NEF Consulting was commissioned by the Lambeth Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Lambeth Council to conduct an evaluation of the Project Smith programme for the period 2017 to 2019.
Project Smith is an asset-based community development programme, co-produced with local people. It focuses on neighbourhoods and is part of a mixed-model approach supporting social prescribing in Lambeth. The evaluation focused on understanding the impact of the programme’s two work streams.
Project Smith is a community development project in the London Borough of Lambeth funded by NHS Lambeth CCG and Lambeth Council. It works at street and neighbourhood level to support the community and its people in building their capabilities and local connections, thereby improving their health and wellbeing. The project uses a person-centred, coproduction approach.
Project Smith has three aims, which are to:
- Support people to manage their own health and wellbeing (or condition) by having access to the right information and assistance.
- Help people avoid a crisis, or minimise it (especially for those living independently).
- Build stronger community ties.
It has two workstreams – the Lambeth Wellbeing Fund and the Community Connector programme. Local Community Connectors are local people who support individuals and connect them to each other, as well as to relevant community groups and statutory services. The Lambeth Wellbeing Fund is a small-grants fund that supports a range of activities and with funding ranging from £2,000 to £5,000.
The brief was to develop a holistic approach to evaluating Project Smith, using a range of qualitative methods to address seven evaluation questions:
- Is the Project Smith model having a positive impact on participants?
- What sort of impacts are being demonstrated and on whom?
- Do the impacts reflect the six ways to wellbeing?
- Are these impacts sustainable?
- Does the approach/model influence impact?
Value for money
- Can the impacts demonstrated provide value for money (VFM)?
- Why should we continue to invest in Project Smith?