Examining the value of Walking With The Wounded's employment support for veterans
Founded in 2010, Walking With The Wounded provides support and services to veterans who are homeless, unemployed, suffering with mental health issues or in police custody. The aim of the charity is to reintegrate those who are suffering back into society. One of its four key programmes – the Employment Programme – focuses on unemployed veterans and has helped 275 individuals per year on average since 2014. Walking With The Wounded approached Pro Bono Economics for help in assessing the impact of the Employment Programme on veterans and wider society.
Volunteers Michael Pang and Daniel Lindsay, from economic consultancy Hatch Regeneris, were matched with this project. The team analysed Walking With The Wounded’s cost and outcome data, comparing the success of the programme with that of the Government equivalent, the Work Programme.
The report shows that the Employment Programme delivers £3 in social benefits for every £1 spent on the service; benefits arise from veterans gaining sustained employment. Though the charity’s Employment Programme costs more to deliver per person than the Work Programme, at £1,578 for the former and £891 for the latter, 34% of Walking With The Wounded’s beneficiaries found sustained employment in an average of 4.5 months, compared to 11% of ‘harder-to-help’ people in the Government’s Work Programme.
Walking With The Wounded was named as an Individual Placement and Support (IPS) Centre of Excellence in September 2018. This in recognition of work delivered in partnership with the NHS Veterans Mental Health Transition, Intervention and Liaison Service (Midlands and East of England) and Essex Partnership University Trust (EPUT).
Professor Neil Greenberg, Walking With the Wounded Trustee commented:
“This analysis by Pro-Bono Economics highlights that WWTW delivers high-quality and, importantly, cost-effective services for the men and women the charity supports. Its recent award from the IPS Centre of Excellence for Veterans recognises this too. Research shows that symptoms of anxiety and depression appear to be twice as frequent in the UK military as in the general working population: it is crucial that these ex-service men and women receive the help they need and deserve, so that they can provide long-term financial security for themselves and their families.”
Julia Grant, Pro Bono Economics Chief Executive, stated:
“An estimated 4% of working-age veterans are unemployed, and many of these people have complex health needs. Without effective interventions to support them back into sustained employment, the long-term costs will be significant. The economic analysis of WWTW’s employment programme shows that we sometimes need more in the way of thoughtful investment in individuals if society as a whole is to reap economic benefits. Pro Bono Economics’ analysis in this report will contribute to increased understanding of the value of these interventions for people on the edge of society, and so aid commissioners in making their decisions.”