kirkcaldy’s West Bridge Mill, which provides supported accommodation and living advice, is a valuable asset to the town.
An evaluation of the facilties and the service provided by the charity LinkLiving have shown that for every £1 invested, there was a social return of £3.69.
However, it’s the benefits clients get from the wide-ranging services that is more important.
Based on information provided by those using the services, benefits were found to include:
• Increased independent living skills, employability and financial capability
• Increased ability to secure and sustain own tenancy
• Reduced costs of providing alternative temporary accommodation to priority need individuals
• Reduced number of individuals presenting as homeless due to tenancy failure resulting in reduced costs to Council
• Reduced time and cost of staff engaging with their service users.
West Bridge Mill Accommodation with Support Service offers support for up to 30 people aged 16-30. The accommodation is on a shared living basis within 13 self contained flats.
Each individual is involved in developing their own support plan, tailored to meet their individual needs, which could include practical support such as cooking, shopping, budgeting, help with benefits; emotional support, training, employment, health and social networks etc.
The focus is on enabling people to develop their independent living skills and providing support to help individuals apply for appropriate follow on or mainstream accommodation.
LinkLiving will use the findings of the evaluation to determine how it will work with other organisations to maximise the positive impact the service has on the lives of people staying at West Bridge Mill.
Elaine Johnston, LinkLiving director, said: “We were pleased with the positive results of carrying out this evaluation and intend to carry out more to measure the social value of other LinkLiving services.”