Evaluating The Outdoor Partnership’s ‘Opening Doors to the Outdoors’ (ODO) Programme

Health and Care Economics Cymru (HCEC) Research Officers, Dr Ned Hartfiel, Dr Holly Whitely and Abraham Makanjuola at Bangor University and Professor Mary Lynch from the University of the West of Scotland are collaborating with The Outdoor Partnership and Cyflymu/Accelerate to evaluate the impact of the ‘Opening Doors to the Outdoors’ (ODO) Programme.

ODO is a social prescribing programme which works with local GP clusters and Community Mental Health Teams in Gwynedd and Anglesey. The programme will recruit sixty participants to attend one four-hour ODO session per week for twelve weeks with the aim of improving physical and mental well-being through outdoor activities. Within six North Wales locations, participants will take part in activities such as low-level walking with options for doing other activities such as e-biking, climbing and paddle sports. All activities will be accessible and include time for socialisation (i.e., stop for a picnic and a visit to a café). Participants will be encouraged to connect with each other and develop friendships.

A social return on investment (SROI) framework will be used to evaluate ODO, which will measure the scale of improved mental and physical well-being for every £1 invested in the programme, calculated by dividing the total value of outcomes by the total value of inputs.