Report illustrates value of VA’s work
January 7, 2019
Veterans Aid interventions to tackle homelessness have been shown to generate significant benefits – both for beneficiaries of support and for wider society.
A new report from the charity Pro Bono Economics (PBE) – prepared on behalf of Veterans Aid – shows that 88% of 166 homeless veterans sampled, in receipt of dedicated support, were still in accommodation six months later. Furthermore, nearly 80% of the charity’s interventions were shown to have led to other positive outcomes such as abstinence (from drink or drugs), improved mental health and/or employment.
Commenting on the report’s launch VA CEO Dr Hugh Milroy said: “We were delighted when Pro Bono Economics agreed to work with us towards evaluating our achievements and methodologies. By necessity they had to work with a snapshot sample (230 interventions, relating to 166 veterans over a six-month period) based on just six metrics (emergency accommodation, homelessness prevention, alcohol misuse, drugs misuse, mental health and employment).
He continued: “There is a lot of myth and misdirection in the veteran’s world and we welcomed the opportunity to work with a reputable third party to demonstrate how we gather our data and support our claims. We have been totally transparent with PBE and the experience of working with their team had been an extremely valuable one.”
Another of the PBE report’s key findings shows the potential economic value of the successful outcomes in the client sample of 166 veterans rising to a maximum of £965k. This figure is derived by multiplying the number of successful outcomes in each of the intervention areas by the relevant value estimate in the Unit Cost Database.
The headline itself is a positive consequence of three factors primarily seen from VA’s work. These are:
1) Securing veterans employment increases income for the individual in question along with commensurate rises in tax revenue and reduced welfare payments.
2) A reduction in reliance on emergency accommodation and the accompanying cost savings.
3) Lesser need for access treatment for drug dependency, which means fewer demands on the criminal justice system, victim services and the NHS.
About Pro Bono Economics
Pro Bono Economics (PBE) helps charities and social enterprises understand and improve the impact and value of their work. It matches professional economists who want to use their skills to volunteer with charities.
Set up in 2009, PBE has helped over 400 charities large and small, covering a wide range of issues including mental health, education, employment and complex needs. It is supported by high-profile economists, including Andy Haldane (Bank of England), Sir Dave Ramsden (Bank of England), and Clare Lombardelli (HM Treasury) as trustees, and Diane Coyle (University of Cambridge), Kate Barker, Lord Jim O’Neill, Robert Peston, Martin Wolf and Lord Adair Turner as patrons. Lord Gus O’Donnell has been Chair of the Board of Trustees since September 2016.
*Veterans Aid would like to thank the Eyes Down Digital team for its assistance with adapting the charity’s unique client database to better output the raw data utilised in the PBE report.