From Neighbourhoods Green
Greenspace is good ... fact!
Research into the Social Return on Investment (SROI) of green space demonstrate value for money.Greenspace Scotland has published the largest single set of Social Return on Investment (SROI) reports to prove that green space is good for our health, our communities and our quality of life. Ten SROI reports have revealed that every pound invested in environmental community activities in greenspace delivered between £2 and £17 in benefits. That represents good value for money.
Green space is good - so prove it! was a two year research programme funded by the Big Lottery Fund. Greenspace Scotland worked with 10 community groups using an SROI approach to show the social, economic and environmental value of their green space activities.
All of the projects made a positive contribution to their local communities and generated a good return on investment. The individual SROI analyses undertaken covered a wide range of activities including: community growing; diversionary use of greenspace; community engagement; youth volunteering; health walks and environmental competitions.
Speaking on the launch of the reports Julie Procter, Chief Executive of Greenspace Scotland said:
"By using a Social Return on Investment approach community greenspace groups have been able to show the real of value of their projects. At first glance, a community growing project has obviously delivered benefits through turning derelict ground into a productive growing space. But taking a closer look through these studies, we see that volunteers have improved their health through increased physical activity and eating the vegetables they produce; they've learned new horticultural and environmental skills; increased their social contacts and built their self-confidence - for some this has been a key part of their journey back to employment. That's just one example of the multiple benefits that the groups delivered as a result of their green space activities.
Collectively these studies provide powerful evidence that investing in greenspace represents good value for money - and that's becoming increasingly important in these very challenging times. We've shown that relatively small investments lever very real benefits in terms of preventative spend, with community greenspaces delivering big returns by improving people's health and wellbeing; building confidence and skills; reducing anti-social behaviour and creating safer, stronger and more vibrant communities."
Speaking about the experience of being involved in the programme, Helen Trainor of Gorbals Healthy Living Network said:
"The SROI project is proving invaluable to us. We are expected to be able to put a monetary value on the work we do. However, due to the nature of the service we provide and the groups and individuals we serve, it was always difficult for us to show this. Now thanks to SROI programme we are able to do this. We are also finding that being involved with Greenspace Scotland and the SROI programme has enabled us to present a more professional case, which has assisted us in achieving funding."
A summary of the report can be found here.
Further information can be found here.