Aston academics help Midlands social enterprise become a centre of excellence

My Time

Established in 2002, My Time Community Interest Company (My Time) is a provider of bespoke, holistic, family-orientated, multi-lingual, intercultural, professional mental health services supported by the Big Lottery Fund.

These include a range of psychological and social welfare interventions to those facing depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and experiencing mental illness.

My Time is working in collaboration with academics from Aston Business School, led by Dr Judy Scully, from the Work & Organisational Psychology Group, to develop robust models and assessment tools to demonstrate the sustainable social and financial benefits of the services they provide.

The health/social care delivery system in the UK is constantly changing. The main aim for My Time is to position themselves as a clear alternative and complimentary service to current NHS/Local Authority services by evidencing its social impact and value for money.  Their long term goal is to become a Centre of Excellence in developing and delivering mental health services.

With increasing pressure on budgets for non-statutory services, such as those provided by My Time, the organisation’s biggest challenge is to effectively market the benefits of its successful, user-led model to commissioners, emphasising better health, social and financial outcomes. This project will help to develop suitable assessment models to demonstrate the impact of the services. 

Academics at Aston Business School will work with My Time to develop two main models. The first will benchmark initial case assessments, allowing case workers to accurately develop an intervention cost. The second will establish the initial and post intervention ‘societal’ cost to support the case family in terms of statutory and non-statuary expenditure.

These models will allow case workers and commissioning organisations to identify the longer term societal savings unlocked by the support interventions. i.e. to identify the ‘return on investment’.

For My Time, the success of this project will result in more end users benefitting from its services through an increased number of contracts with commissioning organisations and an established set of social-franchise businesses with associated management and training requirements.

For the academic team at Aston, there will be an opportunity to extend and diversify Aston Business School projects in modernising the public sector, increasing social impact and informing policy. Additionally, it will contribute to Aston University’s mission to work with regional SMEs to support and sustain the regional economy.

This two year project is part funded by the Knowledge Exchange and Enterprise Network (KEEN). KEEN is a new business improvement programme, part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, designed to help West Midlands based SMEs increase their profitability and achieve growth through working with a regional University.

To find out more about how your business can benefit from working with Aston University, please email bpu@aston.ac.uk or call 0121 204 4242.