In May 2019, we published our first quarterly reports of the year. Avid readers will notice a few things have changed – not just in the design, but more significantly the statistics we use and how we present them. We believe that the changes we made to our rough sleeping statistics will paint a better picture of our experience with people rough sleeping in Wales, better than ever before. This post will cover the main changes; if you have questions about any of the other differences, please email us.
With a clear split down the middle, we can put English and Welsh on the same page rather than printing two versions of reports going forward.
Our resources and publications should cater for English and Welsh speakers alike, and this is an important step in that direction.
In the past, we’ve reported on the number of individual clients seen by an RSIT (Rough Sleepers’ Intervention Team). This fails to capture the fact that clients will be seen several times. Now we’re including the number of individual clients and the number of contacts made with people, as well as a ratio that gives some idea of how many times each person is seen. Highlighting this should give us insight into the average length of time an individual is sleeping rough in an area.
In the old reports, we broke down the number of clients who had never been seen before by The Wallich RSIT by week. It struck me that it was more important to know the number of brand new clients seen in a quarter, rather than a particular week in a stretch of thirteen. This will also make comparison easier going forward.
On the second page of the reports, you’ll see a few sentences summarising interesting points, as well as some insight from the RSIT themselves, explaining how they think the quarter has gone. We believe numbers don’t tell the whole story and our experts hold valuable anecdotal evidence to give the context behind the statistics.
You’ll notice actual dates next to the quarter number – so that you can keep track of what period a particular report covers.
We’ve changed the way we calculate the overall percentage increases or decreases in terms of the number of people supported compared to the same quarter the previous year. In the past, we used a method involving the average number of people supported per week. Going forward, it’ll just be a comparison of the number of people supported, converted to a percentage. This means that those percentages will no longer be directly comparable with previous quarterly reports – if you do need clarification on any increase or decrease, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
When it comes to the new data we’ve added, we can’t include any comparisons to previous reports. However, after a full year of presenting data this way, we’ll include rough sleeping comparisons for Cardiff, Swansea, Bridgend and Newport – so, for example, we can tell you how the number of contacts has changed over a previous quarter.
We will continue to improve how we collect and communicate our statistics.