Measuring Outcomes?

Cyrenians is totally committed to evidencing the difference we make in the lives of the people we seek to help. We have spent many, many hours recently applying the Social Return on Investment (SROI) process to one of our services. We are also getting help from a new charity, Pro-Bono Economics, to develop a method of demonstrating the cost savings of helping people effectively out of their problems, as opposed to them drifting unhelped. Although willing participants in the search for a realistic and proportionate way of measuring success, it is sometimes worrying that the worth of what we do has to be continuously weighed and monetarised.

Against that background I want to share a letter we received this week from the daughter of one of our recent customers.

‘I am contacting you to say thank you for the support you provided to my Dad. My Dad passed away on 29th January.

My Dad’s health declined towards the latter end of last year. He was diagnosed with terminal cancer at New Year and sadly he only survived another few weeks before passing away in his home with his family around him. He was 65.

My sister and I did not always have an easy relationship with my Dad and in recent years there were spells when we had very little contact. The one positive thing about my Dad’s illness was that we were all brought back together and felt very close in those last weeks and months.

It was sad to hear about some of the difficulties he had endured in recent years. During those difficult times Cyrenians provided him with support in getting rented accommodation. He was very settled in that accommodation and his life seemed to be getting back on track. He spoke so very highly of the help and support the Cyrenians were able to provide.

One of the highlights of last year for him was being asked by Cyrenians to attend an event in the Scottish Parliament and speaking about his experiences and how your organisation was able to help. He spoke very proudly of this and I am sure he would have been keen to be more involved, had his health not prevented this.

It has provided me with some comfort to know that he was able to seek your help when he needed it. I knew very little of your organisation but have since taken an interest and hope to be able to help in the future.

Please accept my thanks to your organisation and particularly to the staff involved in providing help and support to my Dad.’

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