My mind has been on stats recently. We collect stats where we can because funders and those who monitor our activities are always wanting evidence. What we do is very hard to evidence because lets face it a lot of people we deal with are in very ill health. We are not the cure but we are part of it. In some cases the people we deal with have degenerative illness which means they are only going to get worse. We aim to make the time they are with us happy and a relief from that. How do you measure that. Anyway, we try as unobtrusively as possible. Some stats are great. I posted earlier last week how, in a moment of idleness, I calculated that 96% of all Fridays for the last eight years had a WellArt session running. That’s both as S2C and at Workbase where we started WellArt many moons ago.
We ask people to drop a bead in one of three pots as they leave session at S2C. One says they feel the same, one says they feel worse, on says they feel better (their mood, not expecting to cure and diseases or illness). Very crude and simple but it works if people are honest. Overwhelmingly the response is that they feel better. It works out at something like 98.8% of responses over the year are that they feel happier, in a better mood or place and more positive on leaving S2C after a session than when they arrived.
What is interesting is that the stat is across the board as it were. Not just those attending sessions register their mood. We get professionals who are bringing their service users to our sessions who join in the session and end up leaving feeling better, more relaxed and in a better mood. Our volunteers get that too. If everyone involved is happy, in a good place and participating then everyone benefits.
Enough of statistics I hear you cry, what about that pre-announcement announcement? Well just a small thing. From the very start we have asked for a £3 donation for attending a session. We have been chatting about changing this and so next week we will formally announce that from thereon in we will operate on a pay what you think/want/can basis. We feel we want to remove as many barriers as possible to people attending sessions and know that those who need to occupy their time and be in company in a safe and secure place cannot always afford it especially if they come to more than one session.
So from this week we will be asking people to pay what they can or what they think. They can consider their own situation and can think about the costs we incur in terms of resources, refreshments, running costs, how much they enjoyed the sessions. Whatever. So it’s not an issue. One day we may be in a position that everything is free but not there yet!
Some fab artwork from the last week: