LHA is a charity providing affordable accommodation to young working people and students in London, with the aim to make London more accessible, enabling young people to pursue their careers and passions. LHA operates 14 London hostels, providing nearly 2000 bed spaces. LHA also provides financial support to partner organisations with the objective of reducing homelessness amongst young people. With the charity in its 82nd year, the Board of Trustees desired to assess and record just how much practical difference LHA has made for its beneficiaries, and commissioned a social impact report to quantify the impact and help strengthen it in the coming years.
After establishing the report objectives with the Board of Trustees and staff, we reviewed LHA’s existing reports, data and Theory of Change, and defined the metrics required to evaluate impact and performance. Surveys were designed, and distributed to LHA residents and alumni for data collection. We also conducted interviews with partner organisations in order to develop holistic case studies of the indirect impact that LHA achieves. Findings from surveys and interviews were collated in an impact report, which describes the context, mission and vision statements, outputs, and results from the data collected on shorter- and longer-term outcomes.
The social impact report has recently been published to the LHA website. The report clearly demonstrates the direct impact that LHA has on its residents, and the indirect impact it achieves through its support to partner organisations. For example, we found that more than half of the residents thought that they would not have been able to stay in London if they had not stayed with LHA, indicating that LHA is able to make London more accessible to these people. We also explain how, during the pandemic, as a large proportion of international young people left the city, LHA was able to provide its empty hostels to a number of homelessness charities, helping to alleviate rough sleeping in a time of reduced access to shelter, support, and funds. With the help of this report and the data collection tools used to measure social impact, LHA will be able to continue to consistently measure and communicate their impact in the coming years.
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