Project Olion worked with NEET young people, helping to improve their confidence, their self-efficacy, the number and quality of their peer relationships, and to raise their awareness of the opportunities available to them. Olion was a £250,000 Reach the Heights project that was delivered by Swansea Metropolitan University (now part of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David) with TAN Dance, Swansea YMCA and Theatr Fforwm Cymru as delivery partners. The University sought our help to demonstrate how the initiative had made a difference.
What we did
We delivered a workshop, helping the project partners to clearly define the Theory of Change for their project – a process that helps to link the needs driving the project to the impact (the outcomes) that those involved want to achieve, and to develop a way of measuring impact that was appropriate to the resources available as well as to the end beneficiaries of the project. We supported partners in gathering their own quantitative and qualitative data and we gathered other information independently to supplement it. We collated the data and fed back to Swansea Metropolitan University (now University of Wales Trinity Saint David) who were the lead partner throughout the project. The evaluation was a formative process – it helped to shape the project as it progressed. We then used the data gathered over the life of the programme into a final evaluation report.
Results of our work
The project partners commented on how the process helped them to better understand how to evaluate projects such as these and the final evaluation highlighted lessons learned and a range of issues for the university to take forwards as best practice.