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St Vincent de Paul Society (SVP) is an international Christian voluntary organisation that works to tackle poverty and provide practical assistance to individuals and families in need. The SVP in England and Wales consists of around 10,000 volunteers, whose main activity is visiting and befriending—assisting vulnerable people directly through visits to their homes, care homes, hospitals and prisons. 

The report undertaken by economist volunteers from Oxera describes in detail the wider economic impacts of visiting and befriending, which include reducing costs to the NHS, improving quality of life for beneficiaries, improving labour market outcomes and reducing the costs to social services.

Oxera volunteers also quantified a small proportion of the economic effects relating to SVP’s visiting and befriending activities, which they estimated to result in an economic welfare improvement of approximately £11m per year.

SVP intends to use Oxera’s report in funding applications, where robust evidence is needed of the beneficial economic effects of their activities. Read their press release here.

We would like to thank Matthew Shepherd and Fod Barnes from Oxera for their hardwork in completing this project.

21st December 2015