Bournemouth and Poole CVS
Supporting Voluntary and Community action in Bournemouth and Poole

Health and Wellbeing Surveys

Research

We undertook an initial survey in September 2014 (see the report here) and a follow up in November 2016 (see the report here) to identify the contribution voluntary and community groups (VCOs) make to health and wellbeing. Dorset Community Action also undertook a similar survey of groups operating in the county (see the report here). In summary:

  • Almost all VCOs consider they improve health and wellbeing
  • About 1 in 4 VCOs only operate at the neighbourhood level, but most work across Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole with 1 in 4 working beyond Dorset as well.
  • About a third of VCOs work with the general public and about one in 5 with those with health related needs
  • VCOs tend to offer a wide range of services and activities (an average of 3 per VCO), even to very specific users, aiming to work holistically and individually with their users often providing:
  • advice and information
  • opportunities to volunteer
  • social activities
  • basic requirements (such as food, clothing, money/benefits, often a determinate of good health)
  • healthy activities/behaviour, particularly diet and exercise.
  • 75% of VCOs work with adults across the age range.
  • The median number of users per month is between 52 and 80. If a figure of 50 is used then the 725 charities in Bournemouth and Poole are being used by 36,250 users per month.
  • The most frequent differences VCOs see in their users are:
  • Reduced isolation and increased connectedness to their communities
  • Improved confidence and self-esteem
  • Increased independence, empowerment and resilience
  • Feeling better supported
  • Increase in fun, enjoyment and wellbeing.
  • Increase in healthy behaviours
  • Improved learning and employability
  • 80% of VCOs state their work improves users’ experience of fun, enjoyment and feel-good factor
  • A significant investment is being made each year by VCOs in health and wellbeing:
  • Spend about £14.5 million
  • 783,000 volunteer hours (replacement value of almost £7 million)
  • 1,140,000 staffing hours, equivalent to 592 full time posts.

We undertook 40 in depth interviews researching how groups contribute to health and wellbeing (see the report here).