When we wrote the original blog post about the impact of City Angels we tried to find some statistics about Accident and Emergency admissions in Chichester as another indicator on their impact. We couldn’t find the sort of data we needed – it had to be for Friday nights only and anything that was there didn’t seem to be freely available or at the right level of detail.
But City Angels have just been told that Friday night admissions last year were down a massive 61%. Particularly given the recent anxiety about A&E resources that’s a really significant impact.
With our data-nerds hats on, we were also really excited that City Angels had received additional funding to start operating on Saturday nights – which would seem a good thing for Chichester – but also because it provides a natural experiment over two years.
In fact, at the moment they’re operating on Friday nights every week, and every other week on Saturdays – so hopefully later in the year they’ll be able to get police and health data comparing ‘on’ and ‘off’ Saturdays.
And one other snippet of impact – some of their new volunteers are people who’ve previously been helped by the Angels on a Friday night.
It’s a reminder to us that really compelling evidence of the impact you have doesn’t necessarily need to involve big and complex (and expensive) studies. You may already be unwittingly carrying out a natural experiment of this sort, and just need a little bit of data and analysis to discover the results.