Lecturer in Social Policy, University of Stirling
Our research demonstrates the enormous impact that Glasgow’s Helping Heroes has for veterans and other members of the Armed Forces community in the area.
Dr Steve Rolfe from the University of Stirling, said: "This is a credit to the hard work and dedication of the GHH team, especially during the challenging conditions of the pandemic. Equally importantly, the evaluation highlights the value of a holistic, person-centred service. When life throws up difficulties, services like GHH can help veterans to navigate the complex world of civilian services. Building on these findings will help SSAFA and the Armed Forces charity sector more broadly to meet the needs of veterans in Glasgow and elsewhere.”
Rachel Tribble, Manager of Glasgow’s Helping Heroes, said: “We knew that our service was of vital importance but until this evaluation we didn’t have the evidence base to back that up. This evaluation will enable us to plan our resourcing for the future, to demonstrate our effectiveness to potential funders and, most significantly, to ensure we can support our clients in the best possible way.”
Tom McBarnet, Chief Executive (Acting) of Forces in Mind Trust, said: “Despite running successfully for many years, and with plenty of anecdotal evidence of its benefits and long-term impact, FiMT recognised that it was important for Glasgow’s Helping Heroes to provide a more rigorous assessment and objective evidence of its long-term impact for the veteran community and their families.
"This report underscores the value of the GHH Model, signalling the benefits of this approach to both SSAFA, local authorities and the wider Armed Forces charities sector alike. I therefore welcome this study and commend it to all those interested in a proven model and wanting to learn from its success.”
These social impacts do not just affect the vulnerable veterans supported by GHH but they also demonstrate the benefits and cost-savings to public services. For example, by assisting veterans to move away from homelessness, GHH saves money for Glasgow City Council in terms of homelessness provision and temporary accommodation. This, in turn has cost saving implications for health and criminal justice services, which are often used by homeless individuals.
Whilst the scope of this research was to evaluate the impact and value of GHH, the recommendations and findings of the report offers lessons, which may be of value to the wider military and welfare charity sector, particularly around impact measurement, and the service characteristics that make GHH a successful model for welfare support delivery.