The Warm Homes pilots aimed to improve the warmth of homes, and in turn, the health and wellbeing of residents across five council areas in Greater Manchester. Our evaluation helped demonstrate the impact and has informed plans for future funding across the area.

NHS Greater Manchester provided £450,000 with the five areas securing additional match funding, equating to over £724,000 in total. We evaluated the effectiveness of the five pilots. This included an understanding of the five pilots and what activities were funded; the differing local socio-economic contexts and the challenges they were aiming to address; the successes including the identification of hidden health needs; lessons and opportunities for future funding programmes; and comparisons to elsewhere.

The 12-month pilots were aimed at vulnerable people with physical and mental health conditions, on low income and/or with poor housing conditions. A key aim of our evaluation was to identify the full range of benefits including ‘soft outcomes’ gained due to the support. This included improvements in their physical and mental health and wellbeing, living conditions, the warmth of their homes, and cost savings.

Our comprehensive evaluation included both quantitative and qualitative research methods including:

  • A desk-based review of programme data and plans. This included analysis of beneficiary monitoring data, pre and post intervention surveys, and information about onward referrals for other support.
  • Over 40 in-depth interviews with beneficiaries.
  • Over 20 interviews with local councils and their delivery partners.
  • Analysis of national and local socio-economic data. This included mapping (using Geographic Information System) beneficiaries’ postcodes against other indicators, such as the Index of Multiple Deprivation.
  • A review of best practice and lessons from elsewhere.
  • A Value for Money assessment to illustrate the most cost-effective measures.

Our conclusions and recommendations were presented across five priority themes. It was clear to us, the need for a GM wide centrally managed fund, that could be tailored locally. Therefore, different recommendations were highlighted for Greater Manchester partners, as well as local councils.

These are being used to shape other programmes that aim take a holistic approach to supporting people with housing measures whilst identifying and supporting health needs.

“Forever Consulting was commissioned to deliver a qualitative evaluation of our GM Warm Homes pilot, a programme designed to improve the warmth of our residents’ homes and subsequently their health and wellbeing. A high quality, timely and informative evaluation helped us to better understand lived experiences in five of our local authorities, we were pleased to hear about the positive and human impact which the programme had on the day-to-day lives of our residents. In turn, we thoroughly enjoyed working with Forever Consulting particularly their friendly and personable approach that is underpinned by excellent communication skills; and their unsurpassable knowledge and experience of our city-region.”

Fraser Bell, Lead Analyst, Greater Manchester Combined Authority