Media Release: LinkLiving proven to make a real difference

LINKLIVING’S accommodation with support service at West Bridge Mill, Kirkcaldy, has been proven to generate significant social return on the investment made in the service.

Following a SROI evaluation, it was found that for every £1 invested there was a social return of £3.69.

However, it was the process of engaging with stakeholders and understanding the wide ranging impact the services have on people staying in West Bridge Mill that has been the most significant outcome for LinkLiving.

Based on information provided by West Bridge Mill’s stakeholders, the service’s range of impacts was found to include:

  • Increased independent living skills, employability and financial capability
  • Increased ability to secure and sustain own tenancy
  • Reduced costs of providing alternative temporary accommodation to priority need individuals
  • Reduced number of individuals presenting as homeless due to tenancy failure resulting in reduced costs to Council
  • Reduced time and cost of staff engaging with their service users.

Case study:

Miss C was referred to WBM as she wanted to live in Kirkcaldy to be closer to family members. During Miss C’s stay, she was supported to deal with flatmate issues in a positive manner and develop negotiation skills. Miss C took part in all the in-house activities and found this helped her to get along with others and get to know new people. Miss C was a priority case and she secured her own tenancy. Miss C was assisted to access furniture through the Furniture voucher scheme and apply for a Community Care Grant so she could furnish her home. Miss C feels the skills she learnt enabled her to manage her flat and pay her bills.

LinkLiving now also has a greater appreciation of its relationships with local service providers and how it can improve how they work together to maximise the positive impact the service has on the lives of people staying at West Bridge Mill.

Link’s study has been fully assured by the Social Return on Investment (SROI) Network, the national body for promoting and verifying SROI activity in the UK. The assurance process confirms the West Bridge Mill Report shows a good understanding of the SROI process and complies with SROI principles.

The study was carried out by Link’s Community Regeneration Officer Sheila Maxwell, who is one of only a few fully Accredited SROI Practitioners in Scotland, and Jacqueline Bonelli, LinkLiving Service Delivery Manager.

Sheila said: “Link is committed to measuring the social value our services create. SROI is one method Link has adopted to assist us to fully understand who our stakeholders are, what difference we make to individuals lives and how other stakeholders, such as local authorities and the NHS, benefit from the services we deliver.”

Elaine Johnston, LinkLiving director, added: “We were pleased with the positive results of carrying out this SROI evaluation and intend to carry out further evaluations to measure the social value of other LinkLiving services.”


Notes to editor:

The West Bridge Mill Accommodation with support Service offers accommodation with support for up to 30 people aged between 16 to 30 years.

The accommodation is on a shared living basis within 13 self-contained flats. Each individual is involved in developing their own support plan, tailored to meet their individual needs, and may include practical support such as cooking, shopping, budgeting, help with benefits; emotional support, training, employment, health and social networks, etc.

The focus is on enabling people to develop their independent living skills and providing support to help individuals apply for appropriate follow on/mainstream accommodation.

Linkliving Ltd is a not-for-profit organisation and is part of the Link Group, one of Scotland’s leading housing, regeneration and support organisations, providing services to 10,000 families and individuals in 26 Scottish local authority areas.

LinkLiving works to make a positive difference to the lives of people affected by social exclusion. People with vulnerabilities that include homelessness, mental health issues and learning disabilities are supported by person centred support services in Edinburgh, East Lothian, Midlothian, Falkirk and Fife. LinkLiving provides over 2,500 hours per week of practical support to around 1000 people with a diverse range of needs every year.

Our services are usually provided in the home to support each individual’s journey towards health, wellbeing and independence.

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Contact: Alison Spence