the end of each section.

Prepared for the Big Lottery Fund by Wavehill, November 2010

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Evaluation of the People and Places Programme Annual Report 2010

2

Supply and demand - the geographic spread of People and Places grants and funding

This section of the report will consider the following questions. Does the distribution of People and Places support across Wales reflect the need for support? What factors other than demand and need influence the distribution of People and Places support?

Key findings 

The number of People and Places grants awarded to an area is influenced by the following factors:

a)

The need for funding in the area (i.e. the number of potential People and Places projects) The capacity of local organisations – particularly their ability to successfully apply for grant funding The availability of advice and support to potential applicants The alternative funding that is available for projects in the area (and, hence, the demand for People and Places funding)

b) c) d) 

Importantly, the situation in each local authority area is different. The influence each of the above factors has on the number of People and Places grants awarded in each area is therefore also different. For example, in one area, the main influence on the distribution of People and Places grants may be the capacity of local organisations. In another area, the main influence may be the amount of alternative funding available.

2.1

Introduction

In order to gather evidence for this element of the evaluation, 41 semi-structured interviews3 were undertaken with the relevant department(s) in Local Authorities and the County Voluntary Councils (CVC’s) across Wales during December 2009 and January 2010. An interview was also undertaken with the Welsh Government (the Department for Social Justice and Local Government) to gain a national insight into the issues being discussed. In addition, an analysis was undertaken of the data that is available on the distribution of People and Places funding and grants across Wales. For those readers who may not be familiar with the local authority areas in Wales, a map has been provided on the following page (Map 1).

3

A semi-structured interview follows a discussion guide but is flexible allowing new questions to be brought up during the interview as a result of what the interviewee says.

Prepared for the Big Lottery Fund by Wavehill, November 2010

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Evaluation of the People and Places Programme Annual Report 2010

Map 1: Local Authorities in Wales*

Source: The Wales European Funding Office (WEFO) * The shaded areas are those eligible for support from the European Union’s Convergence Programme 2007-13.

Prepared for the Big Lottery Fund by Wavehill, November 2010

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Evaluation of the People and Places Programme Annual Report 2010

Map 2: Map of Wales showing the overall level of deprivation (by Lower Super Output Areas) according to the Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation 2008

Source: Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation 2008, Local Authority Analysis; the Welsh Government

Prepared for the Big Lottery Fund by Wavehill, November 2010

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Evaluation of the People and Places Programme Annual Report 2010

2.2

Comparing the geographic distribution of People & Places grants to levels of deprivation

The ‘need’ for People and Places grants can be measured in a number of different ways. One way is to consider an area’s level of deprivation; the problems caused by a general lack of resources and opportunities (not just money). The Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation (WIMD) is the official measure of deprivation in Wales4. The latest WIMD was published in July 2008 and is made up of eight separate kinds of deprivation: income, employment, health, education, housing, access to services, environment and community safety. It is important to be aware that the WIMD is only one way in which to measure deprivation and does have limitations. For example, it is an index of deprivation not affluence5. The WIMD is also based on indicators that can be measured (i.e. quantitative data). Some indicators of deprivation (e.g. how people feel) cannot necessarily be measured in that way. Nevertheless, the WIMD is a recognised measure of the deprivation in an area and offers useful data against which the distribution of People and Places funding and grants can be analysed. For the purposes of the analysis in this report, we have ranked the local authority areas in Wales based on the number of Lower Super Output Areas6 (LSOAs) in the area categorised as within the 10% most deprived in Wales according to the WIMD (Column A in Table 1 below, page 18). According to that analysis, Merthyr Tydfil is the most deprived local authority area in Wales and Monmouthshire is the least deprived. There are three ways in which the ‘demand’ for People and Places funding and its geographic distribution can be analysed: a) The total amount of People and Places funding spent in an area; b) The number of applications for People and Places grants received from an area; and c) The number of People and Places grants awarded (i.e. successful applications) in an area.

4

Further details of the WIMD is available here: http://wales.gov.uk/topics/statistics/theme/wimd/?lang=en

5

If one area is much lower down the ranked list than another then you can say that it is less deprived but you cannot say it is more affluent. Every area has people who are deprived and people who are affluent, but the index counts only those classed as deprived. 6

Super Output Areas (SOAs) are a geography for the collection and publication of small area statistics collected and published by the Government. There are currently two layers of SOA, Lower Layer Super Output Area (LSOA) and Middle Layer Super Output Area (MSOA).

Prepared for the Big Lottery Fund by Wavehill, November 2010

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Evaluation of the People and Places Programme Annual Report 2010

The other columns in Table 1 rank the local authority areas according to the distribution of People and Places funding (i.e. grants) and applications:      

Column B: the total amount of People and Places funding ‘spent’ in the area; Column C: the total amount of People and Places funding ‘spent’ in the area per head of population Column D: the number of application for People and Places grants received by BIG from applicants in the area; Column E: the number of application for People and Places grants received by BIG from applicants in the area per 100,000 population; Column F: the number of People and Places grants awarded to applicants from the area; and Column G: the number of People and Places grants awarded to applicants from the area per 100,000 population

All these different rankings are included to illustrate an important point; there are a number of different ways in which the demand and distribution of the People and Places funding can be analysed. And, they don’t all show the same thing. The local authority area that came top of the ranking (i.e. where demand has been highest) according to the amount of People and Places funding spent in the area, the number of applications received by BIG and the number of grants awarded is Cardiff. Powys is however top according to the amount of spend per head of population and Carmarthenshire is top according to the number of grants awarded per head of population. Monmouthshire is however the lowest ranked local authority area in each instance.

Prepared for the Big Lottery Fund by Wavehill, November 2010

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Evaluation of the People and Places Programme Annual Report 2010

Table 1: Local Authorities areas in Wales ranked according to their level of deprivation, total People and Places spend and spend per head of population NEED (A) Ranking according to WIMD

(B) Ranking according to total P&P spend

1. 2. 3. 4.

Merthyr Tydfil Blaenau Gwent Neath Port Talbot Rhondda Cynon Taff

1. 2. 3.

Cardiff Neath Port Talbot Powys

DISTRIBUTION OF PEOPLE AND PLACES GRANTS and APPLICATIONS (E) Ranking (F) Ranking (C) Ranking according to (D) Ranking according to according to no. of according to no. of spend per head no. of applications applications per grants awarded 100k population 1. Powys 1. Cardiff 1. Powys 1. Cardiff 2. Neath Port Talbot 2. Carmarthenshire 2. Carmarthenshire 2. Carmarthenshire 3. Blaenau Gwent 3. Swansea 3. Cardiff 3. Swansea

4.

Swansea

4.

Pembrokeshire

5.

Cardiff

5.

Rhondda Taff

5.

Merthyr Tydfil

6.

Newport

6.

Carmarthenshire

6.

7. 8. 9. 10. 11.

Swansea Caerphilly Denbighshire Wrexham Conwy

7. 8. 9. 10. 11.

Pembrokeshire Blaenau Gwent Gwynedd Bridgend Torfaen

7. 8. 9. 10. 11.

Cynon

4.

Powys

5.

Rhondda Taff

Torfaen

6.

Neath Port Talbot

Carmarthenshire Anglesey Ceredigion Gwynedd Denbighshire

7. 8. 9. 10. 11.

Pembrokeshire Gwynedd Torfaen Conwy Wrexham

Cynon

4.

Merthyr Tydfil

5.

Ceredigion

6.

Neath Port Talbot Pembrokeshire Blaenau Gwent Denbighshire Swansea Anglesey Rhondda Cynon Taff Conwy

7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12.

4.

Powys

5.

(G) Ranking according to no. of grants awarded per 100k population 1. Carmarthenshire 2. Powys 3. Torfaen 4.

Merthyr Tydfil

5.

Cardiff

Rhondda Cynon Taff 6. Neath Port Talbot 7. Pembrokeshire 8. Torfaen 9. Gwynedd 10. Conwy 11. Wrexham

Neath Port Talbot 7. Swansea 8. Pembrokeshire 9. Gwynedd 10. Conwy 11. Ceredigion

12. Merthyr Tydfil

12. Blaenau Gwent

13. Ceredigion

6.

12. Flintshire

12. Conwy

12. Swansea

12. Ceredigion

13. Carmarthenshire

13. Caerphilly

13. Conwy

13. Bridgend

13.

14. Bridgend

14. Denbighshire

14. Bridgend

14. Merthyr Tydfil

14. Torfaen

14. Bridgend

15. Anglesey

15. Flintshire

15. Cardiff 16. Rhondda Taff 17. Wrexham

15. Flintshire

15. Gwynedd

15. Flintshire

13. Anglesey 14. Rhondda Cynon Taff 15. Wrexham

16. Blaenau Gwent

16. Newport

16. Blaenau Gwent

16. Bridgend

17. Newport

17. Bridgend 18. Vale Glamorgan

17. Anglesey

17. Flintshire 18. Vale Glamorgan

16. Gwynedd

16. Wrexham

17. Torfaen

17. Ceredigion

Cynon

of

18. Pembrokeshire

18. Merthyr Tydfil

18. Flintshire

18. Anglesey

19. Vale of Glamorgan

19. Anglesey

19. Caerphilly

19. Vale of Glamorgan

19. Wrexham

20. Powys 21. Ceredigion 22. Monmouthshire

20. Vale of Glamorgan 21. Newport 22. Monmouthshire

20. Vale of Glamorgan 21. Newport 22. Monmouthshire

20. Denbighshire 21. Caerphilly 22. Monmouthshire

20. Caerphilly 21. Monmouthshire 22. Flintshire

Source: Big Lottery Fund and the Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation 2008

Prepared for the Big Lottery Fund by Wavehill, November 2010

18

18. Newport 19. Vale of Glamorgan 20. Denbighshire 21. Caerphilly 22. Monmouthshire

of

19. Newport 20. Denbighshire 21. Monmouthshire 22. Caerphilly


Evaluation of the People and Places Programme Annual Report 2010

The obvious question is whether the distribution of People and Places funding reflects the ‘need’ for support; has a greater proportion of People and Places funding gone to those areas of Wales where the need is greatest? The ranking shown in Table 1 suggests that there is no clear correlation between need and demand. The local authority area where need is greatest (as defined by deprivation in this instance) is Merthyr Tydfil. That area is however 18th in the rankings for the total amount of People and Places spent in the area and 5th in the rankings according to spend per head of population. Newport is 6th in terms of the WIMD rankings yet 21st in terms of the distribution of funding both in total and per head. Powys is the highest ranked area according to the spend per head of population and the number of applications submitted per 100,000 population yet is ranked 20th according to the WIMD; it is the third least deprived local authority area in Wales according to the analysis. 2.3

The capacity of potential applicants

The generally held view amongst the stakeholders we interviewed was that People and Places was a difficult grant to access because of the volume of applications being submitted. In other words they believed that there was significant competition for the funding that was available which is a view supported by the fact that the ‘success rate’ for applications to People and Places is 35% which means that, all things being equal, there is a 65% chance that your application will be rejected7. They were also of the view that the process of applying for a People and Places grant was difficult compared to other grant schemes due to the amount of information that needed to be provided and also the amount of time taken by BIG to appraise and approve an application. Because of this, stakeholders felt that community groups need to have a certain level of knowledge, expertise and skills (often referred to as ‘capacity’) to be able to apply for People and Places funding; given the level of competition, there was little point submitting an application for People and Places grant unless the application that you submitted was going to be a good one. And, when stakeholders were asked to suggest reasons why some parts of Wales would seem to be more ‘successful’ than others in terms of attracting People and Places funding, this was one of the reasons they identified; the more organisations that exist in an area with the skills and confidence to submit an application, the more People and Places grants awarded to the area. 

“The only explanation that comes to mind is that the groups who have been successful are mature and experienced at writing applications.” - CVC

It is important to stress that this was the view of the stakeholders we interviewed and can only be considered as anecdotal evidence. However, the stakeholders interviewed do work closely with community groups on a day to day basis and therefore know ‘the sector’ well. A number had also helped applicants to prepare People and Place applications or written them themselves. 7

Based on the figures as at 14th September 2010: 860 applications submitted and 305 grants awarded

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There is however some evidence in support of the perception of stakeholders. Most notably, the evaluation has found that the majority of organisations funded by People and Places had been in existence for a number of years8. 

“The strength of this fund is that anyone can apply, but the other side of that is that often groups don’t have the capacity to apply effectively… I also feel that good quality applications are not getting through and it is the ‘usual suspects’ that are more likely to get funded because the application process is difficult, confusing and complicated.” - CVC

As the above quote suggests, stakeholders argued that the complexity of the application process led to a situation whereby experienced organisations were more likely to be able to successfully apply for a grant than their less experienced counterparts, regardless of the need for the project in question. The role of local support providers in addressing this is discussed later. Stakeholders said that in some parts of Wales a ‘culture’ of applying for grants had developed due to the fact that grant funding had been available to them for a long time. However, in some of the less deprived parts of Wales, the opposite may be true; local groups believed that applying for a grant would be a waste of time because of the perceived prosperity of the part of Wales where they lived. Stakeholders from the Vale of Glamorgan and Monmouthshire, the area which has received the least amount of People and Places funding, believed that this was the case in their area. 

“We do offer support to help people put in a bid, the help is there to do bids but take up is low because people believe there is no money! But in all honesty people have given up. When it comes to need it is hard to address or know what hidden needs there are because people have given up telling us because they think what is the point, we won't get any funding so I won't bother.” – CVC

BIG has also emphasised that the capacity of organisations to deliver BIG funded projects is also an important issue to understand more fully when considering the distribution of funding. BIG has asked that this factor is examined in the remaining years of the evaluation in the context of project impact and the overall progress of organisations in achieving the programme outcomes.

8

79% (128/161) of the successful applicants interviewed as part of the Evaluation in 2008 and 2009 (combined) had been in existence for over five years. A copy of the 2009 Annual Report is available here: http://www2.biglotteryfund.org.uk/pp_2009_annual_report.pdf

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2.4

The support available to potential applicants

2.4.1 Awareness and understanding of the programme Both the Local Authorities and CVC’s have a key role in terms of promoting the People and Places programme to potential applicants – especially those who do not have the capacity (or experience) to identify the opportunity to apply for funding independently as discussed previously. Their awareness and understanding of the programme is therefore going to be an important factor in terms of the number of applications submitted to BIG. If potential applicants don’t know about People and Places, they are not going to apply. Understanding of the programme amongst those interviewed (from Local Authorities and CVC’s) was generally high. Whilst not widespread, the interviews did however identify some misconceptions. For example, one interviewee believed that a potential reason for the lack of People and Places projects in their area was that the local authority could not provide the necessary match funding. People and Places applications do not in fact require match funding. Whilst knowing that it was not a requirement, a small number of stakeholders also believed that the ability to provide match funding greatly enhanced the likelihood that an application for People and Places support would be approved. Stakeholders – especially those from local authorities – stressed how difficult it can be to maintain levels of awareness and understanding of the programme in all relevant parts of the organisation. People and Places is a very broad programme and, hence, is applicable to a number of departments within a local authority. Inevitably, awareness levels across these departments will vary significantly. 

“I think there is a lack of capacity in the local authority in particular and really a lack of a specific funding person or department. There is also a lack of information exchange amongst officers generally.” – Local Authority

2.4.2 Signposting of potential applicants The following quotes sum up the comments made by stakeholders when discussing the signposting of community groups to People and Places. Local authorities and CVC’s promote the programme but they do so selectively based on their perceptions of the programme and the type of projects it supports. This will clearly influence the number and type of projects and applications that are eventually submitted to BIG. 

“We only signpost applicants to People and Places if they have what we consider to be an above average chance of being funded.”

“We have signposted many organisations to People and Places if the project is appropriate; especially renovations”

People and Places is clearly perceived as a potential funding stream for a broad range of projects, but primarily for larger (i.e. more expensive) projects and only for applicants who have the ‘capacity’ to submit an application that, in the words of the stakeholder quoted above, has an ‘above average’ chance of being funded.

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2.4.3 The provision of support to applicants As previously noted, People and Places is perceived to be a difficult fund to apply for. Accordingly, many of the organisations that do apply – especially those who are less experienced (or have less ‘capacity’) - need to be supported during the process. 

“We have invested a lot into the third sector, community type programmes and particularly in providing expertise to the communities to enable them to move their projects forward and also we employed funding officers to seek out existing and new sources of funding and also to help the community groups with applications. We have it as a high priority to assist communities to be able to move their projects forward.” – Local Authority

“There is a lack of support for smaller organisations in the local authority; we used to have funding development officers to help with bids but that support has now gone.” – Local Authority

The research has found that the level of support that is available to community groups applying for funding (not just from People and Places) varies significantly across Wales and stakeholders believe that this is one of the reasons why some areas have been able to secure more People and Places funding than others. Areas which have been able to secure the highest amounts of funding always credited the support available to applicants in their areas. For example, significant support is available to community groups in Carmarthenshire, the local authority area ranked first in terms of the number of applications submitted to People and Places and the number of grants awarded. Stakeholders in areas that were less successful complained of a lack of support for community groups in the area. The situation is however more complicated than the above would suggest; the level of funding / grants secured by a region is influenced by a number of factors as discussed in this report. But, there is little doubt amongst stakeholders that one of those factors is the level of support available. 

“It is a capacity issue in terms of taking forward projects within the community and organisations that support them. Other areas have a lot more people on the ground to help with bids than we do, they have established teams and access to European funding.”- Local Authority

One of the factors discussed later in this report is the availability of alternative funding for projects. The availability of funding in an area does however also affect the amount of support that is available to community groups in that area. For example the local authority in Carmarthenshire uses Convergence Programme funding (only available to 15 of the 22 local authorities in Wales) to fund its programme of support for community groups and it is not the only example. Officers funded by the Welsh Government’s Communities First programme are also providing support to community groups in certain parts of Wales.

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The following quote is from a local authority that is currently developing plans to do the same. 

“We do refer people to the lottery and promote it but that is it - there is no further help or support for people….We have put in place a new scheme using Convergence funding to get a new person to start mid February which will help push voluntary and community groups into areas which will include lottery funding.”- Local Authority

2.5

Demand for support from People and Places and the availability of alternative sources of funding

“People and Places is on our list (of grants available) but we will look at other grant schemes first because the application process is easier” – Local Authority

The availability of alternative sources of funding and the nature of that funding (i.e. what kind of projects it can support) were identified by stakeholders as a key factor in the number of applications for People and Places being submitted. The availability of funding that was “easier to access” than People and Places - especially for smaller (less expensive) projects - was also a common point of discussion. It is important to be aware that the range of alternative funding that is available varies significantly across Wales; some stakeholders identifying a plethora of alternatives but others (especially those in the less deprived parts of Wales) identifying very few. The following table notes some of the programmes and schemes most commonly identified by stakeholders during discussions.

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Table 2: Examples of schemes identified by stakeholders when discussing the funding available to community groups in their area Scheme Awards for All

Characteristics A BIG small grants scheme to help improve local communities and the lives of people most in need. Awards of between £500 and £5,000 are available. A Welsh Government all Wales capital grant scheme. It is Communities open to community and voluntary organisations and Facilities and provides funding for the provision of facilities within Activities communities and for activities engaging local people which programme (CFAP) will help promote the regeneration of communities. A BIG / Welsh Government Scheme that provides capital Community Asset and revenue funding of up to £800,000 to support the Transfer Scheme transfer of assets, from public to community ownership. Small grants (up to £5,000) for small community and Communities First voluntary organisations in Communities First areas. Trust Fund Capital and revenue grants of between £10,001 to Coalfield £100,000 to voluntary, community and statutory Regeneration Trust organisations in the coalfield communities. funding Landfill Communities Funding for projects that benefit local communities, these include church restoration, community path schemes, Fund sports field development and village hall refurbishment. Project applications must be within 10 miles of a landfill site. Support for charities that help disadvantaged people play a Lloyds TSB fuller role in the community. Foundation European Union funding streams are also available in parts of Wales9. Fifteen of the 22 local authority areas have access to funding from the Convergence programme (please refer to Map 1 on page 14). The rural parts of Wales also have access to funding from the European Union’s Rural Development Programme10. These funding streams are not available directly to community groups, but they can provide funding to schemes that are then available to them. For example, the Convergence programme has funded projects delivered by the Wales Cooperative Centre that provides support for social enterprises. Stakeholders also stressed the fact that most alternative funds (with the notable exception of the European Union programmes which are however not easily available to community groups) were “small-scale” compared to People and Places. One of the features of People and Places that differentiated it from other grant programmes recognised most often by stakeholders is the scale of funding available, both in terms of the amount of funds available to projects (up to £1m) and the length of time over which funding could be provided (3 years).

9

Further details are available here: http://wefo.wales.gov.uk/?lang=en

10

The Rural Development Plan for Wales has a total budget of £795 million over the lifetime of the Plan with £195 million coming from the European Union. Further details of the programme are available here: http://wales.gov.uk/topics/environmentcountryside/farmingandcountryside/ruraldevelopment/?lang=en Prepared for the Big Lottery Fund by Wavehill, November 2010

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Evaluation of the People and Places Programme Annual Report 2010

It is the availability of alternative funding for smaller projects that has led to People and Places being seen by the stakeholders we interviewed as mainly a fund for larger (i.e. expensive) projects. It has also created a situation where a project needs to be of a certain size before it becomes “worthwhile” signposting community groups to the programme and provide the support that applicants are likely to require as they progress through the “complicated”, “long” and “competitive” (all words frequently used during interviews) process for securing funding from People and Places. And, those stakeholders interviewed suggest that this may have influenced the type of applications being submitted to the programme and, hence, the distribution of funding. Some stakeholders also suggested that the history of support in an area will influence the type of projects now seeking funding. For example, if any area has a long history of receiving support, all major projects (e.g. building renovations) may have been undertaken pre People and Places. A history of support may also mean that there are no ‘new’ projects to support and hence less demand for People and Places which does not fund the continuation of existing projects. We will return to this issue later in the report. 2.6

Unmet needs and gaps in the type of support available

The interviews with stakeholders included a discussion on the future of People and Places:  

Are there any ‘needs’ that are currently not being met? Are there any gaps in the type of grant funding available?

A range of issues were discussed many of which were specific to the local area. However, some common issues were identified as discussed below. 2.6.1 Unmet needs 

“The beauty of the scheme is that it’s so broad and I would like to see that continue.” - CVC

During the discussions on ‘needs’ that were currently unmet, very positive comments were made about the broad nature of People and Places which meant that it could “fill the gaps” left by other programmes and schemes which focused on particular issues. Very few projects could currently not be funded by People and Places, in theory, due to the broad nature of the programme. Maintaining this in the future was considered to be very important in terms of meeting needs but also in order to ensure the ‘fit’ of People and Places with the other support that was available to community groups. There was however some discussion on the potential of People and Places to focus on the increasing number of ‘non-statutory’ activities (activities which the public sector were not required by law to undertake or fund) as public spending is restricted over the coming months and years, for example community-based mental health services.

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A number of stakeholders also made reference to the impact the recession and cuts in public sector budgets could have on third sector organisations’ ability to become self sustaining. In a climate where public sector budgets are being reduced, stakeholders perceived that third sector organisations would come under increasing pressure to generate their own alternative sources of income to become self sustaining. However the potential to do that is becoming difficult as the public sector reduces the amount of services that it procures from third parties and public spending on goods and services reduces. Essentially, this could develop into an increasing ‘need’ for funding to sustain organisations as they ‘adapt’ to the current economic climate. 2.6.2 The type of funding available 

“There is very little revenue funding available to the third sector. This is a major problem as capital projects need revenue to run them.”

By far the most common issues raised during discussions about gaps in the type of grant funding available was revenue funding for projects and community groups; funding for general running costs related to a project as opposed to funding for one off (capital) costs. Stakeholders commented that, unlike People and Places, many grant schemes were now restricted to capital funding. This meant that some community groups were struggling to identify sources of revenue funding and a number of existing and proposed projects were therefore becoming unsustainable or unfeasible. Stakeholders also emphasised the lack of funding for ongoing (or existing) projects. People and Places, along with a number of other grant schemes, does not provide funding for the continuation of existing projects on the basis that the programme is designed to provide funding for new, additional services: 

“(People and Places should continue to do) what it’s doing at the moment but with more attention to tried and tested projects in order to help maintain services.” – CVC

“The biggest problem for me is innovation. If a project is successful then they want to continue it and so People and Places should offer funding to sustain long term projects. Part of me thinks it may be better to give smaller amounts to more groups. If a group wants to continue their brilliant work when they apply for funding they have to make it sound like it is a new project!” - CVC

Stakeholders argue that the lack of funding for ongoing projects means that projects – some of which have a track-record for achieving outputs and outcomes – cannot secure funds to continue to provide their service. Stakeholders also highlighted the need to ensure that less experienced (or ‘newer’) community groups had access to funding for their projects. As previously discussed, there was a perception amongst stakeholders (and some evidence to support that view) that, less experienced applicants may find it difficult to successfully apply for funding due to the high demand for People and Places grants.

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Evaluation of the People and Places Programme Annual Report 2010

The need to increase the number of ‘less experienced’ groups accessing People and Places funding does not necessarily fit with the previously discussed need for funding for ongoing projects; an increase in the type of projects that can be funded by People and Places is inevitably going to increase the demand (and therefore competition) for funding. Nevertheless, stakeholders believed that less experienced groups should have greater access to the funds. 

“People and Places should acknowledge funds for new groups that are less established, they should take more risks to allow these new groups to access funds and learn how to run an organisation well.” – CVC

“Emanating all my earlier points I think smaller groups should have access to the programme as opposed to large established groups.” - Local Authority

2.7

Strategic links with local authority areas

“The strategic links of projects with the local area need to be much stronger” Local Authority

All CVCs and Local Authorities interviewed noted that they would like to have a greater working relationship with BIG. Specifically, they would like the opportunity to comment on the applications submitted in terms of their synergy with other activities in the local area and to local strategies. 

“There was one project, I won't name it but it was supported through BIG and we did not know anything about it! At the end of the project there was an expectation from the community to continue the project and of course it was not in any of our plans and also it could have impacted on other work we were doing and had planned to do.” – Local Authority

“People and Places needs to work with local authorities to understand what local objectives are trying to be met and because we do so much community consultation we know what is needed locally.” – Local Authority

The above are typical of comments made by stakeholders on this matter. The comments also resonate with those made in the 2009 Annual Report of the main evaluation which found that the People and Places appraisal process is too dependent on the evidence being presented by the applicants which will inevitably be biased towards supporting the need for the project being presented for funding. During discussions on the strategic relationship between BIG and local stakeholders, interviewees also identified the opportunity to link People and Places funds to European funding (in areas were such funds are available) in order to maximise the impact of various funding streams at a local level.

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2.8

Implications for BIG for discussion

The main conclusion that can be drawn from the discussion above is that there are a number of factors that influence the geographic distribution of People and Places funding. Inevitably, this complicates the matter and makes it difficult to consider the implications for BIG. Whilst it is clearly an oversimplification of a complicated issue, the following is useful as a means of explaining the key point. Imagine that there is the need for the same project in three different parts of Wales. The need for support is the same in three areas: A, B and C. But, an application for People and Places support is only submitted in one of the three scenarios; other factors we have identified influenced whether or not an application was submitted. 

Area A: The need for a project is very clear. But, the potential applicant organisation does not have any prior experience of preparing an application for funding and perceives the process as being very difficult. There is no support available to them and so no application for support is submitted.

Area B: In this area, the potential applicant has some previous experience of submitting grant applications. They also have support to help them prepare an application, they have heard about People and Places and go ahead and submit an application. Their application is approved and the project is delivered.

Area C: The potential applicant in this area also has some previous experience of submitting grant applications. They also have as much support as they may need. However, they decide to submit an application to another grant scheme rather than People and Places as they believe that they have more chance of funding their project via the other scheme. It’s also a shorter application form which requires less information than People and Places. They submit an application and their project is funded and delivered.

Recognising again that it is a simplistic analysis of a complicated issue, we can take a number of points from the above. Although the need for support is the same in each area: 

An application for People and Places support is only submitted in one of the three areas; other factors we have identified influenced whether or not an application was submitted and therefore whether or not People and Places funding was spent in that area. The need for support is not the only influencing factor.

The need for funding has been addressed in two of the three areas, even though a People and Places project has only been delivered in one of the areas. The fact that People and Places funding has not been spent in an area does not therefore mean that there is still a need for support.

The key finding is that there are a range of factors that influence how People and Places funding is distributed. You cannot therefore look at any of these factors in isolation when trying to understand why People and Places grants and funding is distributed across Wales as it is. Prepared for the Big Lottery Fund by Wavehill, November 2010

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At a minimum, the four key factors that have been identified by the evaluation need to be considered. The implication for BIG is that it should not look at any of these factors in isolation when considering whether funding needs to be focused in any geographic area in particular. It is also useful to consider the issues discussed in terms of: a) b)

The barriers faced by applicants when applying for People and Places funding; and The barriers that BIG face when seeking to distribute funds.

Three main ‘barriers’ have been identified and illustrated below (Figure 1). One or all of these barriers could restrict the number of applications being submitted and grants being awarded in any particular part of Wales. The key issue for BIG to consider is what is their role in overcoming these barriers, if any? Figure 1: Identified barriers to accessing and distributing People and Places funding

Does BIG have a role in terms of raising awareness of the programme amongst potential applicants and support providers? The answer is obviously yes. The question is therefore how best to undertake that role. For example, should ‘promotional’ activities be targeted directly at potential applicants or towards support providers? The findings of this research suggest that the latter would probably be most effective. Does BIG have a role in terms of stimulating demand for support from the programme? Probably not; People and Places is a demand led programme. Its broad nature is also liked by stakeholders as it allows flexibility in terms of the type of project that it can support.

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Does BIG have a role in terms of helping potential applicants apply for a grant? The employment of a team of consultants to provide specialist advice and guidance to applicants (Tribal) suggests that BIG believes that it does have such a role. Whether this is the best way to address the issues that have been identified is however unclear; the quality and effectiveness of the support being provided has not been considered as part of the research for this report. What is clear is that, whilst the support available is inconsistent across Wales, there are support structures in place via Local Authorities and CVC’s and programmes such as Communities First that provide similar support (although not bespoke to People and Places). The other main conclusion of the research is the need to build stronger ‘strategic’ links between BIG and local stakeholders. Stakeholders feel that they have a contribution to make in terms of reviewing the ‘fit’ of applications with local strategies and other ongoing developments in the area. The logic for this is clear, projects funded by People and Places should not be delivered in isolation to other local developments. And, as discussed in the 2009 Annual Report, a lack of a local and/or specialist ‘check’ on the quality and accuracy of the evidence presented by applicants to demonstrate the need for their proposed project is a weakness in the current appraisal process. There was significant interest in this research amongst the stakeholders interviewed all of whom were very willing to participate and also very keen to receive feedback on its findings. Stakeholders clearly recognise the value of BIG funding and are keen to have a say on how it is used currently and in the future

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3

The outcomes of People and Places projects

This section of the report discusses the emerging findings from the research that has been undertaken to explore the outcomes of the projects funded by People and Places and considers whether the programme will achieve its three key outcomes: ‘revitalised communities’, ‘improved community relations’ and ‘enhanced local environment, community services and buildings’. Key findings 

There is no set definition of the key outcomes of People and Places. Examples of what activity could be funded under each outcome are given but it is up to the applicant to define these outcomes as they relate to their ‘community’ and their project. From an evaluation perspective, this creates a problem as it leads to a situation where each project is measuring what it achieves in different ways and it is difficult to assess the impact of the programme as a whole.

The evaluation team has therefore developed a set of 9 ‘indicators’ that can be used to assess whether People and Places projects are achieving the programme’s key outcomes:

1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) 7) 8) 9)

Improvements to the skills of members of the community Improvements to the well-being of members of the community Improved relationships between groups within the community Greater and wider participation in community and civic life Improvements to the quality of the local physical environment Improvements to the quality of the local natural environment Improvements to individuals’ pro-environmental behaviour Improvements to the range of local services / facilities Improvements to the quality of local services / facilities

Bearing in mind that the sample to date is relatively small, while the emphasis within projects differs, the evidence gathered to date suggests that the People and Places projects will (as a group) achieve positive outcomes against each of the above indicators and, hence, all three of the programme’s key outcomes. The most obvious impact would however seem to be in terms of improving relationships between groups within the community.

The abilities which respondents identified as having been developed most significantly by their participation in the project were their ability to communicate and mix with other and different people within the community; 98% (48/49) of participants who responded to the survey said that the project had helped their ability to meet other and different people.

The responses also suggest that the People and Places project will create an ongoing benefit within the communities supported specifically in terms of the ‘capacity building’ benefits generated; for example, some of the participants in People and Places projects go on to undertake more and different types of volunteering within their local community.

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3.1

The projects included within the evaluation

As briefly described in the introduction, for this element of the evaluation, in-depth research was undertaken with 8 projects funded by People and Places. Over the next two years, this sample will increase to 24. Therefore, whilst the evidence gathered to date and discussed in this section of the report provides a basis for considering the outcomes of People and Places projects (and therefore the programme), they should only be considered as emerging findings; further evidence will be added to the analysis over the next two years. The following is a very brief introduction to the 8 projects discussed in this report. Table 3: The projects reviewed by the evaluation in 2010

Llanfechain Memorial Hall Redevelopment

The project extended and refurbished the village hall in Llanfechain, Powys in order to provide improved and additional community space in addition to a community shop and post office. Value of People and Places grant: £244,018

Community Play Project (Saltney Ferry, Flintshire)

The project developed a local recreational area to provide a refurbished play area, multi-use games area and garden & seating area. It was designed to provide a facility for informal and organised play opportunities and encourage volunteering in the community. Value of People and Places grant: £125,409

All About Eve

This project provided support for young women living in Cwmafan, South Wales. The young women were supported to organise events, workshops, social events and activities for other young women. The grant funded the salaries of one new and one existing Youth Worker and two new Childcare Workers. It will also fund costs relating to training of staff and volunteers, contract staff, resources and materials, participation costs, activities, trips and crèche resources. Value of People and Places grant: £218,579

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Changing Lifestyles

The project provided support, advice and help for people with learning disabilities in Rhondda Cynon Taff to lead healthier lifestyles. Participants took part in designing accessible information on health, employment, housing and the environment, raising awareness in the wider community of the issues affecting them and accessing training to overcome barriers which may prevent their use of appropriate services and facilities in the community. The grant over three years was for staff costs, support costs, training, publicity and volunteers expenses. Value of People and Places grant: ÂŁ355,667

Tackling Pensioner Poverty through Financial Inclusion Activities

This project provided an accessible financial service for older people. It had two complementary elements: maximisation and the effective management of financial resources. It was designed to address pensioner poverty at an individual level and contribute to the economic prosperity and regeneration of the local community. The grant was used to employ a coordinator and administration assistant, pay for volunteer expenses, promotion, running expenses and overheads. Value of People and Places grant: ÂŁ241,587

Reel Progress

This project built on a scheme previously funded by BIG and provided a cinema club for the 5-11 year old children based in communities in Merthyr Tydfil. The enhancement on the previous project was the introduction of taster sessions in lifestyle issues (e.g. confidence, coping with stress, healthy lifestyles and encouraging learning). The project also extended to providing shows for senior citizens. The grant employed three staff, paying for training and associated running costs. Value of People and Places grant: ÂŁ210,000

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Sarn Helen Community Garden

This project had three distinct phases only one of which was funded by People and Places. Phase one was to create a learning garden in the land surrounding an existing workshop. Phase two then revived disused allotments and created a community garden to supply fresh inexpensive products. Finally, phase three will be a partnership project to build workshops to house the Dulais Valley Partnership's Countryside Warden Scheme and serve as a shop front and workshop for the community garden. The People and Places grant was spent on taking forward Phase two by employing two workers, funding start-up and revenue costs to purchase plants, seeds, fertilizers, tools and equipment, volunteer expenses, marketing and disseminating of the project. Value of People and Places grant: £247,877

Development of the Community Centre at Llanfihangel-arArth

This project was to develop existing and new activities at the School Hall in the village of Llanfihangel-ar-Arth in Ceredigion. The grant was used to create the new part time post of ‘Centre Organiser’ and also covered recruitment costs, activities costs and staff expenses. Value of People and Places grant: £55,700

3.2

The evidence available and gathered

A range of evidence has been provided by the projects and gathered by the evaluation team depending on the nature of the project in question. All projects were asked to provide contact details for participants (or representatives of participants) in their projects for the purpose of a telephone survey. Six of the eight projects provided this information. The number of respondents in each project is shown in Table 4).

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Table 4: The number of participants in the research in 2010, per project Project All About Eve Changing Lifestyles Community Play Project Development of the Community Centre, Llanfihangel-ar-Arth Llanfechain Memorial Hall Re-development Reel Progress Sarn Helen Community Garden Tackling Pensioner Poverty through Financial Inclusion Activities Total number of responses

Number of responses 13 10* 3 8 10 5 15** 0 49

*all via a group discussion **5 via participation in a group discussion

A telephone survey was not the most effective method for collecting evidence from participants in the Changing Lifestyle project – individuals with learning difficulties. In that instance, the research team undertook a discussion group with 10 participants. Similarly, a group discussion was held with 5 participants with learning difficulties who were supported by the Sarn Helen Community Garden project. Another project – Tackling Pensioner Poverty – was unable to provide contact details for participants due to data protection issues; the project had not sought the participants permission to pass their contact details to a third party for evaluation purposes. This raises an important issue: in order for an evaluation of this kind to be effective evaluators must have access to contact details for participants. Accordingly projects should, we would recommend, be required as part of their agreement with BIG to ask beneficiaries and participants in their projects whether they are happy for their contact details to be made available to, and used by, evaluators. Projects were also asked to provide any other information that they had collected that would be helpful to the evaluation including any reports that they had provided to BIG and any independent evaluations of their activities that had been undertaken. Finally, the information about the project that was held by BIG was also reviewed. 3.2.1 Quality of the data and evidence provided The quality of the data and evidence that projects provided to the evaluation varied significantly. Some projects were able to provide a wealth of information; others could only provide very basic monitoring information. It was also apparent during the evaluation that a number of projects had a few difficulties in collecting some of the information that was requested such as contact details for participants.

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BIG should however consider options for improving the quality of information available from projects in the future including:   

3.3

Specifying a minimum amount of information that projects need to collect (an issue discussed further later in this section); Introducing standard monitoring tools; and/or Providing basic training / further guidance to projects on monitoring and evaluation. Understanding the impact of a People and Places project

Feedback from the managers of projects supported by People and Places collected as part of the surveys undertaken in 2008 and 2009 suggests that only speaking to those who benefit directly from a project would not provide a full picture of the impact of the project. To fully understand the impact of projects funded by People and Places, three ‘types’ of impact needs to be considered:   

The impact on the organisation delivering the project (please refer to Section 4); The impact on volunteers involved in the management / delivery of the project; and The impact on the beneficiaries of a project.

The evaluation has sought to explore each of the above. The participants that have been interviewed therefore include those who have been involved in the management and delivery of projects (usually volunteers) as well as individuals who have benefited from the project. 3.4

Developing a common set of indicators that demonstrate that the key outcomes of People and Places are being achieved

As noted in the introduction to this report, the three programme outcomes for People and Places are:   

Key Outcome 1: Revitalised communities; Key Outcome 2: Improved community relations; and Key Outcome 3: Enhanced local environment, community services and buildings

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There is however no set definition of these outcomes within the programme guidance. Examples of what activity could be funded under each outcome are given11 but it is up to the applicant to define these outcomes as they relate to their ‘community’ and their project. This is part of the ‘demand led’ ethos of the Programme. From an evaluation perspective, this creates a problem as it leads to a situation where each project is measuring what it achieves in different ways and it is difficult to assess the ‘cumulative’ impact of the programme as a whole. When developing an impact assessment framework for this element of the evaluation, our first task was therefore to ‘define’ the programme level outcomes or, in other words, to identify a series of indicators that could be used to demonstrate whether or not the programme was achieving those three key outcomes. Nine such indicators were developed and used as a basis for the impact assessment.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

Improvements to the skills and abilities of members of the community Improvements to the well-being of members of the community Improved relationships between groups within the community Greater and wider participation in community and civic life Improvements to the quality of the local physical environment Improvements to the quality of the local natural environment Improvements to individuals’ pro-environmental behaviour Improvements to the range of local services / facilities Improvements to the quality of local services / facilities

The remainder of this section of the report explores the evidence that has been gathered to date against each of the above indicators. It is however worth noting in advance of that discussion that the development of these indicators can provide the basis for developing a more comprehensive monitoring and evaluation framework for any programme developed to succeed People and Places. An outline of such a framework has been included in Appendix 1 of this report. It shows what data could be collected (outputs and results) by projects to demonstrate whether outcomes are being achieved.

11

Pages 7 and 8 of the Guidance Notes – http://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/prog_people_places_guide.pdf

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3.5

Improving the skills and abilities of members of the community

Respondents to the survey were asked whether or not they had developed a series of what could be described as ‘life skills’; skills which will improve the life of the individual in question by enabling a person to12:    

Live or function independently Adopt healthy behaviour Mix with other people and different people Communicate with other people

  

Develop thinking and learning skills Participate in community life Training and employment opportunities

Figure 2: Has the project / your involvement with the project helped to develop your ability to do the following? (options selected in response to survey question)

N=49

12

This list is based on the definition of ‘life skills’ used by BIG’s ‘Life Skills project’ – http://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/prog_life_skills_project

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Figure 2 illustrates the percentage of respondents who answered: yes, their involvement with the project has helped them to develop the ability to do the things listed. The graph also differentiates between those who identified the impact of the project as having been significant (the blue part of the column). None of the respondents said that they had not benefited in anyway; they had all developed their abilities in at least one of the areas listed. The abilities which respondents identified as having been developed most significantly by their participation in the project were their ability to communicate with others and mix with other and different people – important issues in terms of achieving Key Outcome 2 - Improved Community Relations. The abilities identified as having been developed by the least number of respondents was the ability to ‘live / function independently’ and ‘training and employment opportunities’ although, even in those cases, around half of respondents said that the project had developed their ability in those areas - 48% (24/49) and 51% (25/49) respectively. The following are examples of the comments made by participants to explain how the project helped them to develop those skills identified: Live / function independently

Adopt healthy behaviour

 

Mix with other people

Mix with different people

Participate in community life

 

“It's given me a lot more confidence, before I would have needed people to speak on my behalf, since being involved in the project I've spoken in Parliament and it's made me realise that I have my own voice and I should be using it and not others.” (All About Eve). “If they [children] are outside playing then they get more exercise.” (Community Play project) “We've started weekly exercise activities - yoga, aerobics and disco dancing and they have done some healthy eating classes.” (Llanfihangael-ar-Arth Community Centre) “It's benefitted me a lot as before I wouldn't have seen anyone else in the community, now I've got to know a lot more people and I socialise more and go to different events - I have a really good support network at the project.” (Reel Progress) “The fact that I'm on the committee as it's a very Welsh speaking area could be intimidating but it's not at all and I've got to know so many people which I wouldn't have done if not for getting involved in the project.“ (Llanfihangael-ar-Arth Community Centre) “It is a place for children to meet and establish their standing within a community,” (Community Play project) “I would only stick to people that I know, I'd say hiya to other people but was reluctant to talk to someone and have a conversation, it's helped a hell of a lot for me.” (Reel Progress)

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Communicate with other people

Develop thinking and learning skills

Training and employment opportunities

“It's given me a lot more confidence to go up to people and have a conversation as I was really shy when I first started going.” (All About Eve). “We did group work and the workers would sit there and encourage us to come up with our own ideas.” (All About Eve). “I wouldn't have done the courses if it wasn't for the project; I've done Child Protection, Manual Handling, Food Hygiene, First Aid and Child Minding. I really think that they've done a lot for me, if I go for a job or for more volunteering I've got these qualifications.” (Reel Progress)

There was significant discussion on ‘skills’ during the group session with participants of the Changing Lifestyles project. Participants reported that they have developed a range of skills including improving their communication skills, interview skills, computer skills to name but a few. One beneficiary, whose partner also has a learning difficulty, told us "since coming here it has helped me to look after him better". Another member had never used public transport before and is now independently using the bus to come to the project but also to go to other places told us: "this project has changed my life". Communicating with people was mentioned by many beneficiaries as one of the key outcomes they had learnt. The group holds talks with various people including local school, police, NHS staff, etc. raising awareness of the needs of people with learning disabilities. These skills help them in their everyday lives to communicate with their relatives, neighbours and generally within their community. From the comments made, it is apparent that there are five ways in which projects have helped participants to develop their abilities:     

By building the confidence of participants (via various activities) Via interaction with other people / different people / becoming more active within the local community Via practical learning activities (e.g. gardening) Via formal learning (training courses, etc.); and By providing a resource for learning (e.g. venue)

This illustrates the broad range of activities that can be undertaken and which ultimately lead to the same outcome.

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3.5.1 What had the skills and abilities derived from project activities meant to the participants’ lives? A number of respondents to the survey (28/49) were not able to respond to the question – they had (to date) not achieved anything using the skills and abilities developed. Or, at least, they could not identify anything that they had achieved as a result of developing those skills. One possible explanation for this is that the impact of the skills developed has not yet become apparent. It would be interesting to revisit the matter with the same participants in a year to review the matter again. Figure 3 illustrates the responses of those who could answer (21 respondents). The main outcome would seem to be in terms of participants undertaking more volunteering and different types of volunteering. Only a small number of participants interviewed (2/21 of those participating in the survey) perceived that the skills they had developed had led to what could be described as ‘economic outcome’ such as getting a job (one participant in the Reel Progress project and one in the Community Play Area project). Figure 3: Have the new skills that you developed helped you to do any of the following? (options selected in response to survey question)

N=21. Note – respondents could provide a number of responses

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Some participants with learning difficulties who were interviewed during the visit to the Changing Lifestyles project did however highlight that the support had resulted in them gaining employment and /or voluntary work. Some of the beneficiaries have also started college since attending the project with one member proudly telling the evaluation team: "I passed all my exams and I got a silver certificate". A participant of the Sarn Helen Community Garden project told researchers that, as a result of participating in the project, he has now got a voluntary job at a charity shop sorting the books which he really enjoys doing. This was a significant progression for the individual in question. The responses also suggest that the skills and abilities developed will lead to an ongoing benefit within the communities supported by People and Places specifically in terms of the ‘capacity building’ benefits generated by participation in the project; other projects will benefit if participants in People and Places projects go on to undertake more and different types of volunteering. A small group of respondents (7/49) said that they had taken on new roles within the community as a result of their involvement with the People and Places project: Community Play project

“I am now a play scheme supervisor so I oversee 16 sites across Flintshire”

Llanfechain Hall redevelopment

 

“Managing Director of the community shop.” “The shop management and I'm also now the coordinator between the college and the hall for the training courses running and that will be run.” “I was originally just on the committee and now I'm the chairperson and newsletter editor.”

Llanfihangael-arArth Community Centre

Sarn Helen Community Garden

“I've written some bids for funding which have been successful.” “I've volunteered to help with the Sunday school.” “Some new people in the village wanted to do something that would have been detrimental to the village, I was part of the committee that was formed and stopped it. I wouldn't have had the faith in myself before to do that.”

Of the seven respondents who had taken on new roles within the community after their involvement with People and Places, six said that they would not have taken that role prior to their involvement with the project supported by People and Places. Again, this is evidence of an ongoing impact within the communities supported by People and Places.

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This ongoing benefit was also apparent during discussions with participants of the Changing Lifestyle project. For example, a number of the participants now act as "mentor". Occasionally, student nurses attend the project and a self selected member will become their mentor and advise on needs of a person with a learning disability in order to help them understand how they can better help a patient who has a learning disability. Beneficiaries of the All About Eve project had also progressed to become mentors to subsequent beneficiaries of the project. In fact, a group of participants in the project was continuing to meet after the main project came to an end. 3.6

Improving the physical and mental well-being of individuals

The UK Government Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) Foresight Review on ‘Mental Capital and Well-being’ (2008) defines well-being as: ‘A dynamic state, in which the individual is able to develop their potential, work productively and creatively, build strong and positive relationships with others and contribute to their community.’ The evaluation used questions developed by NEF (the New Economics Foundation) for BIG13 to review the impact of People and Places projects on individual’s mental and physical well-being. 3.6.1 Physical well-being Sixty-seven percent (33/49) of respondents to the survey perceived that the People and Places project had led to improvements in their physical well-being. Further, 85% (12/14) of respondents from projects involving children believed that the project had led to improvements in the physical well-being of their children or children for whom they were responsible.

13

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Evaluation of the People and Places Programme Annual Report 2010

All About Eve

  

     

Community Play  Project 

“I'm a lot more educated about healthy options in life and healthy diet and it's taught me how to appreciate my body and my looks and instead of picking out the bad pick out the good - to look at the positives instead of the negatives.” “I think if I wasn't going there I would be mad already, you tend to keep everything bottled in in the refuge as you don't want to bother anyone so I feel like on a Wednesday I can really let it all go, they work with my key worker and we go walking. I'm starting at an athletics group, in the refuge I was just eating too much and now with going to the project I'm eating healthier and want to do more to get fitter.” “They do a lot of dance activity which helps them” “I've got a better perspective on things now, it showed us a different aspects on things like healthy body image and healthy eating.” “We were doing a lot of dancing which I have kept up and the group I was hanging around with before started smoking and I think I would have too but I've made new friends at the project.” “Helped me to socialise more so I'm getting out more.” “I feel much better about myself now, before I felt low and used to get tired all the time and want to go places in the car, now I'll walk to my nans and the shops.” “It's made me think healthier and made me fitter with the dancing and walking we were doing.” “I joined a football team one of my new friends I met told me about which I wouldn't have done before and we were doing dancing with the project.” “By getting out more as I used to keep myself to myself this got us out and gave me the confidence to get out more.” “It's improved with the dancing we were doing there and it's made me feel better about myself.”

“Kids are out playing and are being encouraged to be outside and play” “The children are using the Cargo nets and attend the play schemes so they do all sorts of different activities that improve their physical well-being. The play scheme gives them a structure and something to do which stops them getting bored and then fighting with their siblings!” “You can see the children changing, you can see them getting fitter week after week”

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Development of the Community Centre, Llanfihangel-arArth

    

Llanfechain  Memorial Hall Redevelopment

Reel Progress

  

“I'm actually disabled and it makes me get out the house and do what I have to do.” “I attended the weekly keep fit sessions.” “Those who've been involved in the yoga courses and other physical activities - an improvement in their physical condition and in their mental health.” “It's kept us as a community, we retained the school building and we're now a happier community.” “Just in getting me out of the house a few times a week to attend different things.”

“It will do as I'm trying to organise a yoga group in the hall.”

“It gives us a different outlook to try different things, improving your confidence to be able to do things yourself now.” “It's given me a better emphasis on life.” “[It has helped me] both physically and mentally as I had a bad experience 3 years ago and wouldn't go out only to volunteer so if it wasn't for the volunteering I would have stayed in the house and physically because I'm always on the go and eating healthier.” “I understand people more, have learnt to communicate better, it gets me out of the house and I walk a lot more, it's physically and mentally beneficial to me.”

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Sarn Helen Community Garden

  

 

  

“Instead of just sitting around it got us outside doing quite physical work - digging, planting, weeding and stuff.” “The job I do here is physical so I get more exercise.” “It's a physical job I'm doing every day - moving things, weeding, digging etc you're always active. My fitness has improved, I'm pretty lean and I feel younger as I'm using all my muscles.” “It is not easy for the clients to get exercise so coming here lets them get as much or as little as they want.” “Not only mine but a lot of people in the community, it was a mining community with a lot of elderly and infirm living here and the service the project provides to the community is amazing, they deliver fresh produce or compost etc to people's doors and into your potting shed if it's something heavy - nothing is too much trouble.” “Obviously as its exercise, she's doing something physical and is out working in the fresh air.” “Because you learn about healthy eating and when getting exercise being outside planting, digging and stuff.” “We're working - digging, shovelling and stuff.”

As can be seen from the quotes noted above, during discussions with the evaluation team, respondents identified two things that had led to the improvement:  

greater participation in physical activity (via the development of a facility – e.g. a play park - or provision of a service – e.g. a keep fit class at a facility ); and a change in attitude (i.e. more healthy behaviour on their part).

Again, this shows that different approaches are being used within People and Places to achieve the same outcome. 3.6.2 Mental well-being Ninety-two percent (45/49) of respondents to the survey felt that the project had improved how satisfied they felt with life, 65% (32/49) identifying the change as a result of the project as significant.

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All About Eve

  

      

Community Play  Project  

“I do feel a lot happier now because I have a lot more friends than I had before, I'm a lot more confident and I've learnt ways to keep myself safe regarding relationships, etc.” “They've helped me with budgeting my money, helped with my college application and with loads of other things I've got to sort out. It's helped with knowing if the rest of my week is boring I've got Wednesday to look forward to, it's made my life more structured and it's helped knowing I can confide in them.” “Now they are involved in something they feel like they actually have a community” “I feel I have got more of a future now, I've finished school and I'm looking forward to going to college.” “The helpers are always there if we wanted to talk or get advice or help with any issues, we could actually have a voice there whereas in school we would have sat back in the class and done and said nothing, there we felt like we were listened to.” “It's made me think about more positive things rather than negative things and thoughts and I've made new friends.” “It's helped me to go out and socialise more as I wasn't going out much before.” “I always used to put myself down, they've shown me not to and to think of the positives and not dwell on the negatives.” “It has changed me and I do feel satisfied with my life as I had people to talk to, to make myself feel better” “It's made me more able to interact with people and speak to people, it's given me more confidence and made me communicate more.” “Because I'm more confident now.” “It was having that extra bit of help and having someone to talk to, I used to look forward to going every week and so did my son.”

“Massively - by the nature of the project it is an escape for the children so it definitely makes them more satisfied with their lives” “I know where my children are when they are playing” “This is where they enjoy themselves the most - being out in the fresh air”

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Development of the Community Centre, Llanfihangel-arArth

 

  

 

“It was very rewarding and positive - you could actually see the results and the difference it has made to the community.” “It’s nice to have it there and that people are interested enough to do things that we can enjoy, when the school closed there was nothing there at all so everyone was so pleased that it was going to carry on. With the involvement my husband and I have had it's enabled us to become more involved in the community and we've got to know more people than we would have done otherwise.” “Social integration enabling people to integrate and socialise - there is now something for them to do in the hall, something for them to come to no matter what their age or physical ability and it has enabled me to become even more involved with community life meeting people I wouldn't have met otherwise.” “The funding has improved the village community - it's enabled us to gel as a community and care for each other.” “I know it has helped a lot of other people as we get feedback and they are very happy asking if they can have classes again that they've attended.” “Because they are having a chance to take part in the Eistedfodds and for the last 3 years we have made it on to the actual stage it is improving their confidence and increasing the self esteem.” “Even though I've not been as involved as I would have been if my husband was still alive the involvement I've had has kept me focused and motivated.” “Just by being involved in something where I can see more people and that gets me out of the house”.

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Llanfechain  Memorial Hall Redevelopment  

    

“By involvement through its various phases and being involved with the success of the hall itself and the shop particularly it's given me a lot of personal satisfaction.” “We've all got a sense of achievement and we've all developed our communication skills.” “It’s made us closer to the people living in the village made a lot of friends and we are part of the decision making process of what goes on in the village and we've implemented services as we have a community shop run by volunteers.” “I feel pretty satisfied with my life anyway but it would have changed the way a lot of people in the village feel about theirs as they are now able to access more courses and classes.” “It's an improvement in the facilities and for everyone involved it's given them a real sense of achievement.” “I think it's got me out of the house more which is a good thing.” “It's always been a very happy community and this has all helped us do more things in the hall.” “I'm glad for the sake of other people; it's an asset to other people and the whole community.” “It's more pleasurable to go to the hall since the work's been done and we have something to look forward to going to now - something to go out for.”

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Reel Progress

 

“I feel more confident now handling things and can talk to people on a different level now.” “It gives you a totally different outlook on life in general watching all the different films. It's given me a great confidence boost as now I'm able to put things on and off for the tenants.” “It gives fulfilment as a lot of us are just sat in our bungalows which is quite isolating, it's been a great help it's given me hobbies as we were doing arts and crafts, we can share our problems which helps if you're worrying about something and it helps us to socialise.” “Because I wouldn't have done what I've done in the last 3 years, I would never have done this course, Pam said I was meant to work with children and this now is ideal as I'm my own boss and I know I do a good job. It's given me self confidence and the ability to socialise more, I've made friends with other child minders and go to the play group and I would never have before. My life has been enriched over the last few years and financially it will benefit us as a family, all my life is enriched now.” “Without the project people wouldn't bother, we are getting our children to mix and there is huge satisfaction for people to see our children doing it, it uplifts the whole community. The drug problem has gone, there are not as many kids hanging round on streets and it's made our place a safer place to be. I have even looked into fostering since becoming involved.”

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Sarn Helen Community Garden

  

     

“We've met loads of nice people and we've had fun planting and growing our own stuff and it was fun.” “I do not feel as much of a "bum" anymore” “My physical wellbeing is much better, my mental wellbeing and my education skills have improved tenfold. I would never have had the chance to do all this if it hadn't been for the project, everyone should have the knowledge about healthy eating and awareness.” “Yes in that the area you live in is better now and has more to offer, with this it's nice to see something new and good starting and they employ some people who I know haven't worked for a long time so it's getting them back into work.” “It gives them something to do, a reason to get up.” “I can do more in the garden than I could before, I have learnt a lot from going to the project.” “Immensely, it's given me my life back.” “We got to meet new people in the community and learn different skills.” “I'm working; it's helped me get money and stopped me being on the streets in the days.” “It helped my daughter to meet new people and gave her the confidence to communicate better with them and to approach them to talk to.”

Mental well-being was a key outcome of the Changing Lifestyles project. Many of the participants have suffered bullying or unpleasant behaviour from the community at different stages in their life and the project has tried to encourage the beneficiaries to have a voice and understand what their human rights are as well as the responsibilities that go with having those rights. One member told a researcher: 

"I used to be bullied all the time where I live, but now I am able to stand up for myself". Another member said " I don't tell people anymore that I have a disability, why should I?"

The project is clearly giving those it supports the confidence and communication skills to assert their personalities and improve their day to day life which in turn improves their overall mental well-being. When asked how the project has ‘changed them’ we received a number of comments:    

"My partner thinks I am much happier since I have been coming here", "This project has given me a power inside", "Friendship is what this project has given me", "Before I came here, things used to really get to me but now I can let it go over my head, I used to cry all the time but I know now that I am special and I am much calmer".

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As shown in Figure 4, respondents to the survey also stated that People and Places projects had a positive impact on their personal feelings with 85% (40/47) reporting that their participation in the project had helped them to feel better about themselves and be more optimistic about the future. Furthermore, 75% (35/47) believed that the project had helped them deal with problems better and 79% (37/47) said it had helped them think more clearly. Figure 4: The project has helped me to… (how respondents answered)

N= 47

When asked how these outcomes had been generated, respondents once again identified a mix of what could be described as ‘formal’ and ‘informal’ learning processes:     3.7

By developing the improved life skills (as discussed previously) From greater social integration From formal learning / practical skills development Via the provision of a facility which has brought people together Improving relationships and greater participation in the community

The impact of participants’ ‘skills’ to mix with others and with different people has already been discussed. Again, the key issue is whether these skills have led to improving relationships within the community and greater participation in the community. And, once again, the results (so far) are very positive.

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Figure 5 illustrates participants’ responses when asked to agree or disagree with a series of statements with regards to their relationships and participation in the local community:     

94% agreed that the project had helped them to feel like they belong to something they would call a community; 94% agreed that the project had helped them make new friends in the area; 86% agreed that the project had helped them make better friends in the local area; 88% agreed that the project had helped them make friends with people they never thought they would ever be friends with; and 88% agreed that they had become more active within the community due to the project.

Figure 5: The project has helped me to… (options selected by respondents)

N= 49

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The research also explored whether the projects had a positive impact on the level of crime and anti-social behaviour in the neighbourhood. Overall, the positive impact of the projects was less clear to respondents although 35% (17/49) identified a reduction in crime and anti-social behaviour due to the project; 43% (21/49) did not believe that the project had such an impact and 20% (10/47) could not answer the question. The following comments were made by participants in other projects who identified a positive impact:

All About Eve

 

    

“It's keeping people off the street by giving them something to do and something to focus on.” “I think so as it's influenced young kids to understand that they don't have to hang on the streets and do bad things that there's somewhere to go where they can interact with other kids and have people to talk to if they want to talk.” “Me and my friends were always out on the streets causing trouble and it's taught us about anti-social behaviour and the affect it has on people and communities.” “There's a few boys who do vandalise stuff but since people from the project talked to them it has calmed them down.” “It stopped the girls who were there from joining gangs giving them a more positive way to think.” “It showed us all violence on the streets and what can happen and we did a lot of work on anti social behaviour and the effects it has on communities.” “It has taught us about it but there are other teenagers here who do it, we spent weeks doing some art work and then when it was put up it was wrecked and we were gutted - it's taught us what some people can do and what can happen to them or us if we do it.” “Some of the girls were nicer than I thought they would be and it's made me feel safer. We also did a project on antisocial behaviour and how it affects people in the community.” “We were doing a dance about anti-social behaviour and we learnt about it and about how it affects people in communities.”

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The Community Play Project

  

Sarn Helen Community Project

 

Reel Progress

“From our point of view it is more of a problem with the older lads but with younger ones it has reduced especially with the siblings of some of these older lads.” “The older children who were the main culprits now have somewhere where they can play football, etc” “We know where the children are when they are at the park which means they are not elsewhere doing things that they shouldn't be doing.”

"We have no security here (the garden), you would think that we would get theft etc but we have no problems at all. Because the local community like coming here themselves we have plenty of eyes keeping watch". “The community will have been drawn quite closely together as a lot of them are involved with the garden and will respect it as they police it themselves.” “It's given the children and young people who had no prospect of employment a focus, something to aim for and a lot of people who have gone on from the garden project have gained skills to go on to do other things. It's stopped the mischief as the youngsters had nothing to do and where you would see a lot of people hanging around you don't now, now if you see them they are focused on doing something for the community.” “I think so because it got lots of different children our age helping in the community and stuff.”

“The shop Pam [the project manager] runs - you couldn't walk up there because of all the kids and the drugs you'd feel very intimidated. Pam has taken a lot of the children under her wing and it's very much a safer place to walk. You'll always have the kids congregating but a lot of the activities are free and they are taking part in activities that they wouldn't have otherwise been able to. Pam gives them hope and tells them that they are worthy as a lot of them don't feel worthy and are never told otherwise.” “There's not so much car pinching, less drugs, less violence, less fighting, the children are involved in everything from making films - directing and everything else to deciding where they want to go on trips and what courses they want to do.”

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Two themes are common within the comments: 

The project has provided those responsible for crime / anti-social behaviour with an alternative activity (as one participant put it: “[the project has] taken them off the streets”); and

The project has led to those responsible for crime / anti-social behaviour taking ‘ownership’ for something within the local community which has led to the positive impact (“they are involved with the garden”).

Essentially, the projects that identify a positive impact have been able to engage with those who were the cause of the problem. In fact, this would seem to be the key to achieving any of the outcomes discussed to date. 3.8

Improvements to the quality of the local environment and individuals attitude and behaviour towards the environment

The number of participants who responded to questions relating to the environmental benefit of their project was lower than for other questions (17 vs. 49) due to the fact that not all projects within the sample were relevant / were perceived by the participants to be generating an environmental benefit:   

Community Play Project (3 responses) Llanfechain Memorial Hall Re-development (7 responses) Sarn Helen Community Garden (7 responses)

When asked whether their project had improved the local physical environment, 76% (13/17) believed that it had 65% (11/17) describing the change as significant. No respondents said that they did not believe that there had been an improvement but 23% (4/17) were unsure if there had been – three of whom were participants in the Sarn Helen Community Garden projects. Respondents who identified a positive change gave the following explanations:

The Community Play Project

  

“It [the park] is the most well looked after… at other sites there is broken glass, syringes etc. but there is so much respect for this park from the community” “Before it was really just an empty space, there was nothing here for them” “The park looks great and is inviting”

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Sarn Helen Community Project

   

Llanfechain Memorial Hall

     

“Before the project started it was just waste ground and it's been totally transformed into a big area of community garden.” “It was originally a piece of waste land that has been transformed into a working community garden and allotments for anyone to go and enjoy.” “It was just nothing before.” “Whilst it's not only delivering vegetables to the community you can get any of your garden needs there so while that's there people who didn't have the interest before who couldn't get to say B&Q get on the phone explain their needs and they're delivered - bedding plants etc whatever's needed.”

“Because the existing facility was tired and dismal now it's vibrant looking and with attractive landscaping, it's something to be proud of.” “It was a bit of an eyesore before and it now looks very attractive and we're having a butterfly garden there.” “It looked an eyesore before so the actual site is much better than it was.” “The hall was an eyesore before all the work was done so it's made a vast improvement and to the land around it.” “It's a more modern building and it's more pleasing to the eye.” “We've got flower beds now and the hall looks very very smart, it's the hub of the village.”

Again, there is a suggestion from the comments of a participant of the Community Play project that the key to achieving the outcome has been the engagement of local people who subsequently have greater “respect” for the facility that has been developed. Fourteen participants were able to respond when asked whether their project had improved the local natural environment – 3 from the Community Play Project, 6 from the Llanfechain Memorial Hall Re-development and 5 from the Sarn Helen Community Garden project – 57% (9/14) identifying a significant positive impact with the remainder being unsure including all three respondents from the Community Play project.

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Sarn Helen Community Project

  

Llanfechain Memorial Hall

 

 

“It's attracted a lot of wildlife here.” “It had been allotments many, many years ago but had gone back to waste land and it looks a treat now, they've done an excellent job.” “It was just wasteland before”

“Because of the landscaping and thoughtful use of material for the project.” “We've improved the physical appearance of the hall and the surroundings of the hall are now landscaped which they never were before and although we've got the carpark it's a green one and still looks like a field and with the tables and chairs it's a nice environment for people to sit in which we didn't have before.” “The car park is a green car park and is also going to be a butterfly conservation area and the gardening club have taken on the landscaping of the area around the hall so it is going to look beautiful.” “The surrounding area's definitely better now.” “The village hall looks so nice and people gave money for the flowers we've planted in the hall grounds.”

Respondents were then asked a number of questions to explore whether the improvement to the local natural environment had changed their personal attitude and behaviour relating to the local environment. Whilst it is important to be aware that the sample is small, the results were mixed:

64% (9/14) believed that the project had changed the way they felt about the area

 

      

“It just makes the area look better now the park is done.” “There is a pride now in how the centre of the village looks - we hear this not just from the community but from other people who are coming in from outside the village to use the facilities and other agencies who comment.” “It's been quite impressive the way people have all pulled together, there's more of a sense of community now.” “It's changed that part of the village for the better.” “Now it's tidy it looks better and car parking's better.” “People have become more friendly as they've all got to know each other better and been working towards the same goal.” “I've got a pride in the area now as I'm involved in the garden.” “Visually it looks so much better now.” “It is great to see so much planting”

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36% (5/14) believed  that the project had improved their  attitude towards the local environment

 

“This park is 100% better - the old park had glass and all sorts in it” “[I am] more aware of people’s needs I think mostly because of the shop more than anything. I knew it was difficult for the older people to sustain their life in the village when you get an old lady coming down in a wheelchair who’s not independently shopped for 5 years… it’s somewhere for people to aim for if they go for a walk. It’s been great for the kids in the village as they were so excited about having a shop in the village they’d come over once they’d finish school and the mums would sit and have a coffee - so it’s been absolutely fantastic.” “I'm aware of what's available out there and if we have a problem I'm aware of the people in the local community who can help.” “A lot, I never gave a thought to the environment before, we've got a little mini growing horticultural centre - every community should have something like this to give them the chance to go down the right path with healthy eating.” “It is nicer to have something that can be used and to grow things than just wasteland which was not doing anything.”

14% (2/14) said that  “I've become more environmentally aware and asked the project had people for advice, we now have solar panels for heating changed their the water and we have a system for our waste disposal.” behaviour relating  “We now grow our own fruit and veg at home” to the environments All those who participated in a group discussions with participants in the Sarn Helen Community Garden project said that they recycle regularly at home and since they have been made aware of the importance they now do it as a matter of course.

As the comments noted above illustrated, respondents interpreted the question in different ways – especially the question relating to their ‘attitude’ to the local environment. However, although the sample is small, there is some evidence to suggest that local environmental benefits generated by People and Places projects can have a positive knock on impact on those individuals involved.

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3.9

Enhancing community services and buildings

It is arguable whether enhancing a community service or a building is an outcome in itself. Rather, it is an output which is achieved with a view to generating a subsequent outcome. For example, the renovation of a village hall will lead to an increase in the number of social opportunities within the community. This will then lead to some of the ‘life skills’ outcomes discussed previously. However, enhancing community services and buildings is a key outcome of People and Places. The evaluation therefore explored whether participants in the relevant projects being considered perceived that the project had led to (a) improvements in the range of services available locally and/or (b) improvements in the quality of the services available locally. Respondents from 5 relevant projects participated in this element of the research in 2010; a sample of 24:     

Community Play Project (2 responses) Llanfihangel-ar-Arth Community Centre (7 responses) Llanfechain Memorial Hall (6 responses) Reel Progress (2 responses) Sarn Helen Community Garden (7 responses)

3.9.1 The range of services available Sixty seven percent (16/24) of respondents believed that their project had improved the range of services available to them locally, 54% (13/24) identifying the improvement as being significant: The following comments were made by respondents who identified a positive change:

Community Play Project

 

Llanfihangel-ar-Arth Community Centre

 

“For kids and adults - it is a place for families to go and facilitate play” “There is nothing else for the children”

“With the open days we had it increased the whole range of services people could access on their doorstep - Welsh, IT classes, keep fit, aerobics, history club etc.” “It is a social centre, it's a place for providing entertainment and for people to learn new skills, exercise and socialise.”

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Llanfechain Memorial Hall

 

“The overall project, the main part the hall has become a desirable venue for dancing classes, we've now got a small meeting room which is an attractive venue for Welsh classes, flower arranging classes etc, then the shop itself has a cafe area outside where for example mums when they drop their children off can have a cuppa and a chat, we have newspapers in the village now we didn't have them before and also it's a drop off point if people have deliveries when they're out at work. We've got funding for IT facilities - fax etc, we have WiFi facilities, we've had a lap top off someone so people can use our equipment if they want to. As part of the project we had to have a far larger carpark so other people have use of it - the school and the church and we're adjacent to the football field so it's used by the footballers - it's saved people parking on the street so the area itself is safer.” “Definitely, obviously the shop is the big one as we had no shop facility before and we've now got a little cafe in the hall, it's brought life into the centre of the village, brought a focal point to the village and we're getting tourists in too as we've got a sign up and they can sit and have their lunch here. The Post Office was previously in the hall so that facility has been improved also, we may have lost the Post Office here if we hadn't have got the funding.” “Definitely with the community shop as there wasn't a shop here before and we're in an isolated rural area with a poor bus service so the shop is much needed.” “To a lot more of the community definitely as a lot of things come to the hall now classes etc and with the shop which is a great asset to the village and much needed.” “There are more things going on in the hall than there ever were before courses, dance classes, Welsh lessons etc, we now have a shop and lots of people now go to the hall when it's a community council meeting.” “The community shop is very active, at the moment we're running a soccer competition next to the hall and they're opening the shop in the evenings which provides a useful service.”

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Reel Progress

Sarn Helen Community Garden

“When we first started we had the cinema club then we got the craft, the healthy food and the swimming. The majority of people here haven't much money so the fact that kids and young people are able to do these kinds of activities and go on trips out is allowing them to do things they wouldn't otherwise have the chance to do.” “It started with one or two things like swimming, now we do cookery and try to get people involved in everything. Anything that we can help them with even having someone to talk to when they haven't got anyone else my door is open 24 hours a day and I've had lads knocking wanting help to get off drugs. It gives you a fulfilment in life.”

“People are coming up here to get fresh fruit and vegetables and while they're up here we always encourage them to go over to the Dove where there's the education centre and cafe. It's enabled local people to learn about organic growing and get fresh veg. I think because they've got all sorts of things going on it's growing and growing all the time and word is spreading people use it and respect it. I think the garden will go from strength to strength with the new restaurant / cafe that's being built there as they'll be using all the fresh veg that's been grown.” “As an off shoot there is now Dulais Valley Garden Care they come around to your garden clean them up, cut hedges etc for people who are unable to or haven't the time.” “There's the shop there and the mobile so people can phone and get fresh fruit and veg delivered or go and pick their own veg or go and volunteer and have somewhere to socialise.”

The least positive set of respondents were those involved with the Llanfihangel-arArth Community Centre, five of the seven respondents being unsure as to whether the range of local services had been improved although it is important to stress that none of the respondents answered ‘no’ when asked the question. The likely reason for this was that the project in question was to employ an officer to manage the facility rather than actually renovate a facility. In the latter, the impact on the range of services would seem to be clearer to participants.

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3.9.2 The quality of local services Less participants responded when asked whether they believed the quality of local services had been improved by the project (14) suggesting that respondents found it more difficult to make a judgement on this issue. In particular, respondents from two projects would seem to have found it difficult to respond - Llanfihangel-ar-Arth Community Centre (2 responses compared to 7 for the previous question) and Sarn Helen Community Garden (4 responses compared to 7) possibly due to the fact that they did not link the project to the provision of what they would understand to be ‘a service’. Of those who did respond, 64% (9/14) believed that the quality of local services had been improved, 53% (8/14) describing the improvement as significant. As previously, those who gave a positive response where asked to explain their answer:

Community Play Project

“This community now has a park, a community house, a Sunday school - all through one local resident!”

Llanfihangel-ar-Arth Community Centre

“In terms of educationally and socially yes - by making services more accessible instead of people travelling on a 20 mile trip they can access them on their doorstep also the social aspect the clubs bring people together.” “There was nothing here previously - it's become a venue for children's parties.”

Llanfechain Memorial Hall

 

“Because it's put in services that either weren't available or had ceased to be available and it's continuing to attract services that people had to go away to access.” “Very good because of the shop, we have a lot of elderly people in the village which I obviously knew but didn't realise how much of a difference the shop would make to their lives, when it opened one old lady came down in her wheelchair who hadn't been able to shop independently for 5 years. People are able to socialise there, it's a focal point and the children were so excited when it opened as they could come after school and their mums could sit and have a cuppa, children are able to come to the shop on their own obviously if they're old enough giving them a bit of independence and it's teaching them skills.” “With having a community shop and having a number of rooms in the hall now it allows more than one organisation to run from there at the same time.”

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Reel Progress

“While we've still got the funding the services are excellent and we've even paid out of our own pocket to take children on trips.”

Sarn Helen Community Garden

“Before we set up this project the shops in the village sold sub standard fruit and veg and the nearest Tesco is 12 miles away so people coming up here can get veg that's just been either dug or picked - you can't get fresher than that. We have the food co-op and the older people who maybe can't get out can get fresh produce delivered to their doorstep.” “It's only the milkman and the postman that actually delivery round here now so getting fresh produce from the garden is a godsend.”

3.10

Implications for BIG for discussion

Recognising that the sample is currently relatively small and whilst the emphasis within projects differs, the evidence gathered to date suggests that the People & Places projects will (as a group) achieve positive outcomes against each of the indicators that have been developed. BIG should also consider the potential to introduce a more robust monitoring and evaluation framework and further support for projects in their monitoring and evaluation activities as part of any successor to People and Places. This could be based on the indicators and the outline framework developed by this evaluation.

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4

The legacy of the projects on delivery organisations

Interviews were undertaken with those responsible for the management of all 8 of the projects under review in 2010 to discuss the impact of People and Places projects on their organisation – positive and negative.

Key findings 

Delivering a People and Places project generates a range of benefits for the organisation in question in the short and long-term including for example by increasing their capacity and improving their financial stability. There are also less obvious benefits such as improving management procedures within the organisation.

Every positive impact can however ultimately lead to a negative impact when People and Places support is withdrawn. For example, staff being made redundant and a significant funding stream being lost.

Organisations should plan for these negative impacts and may need support to do so.

4.1

Short and longer-term positive impacts

A range of positive impacts were identified during the interviews for organisations delivering People and Places projects. Being able to access funding is obviously beneficial in terms of increasing an organisation’s capacity – enhancing the services that it can provide and increasing the number of staff within an organisation for example. Such benefits are very obvious and easy to see. Additional finance will also clearly improve the financial position of an organisation. These benefits are however short-term in that they will only be apparent during the lifetime of the People and Places project. The interviews did however also identify a number of longer-term benefits. As a result of the ‘growth’ in their organisation due to People and Places funding, organisations had introduced new processes and procedures which would improve their organisation. For example, they had improved the systems they used to manage their staff (because they had more of them) and/or to manage their finance (because they had more money). Those processes and procedures would remain in place after People and Places funding came to an end. They are, in other words, a positive legacy of running a BIG project. It was more unclear whether other benefits were sustainable over the longer term. For example, project managers said that external perceptions of their organisations had changed due to the fact that they had secured funding from BIG; the ‘funded by the Big Lottery Fund’ badge was almost seen as a quality assurance badge. Linked to this is the fact that project managers reported that it was easier to establish and develop links with partner organisations as a result of accessing funding from BIG: “they take us more seriously than they used to”. Prepared for the Big Lottery Fund by Wavehill, November 2010

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Potentially, these benefits will be long-term although the perceptions may change once People and Places funding has been ‘lost’ as discussed below. 4.2

The implications of funding coming to an end

During discussions, project managers identified the impact the end of People and Places funding had on their organisation, many of which were to a large extent the ‘counter-effect’ of the positive impacts discussed above as illustrated by the following table. Positive impact Negative impact An increase in the level and scale of The impact of having to scale back the support provided by the organisation services being provided on the organisation (as well as on those it supports) Increase in the number of staff employed Having to decrease the number of staff by the organisation employed and the impact of this on the morale of the organisation as a whole Provides an additional funding stream for Other potential funders reallocate their the organisation support on the basis that the organisation is now able to attract funding from another source. Once BIG funding is no longer available, alternative funding is not available Improving the external perception of the The negative impact of cutting back on organisation the services provided on the external perception of the organisation The extent of the impact will, of course, vary from project to project. For one project interviewed the end of the project had led to all of the negative impacts noted above and the project manager described a situation which had almost led to the organisation ceasing to exist. The impact will clearly not be as significant in all cases. It will also clearly be less in the case of a project which is largely to renovate a facility and doesn’t involve employing staff or introducing a new service. It also depends on whether or not a project has an exit strategy in place; many of the negative impacts referred to above will not be apparent if an organisation has been able to secure alternative funding for its activities. However, even in those cases, the organisation is likely to have to face those negative impacts at some point in the future. The key issue is therefore that organisations delivering projects need to be aware of the potential impact it can have on their organisation and plan for that eventuality.

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4.3

Implications for BIG for discussion

There is support for organisations applying to the People and Places programme on the key stages of the application process once they progress through the outline proposal form stage. However, what support is available to organisations when their People and Places funding is coming to an end? The answer would seem to be very little and we would therefore recommend that BIG consider whether it has a role in helping the organisations delivering People and Places projects become aware of the potential negative impacts on their organisation when funding comes to an end and developing a strategy to minimise those risks. BIG should also consider how it can encourage projects to develop effective exit strategies.

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5

Key findings and recommendations

This final section of the report draws together the key findings of the 2010 Annual Report and sets out a number of recommendations that are being made based on those findings. 5.1

The geographic distribution of funding

The evaluation has found that the number of People and Places grants awarded to an area is influenced by the following factors:    

The need for grant funding in the area The alternative funding that is available for projects in the area The capacity of local organisations – particularly their ability to apply for grant funding The availability of advice and support to potential applicants

It is useful to consider the factors identified as barriers faced by applicants when applying for funding and by BIG when seeking to distribute funds:   

Awareness and understanding of the People and Places programme amongst potential applicants and those who provide advice and support to potential applicants; The need for support in an area (are there projects or potential projects in the area that People and Places can fund?) and the availability of alternative sources of grant funding; and The capacity of potential applicants to submit an application that meets the criteria and necessary standards.

Recommendation BIG should consider what, if any, role it has in assisting applicants to overcome barriers when applying for People and Places funding. BIG should also discuss these matters with its key partners in Wales including the Welsh Government and the WCVA. 5.2

The outcomes of the programme

Recognising that the sample is currently relatively small, whilst the emphasis within projects differs, the evidence gathered to date suggests that the People and Places projects will (as a group) achieve positive outcomes against each of the indicators that have been developed. However, the amount and quality of monitoring and evaluation data that projects could provide to the evaluation team varied significantly. The outline impact assessment framework provides a potential structure for collecting data from projects that will improve the evidence base upon which the impact of any programme developed as a successor to People and Places is measured.

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Recommendation BIG should consider the potential to introduce a more robust monitoring and evaluation framework and further support for projects in order to improve their monitoring and evaluation activities as part of any successor to People and Places. This could be based on the indicators and the outline framework developed by this evaluation. 5.3

The legacy of People and Places funding on delivery organisations

Interviews with those managing People and Places projects has found that delivering a People and Places project generates a range of benefits for the delivery organisation in the short and long-term. However, the evaluation also found that projects need to plan for how they are going to deal with the problems that they could face when the People and Places funding ends. For example, staff may be made redundant. Feedback from the projects interviewed shows that this can have a serious impact on an organisation. Recommendation BIG should stress to organisations delivering projects the need for a fully developed exit strategy which takes into account all the possible implications of People and Places funding coming to an end. BIG should also consider whether it has a role in helping the organisations delivering People and Places projects to develop strategies that minimise the potential negative impacts that can occur when projects / funding streams come to an end. 5.4

Closing comments

The evaluation has made excellent progress in terms of assessing the outcomes of projects supported by the People and Places programme (and hence the outcomes of the programme as a whole) in 2010. Importantly, the evaluation has also been able to begin to assess the outcomes of the projects from the perspective of participants in the projects. The findings to date have also been very positive. The evaluation will build upon this in 2011 by increasing the number of people who contribute to the evaluation and exploring those key issues discussed in this report further.

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Appendix 1: Outline monitoring and evaluation framework As discussed in the main report, the evaluation has found that, whilst a very broad range of projects have been supported by People and Places, they are perceived (by project managers) to be achieving a number of common outcomes – effectively indicators of the key programme outcomes. The impact assessment framework is based on those indicators.

The framework is also based on a project logic chain; the concept that there is a systematic link between the key elements of a project as illustrated by the graphic above. For each of the indicators, the framework notes the ‘output’ and ‘results’ that can be collected which will demonstrate that the outcome in question has been achieved. When reading the framework, it will become apparent that the programme outcomes for People and Places are not mutually exclusive. The outcome of ‘enhanced local environment, community services and buildings’ (outcome 3) will, using the logic chain approach, lead to ‘improved community relations’ (outcome 2). Accordingly, there is some overlap within the framework.

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Outcome 1: Revitalised communities Outcome Improved the skills of members of the community

Outputs

Result

 

  

Activities to improve the skills of participants undertaken (other than training) Training courses provided People participating in training / other activities Jobs / placements created (directly by the project)

 

Improved well-being of members of the community

Well-being activities / events provided o Physical o Mental health Individuals participating in well-being activities / events o Physical o Mental health

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People gaining qualifications The type of qualifications being gained Individuals perceiving that their ‘practical’ skills have improved Individuals perceiving that their ‘life-skills’ have improved People taking on additional roles within the community Individuals perceiving that their physical well-being has improved Individuals perceiving that their mental well-being has improved

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Outcome 2: Improved community relations Outcome Improved relationships between groups within the community

Outputs

Result

 

Community events / activities undertaken People participating in community events / activities People from different backgrounds participating in events / activities

Greater and wider participation in community and civic life

     

Community events / activities undertaken People participating in community events Volunteering opportunities created Numbers of volunteers Jobs / placements created Actions designed to increase the range of groups participating in all of the above

   

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Individuals perceive an improvement in their social life and/or social network Individuals perceive that their relationship with other groups within the community has improved Reduced fear of crime and anti-social behaviour amongst members of the community Number of new volunteers Range of new volunteers (i.e. their profile) Amount of volunteering being undertaken (hours) Individuals perceiving an improvement in their participation in community and civic life Range of individuals perceiving an improvement in their participation in community and civic life Reduced fear of crime and anti-social behaviour amongst members of the community

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Outcome 3(a): Enhanced local environment Outcome Improvements to the quality of the local environment

Outputs

Result

Actions to improve/enhance the local environment o Physical o Natural Individuals participating in actions to improve/enhance the local environment o Physical o Natural

As above

Increase in an individual’s proenvironmental behaviour

 

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Individuals who perceive that the quality of the local physical environment has improved Individuals who perceive that the quality of the local natural environment has improved Expert views on the changes to the physical and/or natural local environment (e.g. changes in biodiversity) Individuals who say they have a greater awareness of environmental issues Individuals who have increased the number of actions they take to limit their impact on the local environment Individuals who have increased the number of actions they take to enhance the local environment

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Outcome 3(b): Enhanced community services and buildings Outcome Existing community facilities enhanced

Outputs

Result

Number of community facilities enhanced / improved Number of individuals using the enhanced / improved facility

Number of new community facilities provided Number of individuals using the new facility

Number of community services enhanced / improved Number of individuals using the enhanced / improved services

Number of new community services provided

New community facilities provided

 

Existing community services enhanced

New community services provided

Prepared for the Big Lottery Fund by Wavehill, November 2010

Individuals who perceive that they have improved access to services locally Individuals perception about the quality of local services

Individuals who perceive that they have improved access to services locally Individuals perception about the quality of local services

Individuals who perceive that they have improved access to services locally Individuals perception about the quality of local services

n/a

74


Evaluation of the People and Places Programme Annual Report 2010

Appendix 2: A list of organisations that contributed to the research on the geographic spread of People and Places support Local Authorities

County Voluntary Councils

Rhondda Cynon Taff Vale of Glamorgan Bridgend Neath Port Talbot Denbighshire Ceredigion Pembrokeshire Carmarthenshire Cardiff Monmouthshire Conwy Caerphilly Flintshire Wrexham Swansea Isle of Anglesey Merthyr Tydfil Gwynedd Council

Denbighshire Flintshire Gwynedd Pembrokeshire Carmarthenshire Powys Monmouthshire Blaenau Gwent Cardiff Torfaen Merthyr Tydfil Rhondda Cynon Taff Bridgend Neath Port Talbot Swansea Conwy Wrexham Ceredigion Vale of Glamorgan Newport

Welsh Assembly Government (Department for Social Justice and Local Government)

Prepared for the Big Lottery Fund by Wavehill, November 2010

75

Evaluation of the People & Places Programme - 2010 report  

People and Places was launched in November 2005 and is the largest of the current programmes being delivered by the Big Lottery Fund in Wale...

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