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Impact Assessment: the Plymouth Lighthouse Project

Updated: Jan 10, 2023

Apollo Health Innovations conducted an independent impact evaluation of the Lighthouse Project, a supported-living accommodation based in Plymouth, Devon, for addicted persons seeking to maintain abstinence-based recovery. The project was commissioned by South West Academic Health Science Network (SW AHSN). The evaluation was part of a broader programme identifying and transmitting innovative, place-based approaches that aim to improve the health and well-being of people disproportionately affected by COVID-19.


  1. An initial desk review and documentary analysis

  2. Discussions with the project management team to gain a deeper understanding of the service and its history

  3. Qualitative semi-structured interviews with residents and staff

  4. Analysis of the quantitative service usage data using standard descriptive statistical techniques

  5. Data analysis of the qualitative data using a rapid thematic approach


The residents have been overwhelmingly positive about the project. The most frequently mentioned components of the positive impact were maintaining abstinence, support, and socialisation. At the same time, some residents highlighted areas that would improve the project, such as the staff’s approaches to maintaining a positive atmosphere in the house, conflict resolution, and the project’s publicity.


The findings brought a better understanding of the two key areas:

  • the impact of residing at a mutual aid recovery community at reducing the health inequalities faced by individuals with addictions.

  • The impact on the short and long-term recovery of the addiction sufferers who participated and subsequently opted out of the project.

The Lighthouse Project management received recommendations on further activities to maximise the positive impact for the residents. Reflecting on past achievements as part of this impact report has helped the Lighthouse Project formulate an action plan concerning the ongoing evaluation and quality improvement of the service they provide currently and in future. They will be considering the conclusions drawn from the impact report when opening the second male and first female accommodations in the coming years.

Dominic Robinson, Manager of Plymouth Lighthouse Project, said:

The report created by Apollo was used to inform the creation of an impact framework, and it will be used to support a share offer that will fund the purchase of the building and secure the long term future of the project. It gave confidence to directors and staff and focused us on what we were doing right.

Communication was always excellent, and it was great having Seb in the building – his enthusiasm was infectious. It helped us remember that we were doing a lot right. The project has since gone from strength to strength. The report itself was a thorough reflection of what we do here, written in scientific language.

We’d definitely recommend Apollo to other organisations.

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