How Torbay & South Devon Wellbeing Programme successfully adapted for Covid-19

An Evaluation of the Torbay and South Devon Wellbeing Programme delivered by Charles Dorr, University of Plymouth, with support from Dr Julian Elston & Dr Felix Gradinger, University of Plymouth


Summary of Key Findings

Full report available Torbay and South Devon Wellbeing Programme Evaluation April 2023

1. Average mental health and wellbeing increased by 2.31 (12.5%) in Torbay and 3.29 (18.9%) in South Devon during the evaluation period for the 215 clients where complete Short Warwick Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (SWEMWBS) data was available. 80% of these participants reported a positive change and nearly half (42.8%) reported an increase equal to or in excess of 3-points on the SWEMWBS scale.

2. The estimated Average Net Per Person Social Impact of the programme on the 215 clients for which complete SWEMWBS data was available, after accounting for deadweight and attribution, was between £2,595 and £3,018 amounting to £4.27 and £4.80 of social value for every £1 spent.

3. Comparisons of the 174 South Devon clients who had complete long WEMWBS data with both the interim evaluation as well as figures for the year prior to the pandemic (2019) suggest wellbeing levels of clients at programme entry is on average lower than before the pandemic, a finding which was also supported by some of the Torbay data. However, the average improvement in wellbeing during the programme intervention was similar if not slightly higher.

4. An analysis of case study data suggests that most clients face a range of multiple physical, social and emotional problems. The complexity of the cases involved together with the challenges coordinators faced in providing support highlight the importance of being able to invest time to develop trust between the coordinator, the client, and other key parties.

5. The Covid pandemic was particularly challenging to Wellbeing Coordinators due to the reduction in face-to-face visits and the pressure it placed on clients. Feedback from the staff reflections highlighted the flexibility of the programme in responding to these changes (e.g. systems for regular telephone calls and the development of specialist mental health support) as well as the importance of peer support and supervision in maintaining staff wellbeing.

If you would like to know more about the Programme delivered by:

  • Age UK Torbay
  • Brixham Does Care
  • Dartmouth Caring
  • Totnes Caring
  • Kingscare League of Friends
  • Moorland Community Caring
  • Volunteering in Health

Further information: please contact Sue Wroe