The Lighthouse Project has been running for over 5 years, it first opened in June 2010 and was started by Inspire Middleton as a brand new project designed to support local people and satisfy local community needs.
As our work has grown considerably since we first started it was decided, earlier this year, to carry out an evaluation of the work that we have been doing, particularly focusing on the last 3 years activities between June 2010 – May 2015.
The evaluation had the aim of:
- Identifying the differences our work is making to local people, and
- Identifying the impact it is having on their lives, and
- Identifying the effectiveness of our Community Hub approach in meeting local needs.
The aims of the Lighthouse Project
The strap line for the Lighthouse Project is, ‘we welcome and support, so you achieve…’ which is a reflection of our ambition to inspire and improve the lives of local people and organisations.
Within our overall aim we have identified 5 key areas that our work focuses on, based on needs and issues identified by our beneficiaries as being important to them:
- The improvement of quality of life and access to opportunities to support them in dealing with multiple-disadvantages, exclusions and poverty.
- The improvement of life and work based skills to help and support them to move closer to the job market and return to work.
- The reduction of digital exclusion by giving them the skills and access they need for beneficial use of the internet and the ability to function in the digital world.
- To improve understanding of how to manage and maintain health, mental health and wellbeing.
- To improve access to advice and ongoing support for tackling life issues and problems.
Headlines from the evaluation include:
We managed to grow our annual visitor footfall by 54% to an average of 28,200 per year. Footfall during the 3 years of the evaluation was 84,600, and total footfall since we first started has just reached 120,000 (sept 2015).
99% reported that they felt welcomed and supported, and 97% reported that they had a good experience from their visits.
We added and developed 29 new services and activities during the evaluation period and now run a total of 46 different different activities/events in conjunction with partner organisations.
We increased the number of organisations that use the Lighthouse Project from 7 to 23. This is in addition to the 40 referral organisations who we work with through the foodbank.
The Evaluation Report (Nov 2015) is now available for viewing and copies of this can be downloaded from the links below: