Providing life changing opportunities through SENse to Aspire

A scheme that changes the lives of students with special educational needs has created a social impact of £17.49 for every £1 spent. The award-winning SENse to Aspire...

A scheme that changes the lives of students with special educational needs has created a social impact of £17.49 for every £1 spent.

The award-winning SENse to Aspire scheme has helped 166 students gain work experience at the society’s florists or food outlets, which includes classroom sessions.

The programme also has an enormous impact on the colleagues involved, and is frequently referred to as life-changing for them as well, because it raises their awareness around learning difficulties and disabilities, and gives the colleagues a real sense of having made a difference.

The SROI for SENse to Aspire was £17.49 for every £1 spent on the programme, and the programme creates added social value of £0.42m. The total cost for the scheme was £23,829, which is the staff cost at its central office and within stores.

The society runs the scheme with Selly Oak Trust School in Birmingham, which has seen hundreds of youngsters flourish, according to head teacher Chris Field.

“Our young people find it really difficult to find work placements,” he said. “It has been very difficult to get an employer to work alongside us so they can understand the needs of our young people and be supportive at the same time as maximising the skills that they have.

“For us it is fantastic, for the young people the sense of pride they have developed has been absolutely amazing. In my time in education I have never worked with an employer who has taken on so many young people and committed to supporting them.”

OutcomesFinancial proxyQuantityValueTotal valueAdjusted figure
Increased self confidenceCost of confidence training166£995£165,170£66,068
Educational (development of employability skills)Career aspirations (valuation of subjective improvement in wellbeing as a result of having career aspirations).166£4,800£796,800£318,720
Increased tolerance and interaction (change in attitudes towards people with disabilities)Cost of equalities/disabilities awareness training42£399£16,758£6,703
Development of coaching skillsCost of coaching course42£1,500£63,000£25,200
Total social value£416,691
SROI£17.49
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