We achieve change based on our 3U model by harnessing the power of lived-experience of mental health. We develop all our programmes/activities with the input of people directly affected by the issues we seek to address. In addition, we gather feedback and evaluation insights from those we work with. This has allowed us to measure our mission and social impact accurately to continuously improve our theory of change.
To date, we have worked with approximately 60 individual mentored clients, all of whom have recorded an improvement in their emotional health. They have all indicated through our narrative evaluation systems that their experience with us has created better change than any interventions they have undertaken before. We have also had clients achieving employment, participating in volunteering and accessing appropriate community support services; all decreasing social isolation. Our impact can also be measured by the positive feedback received from referral agents, increased referral numbers and a significant increase in enquiries from other health professionals in the statutory and 3rd sectors.
We have delivered several bespoke resilience programmes to a range of communities such as youth, the unemployed, professional staff and older people where we regularly achieve accumulated positive scores of not less than 85% improvement in our various indicators for participants.
To have come so far in only two years (trading for one), has been a remarkable achievement for the Project. In that time, we have developed our unique social intervention model – 3U and made strides to prove its efficacy within our field. In the last year, we have developed our theory of change, social business canvas and refined our business model with the help of Amplify NI, while continuing our relationship with the Ulster Banks accelerator programme. We have opened our flagship office in an area of outstanding natural beauty and expanded the team with new trainees and volunteers coming on board.
2018 has seen us appointed an exceptional Board of Directors including the current CO3 Inspirational Leader of the year, a CLORE fellow and Nesta New Radical, a highly experienced 3rd sector trustee and Chair of some of the biggest charities in NI and respected experts by lived-experience. This board is helping us to achieve a greater profile and subsequent influence in the mental health sector.
Our impact this year includes 145 people facilitated in lived-experience mental health awareness and resilience, spread across 8 different programmes with ages ranging from 8 – 80 years. We have worked to change the lives of 45 individual one-2-one clients this year with a surge of new referrals from the NHSCT through a new Service Level Contract and we have opened up of our service to private clients for the first time.
We have received funding from two leading UK foundations which we believe reflects on the merit of our concept and quality of services. In addition, those foundations are in discussion to increase their funding on the back of our results to date. Closer to home, we have 5 current partnership agreements delivering our training with more in the pipeline for this year.
We were shortlisted for the Social Enterprise NI Gala Awards in “the one to watch” category last year and this year, we have been nominated for the Social Impact Award, one of the two big categories where we will compete with some of the biggest social enterprises in Northern Ireland.