Buttle UK: Turning Points Campaign

Development Economics undertook an economic impact assessment of the proposed expansion of the Chances for Children programme to be delivered by national charity Buttle UK. The study assessed the impact that an expanded grant giving programme would have on three of society’s most vulnerable groups: struggling families; families escaping domestic abuse; and young people (16-19) who are estranged from their families and who are often homeless.

Buttle UK grants are made through a wide range of referring organisations – such as children’s services departments, housing associations and other charities – who are already working with these families and young people. The grants are designed to pay for small capital expenditures which help a family or young person address immediate crisis, and then support them over the longer term to pay for items and other costs that they would otherwise be unable to meet, and which act as a barrier to them creating a change in their circumstances.

For example, the grants can provide funds to purchase a second hand cooker for an unfurnished flat, enabling a family to prepare meals at home rather than relying on take-outs. Other items commonly funded including furniture and bedding, but other grants have been used to fund children’s activities and IT equipment for young people so they can continue their studies.

The assessment undertaken by Development Economics identified a benefit-to-cost ratio of approximately 6:1 for investing in targeted, timely intervention grants to families and young people in crisis.

This means that for every £1 raised and spent on these grants, over £6 of public expenditure savings and additional public revenues could be achieved.

Savings are not just confined to public expenditure. The analysis shows that £20.5 million of investment in targeted, timely intervention grants could mean that the three groups studied could be better off (in terms of increased household incomes) by £37 million over the course of 15 years.

Economic assessment

DATE November 2016
RESULT Benefit-to-cost ratio

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