• New Project: Measuring Social Value in Wales

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    • New Project: Measuring Social Value in Wales
    • by Christine Boston
      Director for Wales

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    Anyone who has experience with the community transport sector will know just how much value it creates. Whether it’s social value or economic value, the work of our members means that people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to access conventional public transport are still able to get involved in their community, see friends and family, attend medical appointments, access education, employment, social opportunities and much more. But how do we measure and define the enormous social value that community transport creates in a way that helps other people see what we see every day?

    To answer this question, we’re excited to announce that, in conjunction with the TAS partnership, we’re undertaking a project to measure the social value of community transport in Wales.  

    Our members across Wales are performing essential services for their communities, but these aren’t always formally recorded or captured to provide evidence of need and impact.  In times of greater competition for funding and support, our members need to have access to a range of tools that will enable them to record, evaluate and report the social value and impact of their services in order to build resilience and sustainability and to thrive in the future.

    Being able to show the unique difference you make and how this compares to the available alternatives is a fundamental building block for future success and sustainability of any charity or community group. It can capture the attention of policy-makers, commissioners and funders, and helps organisations internally to understand that they are doing the right things and doing them well.

    Although different resources to help organisations capture and communicate their impact are available, we’ve heard from members in Wales that nothing has yet broken through as the go-to resource for them and their commissioners.

    With funding from the Welsh Government, CTA have commissioned a new project in Wales to better understand the possibilities for such a resource and to identify the best way for CTA to support our members in clearly and effectively demonstrating their impact.

    The aim of this project is to build capacity within our members, on a local level, to support them in identifying and demonstrating their own impact. A common framework such as this would enable CTA to create a national perspective to demonstrate and celebrate the impact of our sector, showing how it reduces loneliness and social isolation, empowers people in local communities and fits in with the policy priorities of devolved and national government.

    We’re pleased to be working with the TAS Partnership to undertake this project. Based in Preston, the TAS Partnership is a small passenger transport consultancy with a big reach that has at its heart a passion for improving public transport. TAS has an experienced team that has been working with the community transport sector since the late 1970s, and we’re excited to have them on board.

    In the coming months we’ll be undertaking a range of activities, such as the facilitation of sessions with CTA members and commissioners, enabling us to gather feedback on emerging ideas and solutions, identify common commissioning expectations and appraise evaluation methods currently being used by our members.

    The project will produce a report in which we’ll share these findings and recommendations for the design of a CTA-led solution where members can consistently and effectively measure their indisputable social and economic value.

    We’re really excited to be working with TAS and our members on a project that will have a huge benefit for the community transport sector in Wales. Keep an eye out on our blog and email updates for how you can get involved!

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