CAVEAT is a free evaluation and impact resource specifically created to help VCSE organisations demonstrate the impact of their services for older people.


During the COVID-19 pandemic, VCSE organisations played a crucial role in providing practical and emotional support to older people in our communities. They mobilised resources to support disrupted and over-stretched health and social care services.


However, despite their invaluable contributions, VCSE organisations face significant funding pressures and limited resources. Many struggle to collect and present data that demonstrates the impact of the services they provide.


In a previous study here in Kent (COV-VOL), we found that few organisations were confident in collecting and presenting data that demonstrated the impact of the services they provide for older people. This data is essential for making applications to funding bodies, service commissioners, and ongoing quality monitoring and improvement.


To address this need, we developed the Community and Voluntary Evaluation Tool (CAVEAT). By using CAVEAT, organisations can begin to confidently collect and present their data that highlights the impacts they make to their communities.

Why older people?

We focus on older people because they particularly rely on the support of volunteers and VCSE organisations, both during and after the pandemic. By providing practical support such as shopping, delivering meals, and providing transport, as well as emotional and social support through community cafes, befriending services, and social activities, these organisations enhance the health, social, and emotional wellbeing of older people.


We also recognise that older people often volunteer themselves, and our volunteer outcomes in the tool kit reflect the significant contribution they make to the organisations they support.


Can I use this for other groups?

While the outcomes in this tool kit were developed specifically for older people, many of them may also apply to other groups such as those with disabilities, families, young people, and people from marginalised communities. However, as CAVEAT was not designed with these groups in mind, there may be some gaps in the outcomes and tools available.


Perhaps in the future, a new version of CAVEAT will address these gaps. For now, we hope that VCSE organisations can use CAVEAT to demonstrate how valuable their services are within our communities, improve their funding prospects, and enhance the quality of their services for years to come.


We are a team of researchers from:


(please click through to access more information on our organisations)


You can learn more about the development of the toolkit, our research journey, and the contributions of our public members to the project on our research pages.


CAVEAT is funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Applied Research Collaboration, Kent, Surrey and Sussex (ARC KSS)

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