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Charity St. Giles Trust supports young people at their lowest ebb. Their Choices programme provides one-to-one support to get young people back on track. The charity asked Pro Bono Economics to provide a team to help analyse the impact of Choice’s client interventions. This is the second time PBE and SGT have worked together: evaluation of SGT was PBE’s pioneering project.


PBE volunteers set out to quantify the benefits of Choices, in terms of savings to the public purse resulting from successful outcomes in employment and associated benefits from reduced re-offending. The study also captured the impact of vocational training, education and volunteering on re-offending rates and their likely impact long-term.


PBE estimated the value of benefits of Choices on employment and related reductions in re-offending to be around £851,000 in the first year (2014). The resulting overall benefit of Choices is estimated at £1.58m using the Treasury’s social discount rate of future benefits (at 3.5%). Choices also has a wider impact as it supports young people to take up opportunities in education, vocational training and volunteering, producing a longer-term impact on life-time earnings and productivity.


The results show that Choices not only helps clients to get into employment education and training but also provides additional support generally to overcome other issues often when they have been unsuccessful in getting sufficient help through other schemes. The report also identified some benefits that fall outside what is modelled, such as reducing educational underachievement and entry into voluntary placements.

Rob Owen (CEO of St. Giles Trust):

“The first PBE report was a real game changer for St. Giles Trust. The results gave us the credibility to engage in the world’s first ever social impact bond which focused on prison leavers.

"We are now one of the leading charities working with ex-offenders and disadvantaged adults and changes we have long called for – such as support for short sentenced prisoners and use of professionally trained ex-offenders to provide services – have now been adopted into the mainstream.

"Whilst these developments are to be warmly welcomed we are calling for more. The young people we help through Choices would often have been the next generation of people in the criminal justice system had their needs remained unaddressed. This evaluation helps to show that it makes sense to invest in their future now to prevent longer term damage to their lives and wider society."

Julia Grant (CEO of PBE):

“We all know there are tough times ahead, only last month 4Children closed down, a £30m charity with 45,000 children in its care. So the need for charities to use data and evidence to drive their own hard choices has never been more real. PBE is here to help with that challenge and promote the value of doing good and doing it well.”