Health and Wellbeing Surveys
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.