Join us for the online launch of the Community and Voluntary organisation EvAluation Toolkit (CAVEAT) on Wednesday 28 June 2023 from 1pm to 2:30pm.

This toolkit aims to help Voluntary, Community, Faith and Social Enterprise (VCFSE) organisations to collect and record data and information, allowing them to measure outcomes and demonstrate impact they and their volunteers make. It also offers guidance on the many ways that this information can be collected and presented. Sign up to the event here.

During the first lockdown, researchers from the University of Kent; Brighton and Sussex Medical School; and the University of Surrey, carried out a study looking at community-based volunteering in response to COVID-19 called the COV-VOL project.

Funded through the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Applied Research Collaboration Kent, Surrey and Sussex (ARC KSS), the researchers, found that VCFSE organisations provided services which had a positive effect on the physical, social and mental wellbeing of older people as well as the volunteers supporting them, and that they also had further positive impact on the wider health and social care system.

However, they also discovered that few organisations were able to demonstrate and highlight the difference their work had made to the lives of those they helped, the benefit to the volunteers; or to wider health and social care provision. With continued pressures on funding, the research team also heard how concerned organisations were about on-going sustainability and the significant time and resource it took in order to demonstrate impact and secure their future.

In response, the research team then developed the CAVEAT project - also funded by ARC KSS - to develop and test a free, interactive and online user-friendly toolkit to help organisations to demonstrate impact and the value their services and activities provide."

Leading the research, Dr Julie MacInnes, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Kent said:

"Many charitable and not-for-profit organisations and their volunteers support our health and social care sector by providing services that support people’s health and wellbeing. This might be through providing social activities and befriending, or practical help, such as offering transport to hospital appointments or enabling people to be discharged from hospital sooner that they would otherwise.

"Voluntary sector organisations are so important, and yet, many are concerned with sustainability and the on-going challenges of securing long term funding. So, in response, we developed this toolkit, launching later this month, that we hope will support them in valuable work they do."

For further information on the event and the Toolkit, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Implementation Manager at ARC KSS / Kent Surrey Sussex Academic Health Science Network.

Recite Me Accessibility Tools