Demonstrating the socio-economic benefits of Neighbourhood Networks

We evidenced the social and financial benefits of Neighbourhood Networks

  • We showed how Neighbourhood Networks’ peer-to-peer care model can improve the lives of service-users and reduce their reliance on traditional care, saving local authorities over £270,000 per year
  • We also provided evidence on how this care model can help to avoid an individual’s future dependence on care, helping local authorities to avoid potential costs of £236,000 per year
  • The Neighbourhood Networks team use the socio-economic report as a tool to pitch their services to local councils

"Taylor Nisbet worked in close partnership with Neighbourhood Networks to produce a detailed and robust economic analysis involving both quantitative and qualitative data. We were both assured and satisfied by Taylor Nisbet's determination and willingness to take on feedback to ensure we received a high quality product at the end of this process."

Heather Calvo, Chief Executive

The Project

Neighbourhood Networks is a registered Scottish charity that supports vulnerable adults – including those with learning disabilities, physical disabilities and mental health issues – to live an independent life within their own homes and empower them to become a part of their local communities with peer-to-peer support.

With the aim of expanding across more areas in Scotland, we were asked to complete a socio-economic analysis –  showing the impact on individuals and potential financial savings – of the services to present to key decision makers within local authorities.


Changes have taken place to the structure of how Health and Social Care is planned, funded and delivered across the country with the development of the new Health and Social Care Partnerships across local authorities. These developments also affect systems for decision making and who then makes those decisions.

Although local authorities in other regions have shown interest in Neighbourhood Networks, budget cuts have meant that quick and substantial cost savings are the main priority, which often brings a fear of change if there is any level of uncertainty. For this reason, there has to be a very clear financial benefit for councils to expand Neighbourhood Networks into their local areas.


Studies from the Division of Behavioural Neurology at the University of Iowa College of Medicine have shown that there is a psychological link between emotion and decision making. As well as establishing the financial case for Neighbourhood Networks, we saw an opportunity to present the impact of the organisation through real-life case studies.

To do this, we conducted informal, face-to-face interviews with individuals who have directly benefited from the charity in each of the outcome focused areas. This helped to bring the report to life and support the statistical evidence with a more personal focus, making an even stronger case to expand Neighbourhood Networks into more local areas.

“The case studies were great – one of the best bits of the report and we loved the quotes.”

What we did for Neighbourhood Networks

We created an in-depth report for Neighbourhood Networks, clearly highlighting the financial savings that the charity could achieve for local authorities and the impact on those who can benefit from their services.

Designed and printed in an engaging A4 document, the cost benefit analysis report could be presented to key decision makers within local authorities to raise awareness and secure funding for further networks across the country.

Project Objectives
  • Provide evidence of the savings that investment in the peer support model can realise
  • Get on the radar of key decision makers in local authorities
  • Present proof of concept for what Neighbourhood Networks does, which can be used as a business case to secure further networks and retain existing networks.


Our Approach

Research and collaboration played a huge part in this project – we worked with partners, the Neighbourhood Networks team and local authorities to present a report that clearly reflects the financial and community benefits of this charity, in line with the overarching objectives of appropriate adult care on a local and national level.


Briefing & research

In the first stage of the project, we worked with Neighbourhood Networks to gather and assess all existing information, including previous cost benefit analysis reports, financial information and details on how the charity operates.

We studied papers from their sister organisation, KeyRing, and in-depth health and social care strategies that gave us valuable insight on Scottish policy and how Neighbourhood Networks aligns with care objectives for local authorities. This stage – in addition to giving us the foundation of the report – prepared us for what else was needed to make a strong financial case.


Field research & case studies

To complete the real-life case studies, we worked with Neighbourhood Networks to approach individuals who use their services in different ways. It was important for participants to feel comfortable at all times, so we hosted the interviews in Neighbourhood Networks premises as informal, anonymous chats. We transcribed the interviews and included three case studies in the report.

We also interviewed local authorities who have been working with Neighbourhood Networks in their regions. This included a region with over 11 networks and a region that implemented the charity within the last year. This helped to establish proof-of-concept and preempt any questions that would need to be answered in the report.

At this stage, we worked alongside chartered accountants, Wylie & Bisset to conduct financial research and analysis that provides evidence on the costs that could be saved through implementing Neighbourhood Networks, in comparison to traditional support methods.


What difference did we make?

Neighbourhood Networks help vulnerable people improve their quality of life. With peer-to-peer care, they can build communities, support each other and reduce their dependence on traditional care models.

Each network supports 12 individuals – and today, there are currently 25 networks across 8 regions in Scotland, all working to better the lives of up to 300 people. As it stands, the Neighbourhood Networks care model allows local authorities to save over £6,750,000 per year and avoid potential costs of over £5,750,000 per year, by reducing future dependence on traditional care for those who are part of a network.

Neighbourhood Networks has ambitions to grow networks into every region across the country, helping more people in care and at the same time, reducing costs for local authorities. The report is a key tool in making that happen.


Thank you, Neighbourhood Networks!

It was a privilege for us to work with Neighbourhood Networks and speak with some of the individuals who benefit most from the life-changing work this charity provides for people all across Scotland. Find our more about the organisation here.

“We had previous evidence of our ability to save money for local authorities, however this information was out of date given the way the organisation and its structures have developed over the last 8 years. The team at Taylor Nisbet helped us to gather, analyse and present up-to-date information in a clear and concise way - giving us the important tools we need to show local authorities exactly how we can assist their communities, expand into more areas across Scotland and make a change in the lives of people who can benefit from our help”

Heather Calvo, Chief Executive, Neighbourhood Networks

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