Charities and volunteers support thousands of people in Swindon and save the public purse millions of pounds, a new report to councillors has revealed.

And the report by Voluntary Action Swindon, which acts to help co-ordinate and support the efforts of voluntary groups across the borough, breaks down the extraordinary range of work and the huge benefit it brings to the town and its people.

The report goes into detail of the value of a number of charities that carry out work commissioned and funded by Swindon Borough Council and the NHS’s Bath & Northeast Somerset, Swindon & Wiltshire Integrated Care Board.

The report says: “Swindon Carers supports 2441 unpaid carers aged five and over out of 4297 registered carers.

“Estimated savings to the public purse through the unpaid adult carers each year in Swindon is £529m million using Carers Support UK figures.

“Just 16 adults cared for and able to stay at home and delay residential care for a year, would fund this entire contract. Young people who become 'not in education, employment or training' (NEET) trigger lifetime economic costs of £65,000.

“Just eight young carers supported and prevented from becoming NEET would fund this entire contract.”

The monetary value of the contracts between the public bodies and the charities are not available in the report for confidentiality reasons.

The Alzheimer’s Society is supporting 212 people with dementia and their carers, and the report says: “The saving of just one person supported to stay independently at home for a further year instead of requiring residential care would cover the cost of the annual contract to the Alzheimer's Society.”

There are several charities listed supporting people with mental health difficulties - Mind Swindon and Gloucestershire is helping 1693 people a year, Ipsum is supporting 1000 people a year with some of their service users as young as 11 and Recovery Tree, which runs the Twigs Community Gardens is working with 145 people a year.

The report says keeping just one or two people a year from having to stay in a psychiatric hospital for a year more than pays for the contacts and adds without the Twigs garden, there would be much more pressure on the NHS.

It reads: “86 per cent of Twigs clients report an improvement in their mental health; 66 per cent report an improvement in physical health; 82 per cent report being able to function more independently and 92 per cent report increased self-confidence."

The cost of the council and care board’s contract with the Swindon Advocacy Movement, which supports 800 adults every year is precisely half the cost of one A&E admission.

The Citizens Advice Bureau in Swindon helps nearly 9,000 and the report says: “The total saving to the NHS by Citizens Advice Swindon last year is estimated at 126 per cent of the value of this contract.

“The total benefits accessed by clients helped by Citizens Advice Swindon last year was £6,776,458.

“This service put an average of £2,436 in savings or additional income into the packet of every client helped.”

Phoenix Enterprises, which works with more than 100 vulnerable adults with mental health issues, learning and physical disabilities is estimated to save the taxpayer £104,000.

The Harbour Project helps 1400 refugees and asylum seekers a year in the borough and its English teaching and translation services are worth much more than the money paid under the charity’s contract – last year 469 students attended 5548 sessions of English lessons.

Finally Voluntary Action Swindon, adds that it helps join up the voluntary organisations and the public bodies. The report says: “The value of additional funding VAS directly helped bring into the sector in 2022 is equal to 365 per cent of our contract value.”