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A Social Enterprise providing community based support for adults with learning disabilities and/or autism and mental health in the South West
Theory of Change

Theory of Change

04 January 2019

Social Change

As a Social Enterprise You First exists to facilitate the social change that people with learning disabilities and/or autism have told us they wish to see. People want to have meaningful and purposeful roles within their local community and to be valued, respected and treated as equal people; as citizens.

Social Enterprise illustrate how they will go about this through what is known as a Theory of Change Outcomes Framework. Theory of Change is central to the way that not-for-private-profit organisations operate. It describes the social change You First wishes to make and working backwards from the Ultimate Outcome describes all the necessary outcomes that need to be in place in order to enable and facilitate this change..


Community Connections

You First’s Theory of Change is a comprehensive illustration of how through enabling people to make genuine community connections, become empowered and autonomous and develop meaningful community roles individuals will be able to fulfil their potential and make a valued and respected contribution toward and within their local community.

Outcome work often focuses on “where are we now and where do we want to be?” whereas Theory of Change, which is key to the Third Sector, is focused in particular on mapping out what has been described as the “missing middle” between what a program or change initiative does (its activities or interventions) and how these lead to desired goals being achieved. The result is an Outcomes Framework, which you will find below.


Personal Empowerment

You First’s Outcomes Framework demonstrates how we will facilitate the process of personal empowerment for individuals with a learning disability and/or autism. This is a process, rather than an event, and it is a value driven process that will deliver the long-term goal of people not simply being present within but making a direct, respected and valued contribution toward and within their local community. 


Changing Communities

This is a process that not only changes lives; it also changes communities and it does so through individual empowerment. Any kind of movement starts with an individual and that individual reaching out to like minds and kindred spirits. You First enables and supports people with learning disabilities and/or autism to connect not only with each other but with their wider community and as such developing a naturally occurring network of social support that we all enjoy as members of a local community. 


Reducing Paid Support

You First’s Outcome Framework demonstrates the direct link between self-confidence and the acquisition of skill and knowledge. Increased confidence flows from an increased knowledge base. Our Theory of Change is a template designed to put You First out of business because people with a learning disability and/or autism will no longer need us when the Ultimate Outcome is achieved. 


Social Impact

All of You First’s planning will be informed by this Outcomes Framework and our Social Impact Reporting will be informed by specific measurements against it. The Outcomes Framework informs all of You First’s activities. We will publish our Social Impact measurement under the Quality tab on this website so that our progress against our Theory of Change Outcomes Framework can be viewed and evaluated by all our Stakeholders.