Time to Shine has been really lucky to have funding for 6 years – a much longer term than the average funding term. The huge benefit of this has been that we are able to fully operate the test and learn process and try out new things, learn what works and what does not and to apply that learning and try again. It has been liberating, exciting and has allowed for creativity!
Since we started in 2015 our delivery partners have been amazing in helping us to gather lots of rich evidence of what works to reduce social isolation and loneliness. This evidence, when added to evidence from the other 13 Ageing Better programmes, is contributing to one of the biggest pieces of research into loneliness and social isolation ever conducted in the UK and our partners should all be very proud of their part in that.
As the programme manager for legacy, now that we are getting closer to the end of Time to Shine, my role is to look at all the evidence and report on the changes that we have seen. Our evaluation questionnaires are an enormous part of that measurement.
Over 1,500 beneficiaries have been asked to complete an evaluation questionnaire as they enter each project which means we have captured over 1,500 baseline measures – that is quite an achievement! What we need now though is more second questionnaires – for people who have participated for around 6 months – to measure the changes in terms of wellbeing, social contact and feelings of loneliness after their contact with the projects. We also need some final questionnaires from those who stopped participating in a project over the last 6 months, or who have been involved continuously for around a year, to see whether any changes have been sustained over the longer term.
As delivery partners help us to gather these second and third questionnaires they are helping hugely to provide the clear evidence that we need to understand whether Time to Shine activities are making a difference to the lives of older people in Leeds.
Programme Manager (Legacy)