Impact: more than just a good story

Picture: Julie McEver
POSTED ON 10th November 2015

Aspire Wellbeing is a social enterprise established in 2013 having spun-out of Lambeth Council. It provides a range of health and social care focused activities within its West Dulwich day centre which are aimed at improving the lives of adults with physical and sensory disabilities. This includes physical rehabilitation after a stroke, acquired brain injury or physical injury, personalised independent living programmes, skills training and carer support programmes.

Aspire Wellbeing is growing steadily, winning service contracts and finding innovative ways to work across health and social care in order to provide integrated services to achieve greater independent living and reduce the need for external support. It also extends its reach into the local community by offering the centre as a hub for community services and activities.

Aspire was one of five social ventures with whom Local Partnerships worked via funding from the Cabinet Office’s Impact Readiness Fund. A key component of our Impact Readiness project with Aspire was the development of its ‘Theory of Change’. This helped Aspire understand and evidence better their impact and value and to bring this into clear view when competing for contracts and seeking investment. Our support enabled them to describe and depict the problems they seek to address, service solutions and activities offered, and the full range of outcomes it achieves.
In developing this roadmap of change Aspire recognised the need to ensure staff, users and commissioners were fully involved. They brought stakeholders together to share experiences and ideas, and articulate what was important and relevant to service providers, users whilst ensuring effective use of public resource. It enabled shared understanding of what Aspire needs to achieve for its users and their families and the added value and increased impact of their services. This included identifying the outcomes that are highly significant for the wider health and social care environment. By helping individuals to increase independent living it supports a reduced need for, and cost of, carer and GP support including the potential to avoid residential care and/or unplanned hospital admissions.
This roadmap of change also provided the framework within which Aspire could begin to develop an initial impact measurement system. Through the project with Local Partnerships, Aspire has been able to identify a small set of data indicators to measure and report on each outcome. It includes quantitative measurement and qualitative data from users’ self-reporting to ensure the evidence base is strong. The work undertaken through the project is seen as representing a significant start but Aspire intend to continue to develop its impact measurement system and, over time, to evidence the return on investment that its impact represents to commissioners through the realisation of savings in reducing the need for expensive packages of support and care.

Impact Readiness Fund
The Social Investment Business Foundation (SIB Foundation) is the parent charity of the Social Investment Business which manages the The Impact Readiness Fund has announced a second round of funding totalling £1.5 million. The fund will offer grants for ambitious social ventures keen to grow and increase their impact. Applications must be developed with a pre-approved Investment Readiness Fund (IRF) provider. The application should be viewed as a joint application although the IRF will formally contract with the venture.
This fund will contribute to a robust pipeline of investible social ventures for the social investment market and will inform how that market can measure and articulate social, as well as financial, return.

For further information please visit

Local Partnerships is a provider for the Impact Readiness and Big Potential Advanced Funds. For more details please contact Julie McEver at or 07920 060 427.

⬆️ Strategic Director Martin Forbes writes for the MJ about levelling up and how to negotiate the challenges ahead. Join members of our bid review team for a webinar on 13 December to look at these issues further. Register here:

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