Our Theory of Change & Impact Summary 2012-2015

To inspire, train and support diverse, unemployed young adults (18-35) to create sustainable livelihoods locally and help build a more resilient, sustainable and fair community.

Outcome 1: Sustainable Livelihoods

Our key indicators include what people do 4 weeks after our intervention with our direct support (self-employed / business start-up; employment; further training; work-experience/volunteering), and qualitative feedback (confidence levels, how they see their future, their engagement with the local community and other people, skill improvements). 

Key figures & quotes: 

8-month programme 32 people who participated: 63% became self-employed, 22% entered employment, and 16% entered further education / work-experience. 

  • KS (2015): “I have been trusted to take responsibility for the first time.”
  • OC (2015): “I have learned to progress an idea and to make it concrete, then actually do it.”
  • MD (2015): “I can’t think of anywhere else where I’d have the opportunity to create a sustainable business from scratch and get involved with every step of the process – from writing a business plan to actually building the shop interior.” “It has really changed how I think of work – now it actually seems possible that I could make a living at the same time as doing something good for society.” 

Short courses, mentoring & workspace 53 people participated in our 2-week Start-up Inspire Courses & follow up mentoring, and we have follow up data from 25 of them: 44% went into employment, 20% went into training / volunteering, 24% had part-time work but stayed signed on, 12% unknown. 

Lucy Martin, Partnership Manager for Somerset Department for Work and Pensions: “The impact of the Start-up Inspire course on participants has been, without exception, very positive. We have had several job outcomes as well as customers feeling more inspired to take up further training, go onto complete work experience or really start to give their future careers some thought. The team has been amazing, truly committed to treating all participants as individuals, giving them the confidence and motivation they needed to give their life’s more purpose, as well as developing their skills.” 

Workspace and mentoring 26 young adults made use of our free work-space and mentoring offer, and we have follow up date from 13 of them: 31% set themselves up as self-employed, 15% found employment, 23% entered further education, and 31% engaged in other activities (volunteering, work-experience, and travel). 

Participants: “I have been involved in several film projects since I have been here and it has really boosted my confidence. I am finally doing what I have always dreamed of doing.” – “I really value how we looked at all the positives of what I want to do. I really value being treated like a human being.” – “Here you have actually listened to what I have said and it has meant that I have got on and moved forward.” 

Workshops & events example Participants on our 8-month programmes designed & delivered several 1 hour workshops for a total of 900 college students to inspire them about social enterprise and taking initiative to create opportunities for themselves. 

Rose Hiron- Grimes: Frome College Enterprise Coordinator: “The students seemed to really enjoy the workshop with Edventure and we have had some very positive feedback about it with many saying they would have liked to have had more time on these ideas. They have clearly been inspired as a number of them have signed up for the Frome College Enterprise Club.” 

Outcome 2: A stronger local community 

We use two main indicators for a ‘stronger community’. First, the reach of projects undertaken by and involving local people to address a local need of marginalised people. Second, case-studies of people positively relating to people from different backgrounds and generations. 

Key figures 

With teams of our beneficiaries we have started 25 local projects and enterprises, involving 2723 diverse people face to face, which responded to a local need. In first two years we completed several small projects with each of our groups. Since 2015 we have shifted towards starting one community enterprise with each group. 

Our projects responding to local need

Health & Wellbeing Local research has shown that the people most in need have least access to food and activities that promote Health & Wellbeing. 

Our team projects:  Community Dining event (2014); Health & Wellbeing project for the medical practice (2014) 

Diverse community participation Frome has a divided community, including Somerset’s most deprived estates.

Our team projects:  Frome Dippy Consultation (2013); Participate Frome (2013) 

Community Space Affordable spaces for diverse people. Especially young adults have reported that there are very few places to be/work/meet after leaving school. 

Our team projects:  Sun Street Chapel Improvement (2012); Roundtower – Edventure Hub (2013); Mendip YMCA Community Centre Improvements (2012); Welsh Mill Hub Development (2013); OASIS community game (2014); Roundhouse garden (2015) 

Youth Provision Cuts have affected provision for young teenagers in the town. There is a need for safe spaces for young people to meet and engage in positive activities. 

Our team projects: Mess about Wednesdays (2012); Youth-led young artist exhibition (2013); Hub Club Charity Fundraising Performance (2013); Youth Entrepreneurs Fair (2012); Frome College Enterprise workshops (2013/14); Welsh Mill Hub events (2014)

Sustainable local economy With industries closed down, the economy in Frome is shifting. The small business sector provides most opportunities, but access to those jobs is often limited for many unskilled / young people.

Our team projects: Ethical Market Challenge (2013); Edventure catering promoting local food (2012); Frome Wood-recyclers (2012/13); Frome Drawing Charcoal (2013); Portable Pizza Oven (2014); Heartwood Restorations (2015); Share – a library of Things (2015

Quote from an participant: “I have learned a lot about working in groups, the value of it and also from the experience of actively working with and growing to trust and cooperate with a ‘pick and mix bunch of people’”

Objective 3: A stronger local economy 

As indicators for a stronger local economy we use the number of jobs created (both directly in our satellite enterprises and within the enterprises our beneficiaries start) and qualitative feedback from users of our workspace. 

Key figures 

23 new jobs through beneficiaries becoming self-employed. 

8 jobs created within our satellite enterprises 

10 additional jobs created through the enterprises of our beneficiaries 


Chisel & Grain is a carpentry company that was started by one of our beneficiaries three years ago, and has become the biggest initiative that we helped develop. The company now provides work for 10 people, building garden cabins, extensions, and soon work starts building a small house. The company uses reclaimed materials, and provides opportunities to number of young adults who have come through Edventure. 

What helped the company grow over the past 2.5 years was our community network, and the partnerships which we helped build for them. For example, we linked them with a landlord who could provide space for their workshop free of charge initially in exchange for some building work and a loan of machinery from a retiring carpenter, which meant that they did not have to take out a loan to start-up their business. We also linked them with a well-known local architect and builder who was keen to support young adults. They started working in partnership which meant that they could do pieces of work which they would otherwise not been able to access, and gained valuable, practical skills through this informal mentoring relationship. 

Of course, what really made the company flourish was the hard work of the people who are doing the work. What Edventure has done was to create a bridge between an unemployed young adult and people in the community who were in the position to provide opportunities, mentoring and initial contracts to help them get the foot into the door – creating a win-win situation for all involved and the local economy. 

Collaboration with Chisel & Grain