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Value is not in the money but its greater impact

Robert Kennedy once said that economics often counts the wrong things meaning that we fail to understand the true value of some things, like the health of our children.

Regarding the value of public and charitable services, Social Return on Investment (SROI) analysis is designed to overcome this problem. For instance, when calculating the value of what a Carers’ Centre does you include the benefits to the wellbeing of the carer and the cared-for, and effects on other services that may otherwise have been needed.

The value is not just what was spent but the impact of what was done with that money.

Today, The Princess Royal Trust for Carers published a SROI analysis on five Carers’ Centres. It finds that for £5m invested per annum, the total value produced is at least £73m p/a. Carers maintain better health; the cared-for remains living at home; and young carers are more likely to end up in education, employment or training.

Based on this calculation, the total value produced by all 144 Carers’ Centres in the UK is £814m p/a, from just £57m worth of funding. Much of this is derived from the savings on health and social services created by Carers’ Centres helping carers maintain their own health and ability to care at home. But we are also talking about the value to people’s lives.

During the launch, after discussions about probabilities, financial costs and methodology, the real value of Carers’ Centre became clear when Jim got up to speak. He is a carer supported by Carers in Hertfordshire and told his story of caring for his wife.

We need to show the evidence of our work and how we use donations and public money to greatest effect. This report does this. But we must also remember that behind the figures are carers called Jim, or Karen, or Samuel, or James. Real people whose lives can be changed forever if we give them the support they need and deserve. The report shows that we do this to great effect given the funding. But we must be given the funding.

Take care

Gordon

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June 21, 2011 - Posted by | Funding, Social Care | , ,

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