MEMBER NEWS: TimeBank's Shoulder to Shoulder Programme has had an independent evaluation
14 December 2020
We are delighted to share Time Bank's independent evaluation of their Shoulder to Shoulder Online pilot mentoring programme. The Lines Between, an independent consultancy service conducted the evaluation into the mentoring programme which provides mentoring for ex service men and women.
TimeBank has delivered face-to-face mentoring for ex-Servicemen, women and families in Scotland for more than six years – supporting those who are struggling to adjust to civilian life and reducing their social and economic isolation.The charity wanted to test the effectiveness of online mentoring and thanks to funding from Forces in Mind Trust, was able to develop and evaluate an 18-month pilot. The project began before the Covid-19 pandemic but was able to continue throughout the period.
The evaluation found that online mentoring helped veterans establish stability and routine and achieve positive change with 80% of participants reporting an improvement in their emotional wellbeing. Mentoring sessions were found to be vital in reducing isolation during lockdown, when much face-to-face support was unavailable. Participants agreed that online mentoring should continue beyond the pandemic, especially for those who have poor mobility, find it difficult to leave their homes or live in remote areas.
Volunteer mentors on the project reported a sense of satisfaction and increased confidence and said they had gained valuable skills and knowledge. The evaluation also noted widespread support for rolling out online mentoring, with its potential to increase engagement and make veteran support services more accessible and inclusive. Referral partners welcomed the additional support they could signpost veterans to.
The evaluation also tested the viability of the online platform developed by video technology company Odro, which allowed beneficiaries to talk to their mentors in real time as well as exchanging messages. It found it was an effective platform which both mentors and mentees felt comfortable and confident using.
Read the full evaluation report here. You can also read the full story at TimeBank's website: