Poverty and Welfare
We have developed expertise and understanding of the dynamics of poverty in the UK.
When Rocket Science started it was a truism that ‘the best way out of poverty is employment’ – but today, many live in poverty despite working and earning.
Welfare reform has created a need to understand its impact and develop appropriate responses to help the most vulnerable.
We work extensively in our poorest communities, helping clients understand needs and potential responses. We help review and develop anti-poverty approaches.
Increasingly we are asked to explore the connections between work, poverty, housing, and health.
Understanding the impacts of Welfare Reform
Our work has required sensitive engagement and consultation to capture ‘lived experience’ to tell compelling stories that bring data and impact of policy to life.
Evaluating services that support the vulnerable
We use a range of research techniques to capture the ‘client voice’ and develop approaches to support peer researchers and involve people in the thinking and design of recommendations.
Modelling cost savings by reducing poverty
We have developed a tool to measure poverty reduction, modelling savings for Housing, Social Care and Education services by focusing on interventions that support the Living Wage.
We evaluated the impact of the additional welfare rights and debt advice sessions offered through the Welfare Reform Mitigation Fund in Scotland. We created a social cost-benefit analysis of the impact of the funding- identifying the return on investment in terms of financial gain to individuals, fiscal costs, and soft outcomes.
We conducted a process and quantified impact assessment of the British Gas Energy Trust service which provides advice and support to people in financial hardship. Through interviews with services users (many of whom were vulnerable and on the brink of homelessness) to capture their experience and measure financial returns for them and the service.
On the Edge
We carried out ethnographic research with vulnerable residents to explore different aspects of peoples’ lives such as housing, mental health and getting out and about. We explored what a typical day looks like and helped them to voice what could make things better for them. This has led to a shared understanding about need for system change in Richmond.