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How We Make Impact?

Showing impact of our work:  it is not straightforward for us to collect qualitative data from beneficiaries directly.

As part of our drop-in work, we map connections with people by visit, by postcode and by frequency and nature of visit.

We demonstrate best our impact through case studies – e.g., case studies of young people who have accessed our services and we have seen improvement in their performance at school, have comments from parents/ and or schools, seen an increase in motivation / aspiration and have evidence of appreciation of input.

We have trialled recently some softer measures which indicate benefit traditionally used by charities to evidence their impact which looks at perceived benefit to well being in terms which matches a Western viewpoint using such questions as:  quote questions.

Case study – using majority culture impact questionnaire

With two isolated women (single, age bracket 55-60, new users to our service – recently not working due to increased lack of mobility following illness / repeated operations) who have walked under a mile  to access services and were looking for economic support with input to provision in their flats, a bilingual support worker gently asked them if they would consider answering a questionnaire which would be used to measure the output of our services.  They were advised that they might consider the questions invasive.

Both are of an age which they consider to be old (within their home culture) within which they consider their life to be past and themselves to be old and not needing any longer to ‘push themselves to take an active part in life’.  This attitude springs from the different culture and can be challenged gently but definitely impacts on mental attitudes to recovery from operations that in the host population are seen to be ‘routine’ and can be recovered from. This attitude is seen by our workers to impact negatively on people’s attitudes (refusing to eat well/sensibly; exercise; work; engagement in social activities; withdrawal).

Both responded to the questions as having no relevance to them or their situation:  their perception was that these questions were suggesting that they could not cope with their lives (as Muslims their perception is that the condition of their lives is ordered by God, and they should submit to that) and traditionally acknowledging levels of stress or distress not only compromises their religious tenets but challenges traditionally held beliefs concerning mental health.  One lady repeatedly said: “I have pain but that is what makes life difficult nothing else.  I can cope with pain.”


R (9 years) arrived in the UK in 20xx direct from Somalia with his sister (8 years) and his Mum. It seems that contact was made with SOCOPA through a relative whose children had benefited from our input previously.

Traumatised R, removed from all he has known, soon became aware that his younger sister was picking up English quicker; her easy smile and outgoing nature meant that there were always kids around her willing to help. For him, a troubled face dominated his nature: he had to take the responsibilities of a man; his mum was alone. He found others difficult to understand and couldn’t get his points across; he turned in on himself and only used his face or gestures to communicate.

Covid 19 brought about lockdowns: R and his sister were thrown back into a Somali-language-only-world with confusing English instructions from school until SOCOPA put 1:2 lessons via video streaming in place weekly.

After a few months back in school R (11 years ) then had to move from the relative safety of primary school to a secondary school where he was targeted by others. He was easy to bait; he had few other Somalis around him; he would easily misunderstand remarks and stand up for himself physically and aggressively if teased

Mum asked for SOCOPA’s help – she was told by school “Your son has ‘anger issues’.” SOCOPA gave him extra support at Saturday sessions and provided some 1:1 sessions where he could discuss what bothered him and study English at his own level with no one else seeing his mistakes or ridiculing the level of his English work. They created work where he could experience success. These tailored lessons gave him an opportunity to attend, to talk about his issues and a sunnier nature began to appear.

Additionally, he was given gentle mentoring through the SOCOPA sports programme (Saturdays and Sundays) where he began to see how issues with others could be resolved without a fight and to appreciate the input of older Somali young men who could respond to his humour and to his dramatic poses and expressions.

In school, they noticed his penchant for drama and story and encouraged him to take part. SOCOPA now is seeking to sponsor his attendance at extra drama lessons and to foster the undoubted talent that he has.



On behalf of Harriet and myself, just to say thank you once again for organising such a great meeting yesterday. We were extremely taken by the warm and generous reception you and the community gave us, and we both found it an extremely enlightening and useful session. We’re both very grateful to you for organising, and to the whole community for giving up their afternoon to welcome us. Please do pass on our most sincere gratitude and thanks to your colleagues.Harriet has of course promised to return to Leicester, so I hope we shall see you again soon. With all best wishes,
Claudia Garland
I am thankful to the Somali Community Parents Association who helped me in passing my driving theory test. They provided me with a friendly environment. The tutor was kind and polite who not only guided me well but also gave a boost to my morale. I appreciate that they gave me individual attention to pass my test. I hope they will continue their good efforts so that they will be a well known centre in Leicester.
I appreciate the help I received from the Somali Community Parents Association; they were polite and very positive with a great attitude towards the participants. SOCOPA helped me with my theory test; they booked it for me and gave me the support and confidence to pass it, as well as providing me with free driving lessons for my practical test which I took a week after I has passed my theory test. I also passed my practical exam and I wouldn’t have done it without the help from the Somali Community Parents Association.
Ayub Mohamed Abdi
I am 21 and SOCOPA has helped me improve my skills and has helped me work hard towards my future objectives such as finishing university and finding work. It has helped me improve my organisational skills and has made me the person I am today. SOCOPA organisation helped me improve my A level biology grade immensly due to the tuition they offered. Overall my previous grade increased, I am very thankful to this organisation me for helping me with my academic education.
Imisra Hasan
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