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About ImROC

ImROC is a mental health support and development organisation based in England. It is an independent consultancy and training organisation recognised globally for its recovery-focused approach and expertise in the translation of its values into practice.

Evaluating ImROC’s Peer Support Theory and Practice training

ImROC has been delivering peer training for over 15 years. In 2022, ImROC commissioned Matter of Focus to carry out an independent evaluation of their Peer Support Theory and Practice training. The course provides a foundational training for people interested in offering mental health peer support in the statutory and voluntary sectors.

Our evaluation approach helps organisations working with complex, people-based change.

We take an outcome mapping approach that aims to uncover not only if, but also how interventions or initiatives make a difference. For this evaluation we were seeking to understand if and how the training contributed towards trainees going on to thrive in their roles as peer supporters.

Following the participatory outcome mapping process, supported by a scoping review of wider peer support training, we evaluated our proposed theory of how change happened through the training. We did this by collecting and analysing a variety of research data including individual interviews, focus groups and surveys with trainees and trainers over eight months.

About this webinar

The webinar will be presented by evaluation lead Dr Simon Bradstreet (Principal Evaluation Consultant, Matter of Focus) and Dr Audrey Buelo (Evaluation Consultant, Matter of Focus), and in conversation with Poppy Repper and Danny Bowyer (ImROC Peer Training Team Co-Leads).

Who is this webinar for

This webinar is open to everyone. It will be particularly relevant if you have an interest in:

Register to join us live and to receive a link to the recording

This webinar will be held live on Zoom. Please follow the link to register for your unique link to join us. Everyone that registers will receive a link to the recording in the days following the live event.

Register for this webinar

In this Evaluation Stories webinar we focus on our work with Future Pathways.

You can watch the recording here.

About Future Pathways

Future Pathways supports people who were abused or neglected as a child when they were in the Scottish care system. Their work focuses on supporting people to achieve their personal outcomes so that they can lead full, healthy, and independent lives. The service is delivered by the In Care Survivors Alliance and funded by the Scottish Government.

A collaborative approach to evaluation and learning

We’ve had the pleasure of working alongside Future Pathways since 2018 to help them in embedding self-evaluation supported by OutNav. At key stages in their journey, we acted as an independent learning partner to build on their own learning.

Most recently, we reviewed evidence gathered and analysed by Future Pathways and supplemented it with new data we collected at a series of workshops and discussions with people supported by the service and partners working with Future Pathways. Findings were published in the Stepping Stones impact report in August 2023.

By combining a self-evaluation approach with independent analyses and review, Future Pathways has been able to describe and understand its impact more fully and tell a robust story of the difference that they make.

About this webinar

In this webinar, Dr Simon Bradstreet (Principal Evaluation Consultant, Matter of Focus), Flora Henderson (In Care Survivors Alliance Manager) and Louise Hall (Impact and Evaluation Lead, Future Pathways) explore key insights from the impact report and the benefits of combining ongoing self-evaluation with external input.

In this webinar, you will:

Please watch if you are interested in:

Watch the webinar

This webinar was held live on 8 February 2024. You can watch the recording below.

Watch the webinar

Why this webinar?

Wouldn’t it be lovely to have all of your data and evidence streamlined and ready for whenever you need to make a decision or demonstrate your impact?

Yet in the real world; you’re busy, your work is incredibly complex, you have little to no internal research capacity to help.

What data and information do you need? Where is it? What should you focus on? How do you bring it all together to tell a robust story of the difference your work makes?

It can be challenging to use data well to understand and track your impact. Particularly in an increasingly information-rich age. It can feel like the job of collecting and analysing feedback is never done and that the data you need for decision-making or demonstrating impact is often missing.

If you’re grappling with how to evidence the difference your work makes and are feeling confused and overwhelmed, you’re not alone: this is a challenge faced by many of the organisations we work with.

This webinar aims to give you some practical next steps to help you bring together and analyse different kinds of data in real-world settings.

What we cover in this webinar:

We share:

Watch the webinar

ImROC is an English mental health support and development organisation. A significant part of the work of ImROC is the design and delivery of training for peer support workers employed in voluntary and statutory services, primary care and secondary care, for long term conditions including mental health problems. Core to this training is the Peer Support Theory and Practice course.

This evaluation sought to understand and explore how this training contributes to trainees going on to thrive in their roles as peer supporters. It found overwhelming evidence that the training is effective and can make a difference in the way outlined in the theory of change for the majority of trainees.

You can download the report below to learn more about the course, how ImROC navigated the challenging context in which peer supporters work, and how well the evidence we found supports the theory of change we helped them set out using our software OutNav.

Download this report

You can click the button below to download this report as a PDF.

DOWNLOAD

Related content

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In East Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership’s pilot Peer Support Service, people with their own lived experience of mental health or addiction recovery worked closely with people using services as their peers.

Read more about this work and our independent evaluation of the pilot.


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Why we need a meaningful approach to understand and assess research impact

It can be challenging to show how research and knowledge contribute to society and the economy. Basic cause and effect models are not appropriate, because the way research is taken up and used is a complex process.

Often systems ask us to ‘count’ incidents of impact, which ignores the rich processes of engagement and new learning that characterise how knowledge impacts people and communities.

Join us for the keys to understanding and assessing research impact

In this webinar, Matter of Focus Co-Director and University of Edinburgh Honorary Fellow Dr Sarah Morton will explore some of the challenges of understanding and assessing research impact, especially where research is used in influencing, inspiring and educating people, and where issues of cause and effect are more complex.

The webinar will work through three keys to understanding and assessing impact:

  1. Clarifying the processes of impact most relevant to your work
  2. Focusing on reach and engagement
  3. Creating a framework to track impact that is simple but robust

Leave with some actionable next steps

By the end of the webinar you will have some new ideas, tools and techniques to get going with tracking the impact of your own work.

Who is this webinar for?

This webinar is open to anyone with an interest in understanding the impact of their work, but it will be particularly relevant for:

Register for this webinar

Hosted by research impact expert Dr Sarah Morton

Sarah has been working on evidence to action for 19 years. She is internationally recognised for developing innovative approaches to ensure decision-makers have access to the best evidence for taking organisations, policies, and practices forward.

Sarah pioneered a participatory approach using contribution analysis to understand impact, Sarah has developed a pioneering approach to understanding research impact, based on contribution analysis and this is the basis of our approach here at Matter of Focus. 

This has been applied in seven independent impact assessments, to help people with REF impact case studies, and is the basis for the approach and software developed by Matter of Focus. Cutting her knowledge exchange (KE) teeth at the pioneering Centre for Research on Families and Relationships, Sarah broadened understanding of the interaction between research, policy and practice through research and practice work with UNICEF, What Work Scotland and others, and worked alongside organisations to use evidence for improving services for the families and communities they serve (with Healthcare Improvement Scotland, Starcatchers, The Scottish Book Trust, Shelter Scotland and others). 

Please register to attend and to receive the recording

This webinar will be held live on Zoom. Please follow the link to register for your unique link to join us. Everyone that registers will receive a link to the recording in the days following the live event.

Register for this webinar
DigiFest23 logo

We were delighted to host this webinar as part of
DigiFest23‘s programme of Satellite Sessions.

You can watch the recording here.

Why this webinar?

Being able to describe and evaluate the difference that digital and data-driven innovations make is essential to ensuring they contribute to a more efficient and helpful health and care system and, ultimately, improved outcomes for people.

Digital transformation is a complex process that is as much about change management and service redesign as it is about IT.

Investing in digital transformation programmes can require substantial resources and can prove hard to implement in real world settings, especially when they must engage many people within a complex system. Capturing learning throughout the process and gathering evidence on effective approaches becomes crucial for scaling up transformation across the system.

Our experience

At Matter of Focus we’ve had the pleasure of working with pioneering programmes developing new approaches to transforming health and social care systems to be more digitally enabled. From this work, we know that traditional approaches to evaluation can be hard to operationalise in the context of these complex projects and can miss some of the key factors that create the conditions for impact.

Through our work, we have identified essential lessons that any organisation looking to evaluate digital transformation programmes in health and social care should consider. Join us at this webinar to learn more.

What this webinar covers

In this webinar we share key lessons from our work evaluating transformation programmes, including:

We were delighted to be joined by Karim Mahmoud from the Digital Health and Care Innovation Centre who shared experiences of embedding evaluation into the Rural Centre of Excellence for Digital Health and Care in Moray.  

Watch the webinar

This webinar was held live on 6 December 2023. It was presented by Dr Ailsa Cook and chaired by Bouchra Atkinson, with special guest speaker Karim Mahmoud, Commercial Innovation Lead at the Digital Health and Care Innovation Centre.

Why this webinar?

Driving social change means working in a messy, complex, and dynamic environment, where external influences are constantly shifting. And because of the unique context of any work, what ‘works’ in one place and time will not necessarily work in another.

If we are to understand and evaluate the impact of our work, we need to explore how and why change happens within the complex context we’re working in.

Yet, by their nature, complex contexts are hard to grapple with.

In this webinar we explore why it’s important to try to understand the unique context of your work and we’ll share some tools and techniques to help you.

What the webinar covers

Who is this webinar for?

This webinar will be of interest to programme leaders, project managers, decision-makers, and change-makers from third sector and public sector organisations who want to make the best difference they can and understand their impact.

It will be of particular interest to those with a remit for strategy, quality, evaluation or learning within their organisation.

Watch the webinar

This webinar was held live on 28 November 2023. It was presented by Ailsa Cook and chaired by Dr Kelly Shiell-Davis.

In this webinar, we explore theories of change and how to put them into action to transform the way you understand, implement, and evaluate how your work makes a difference to the people and communities you care about.

What the webinar covers

Who will find this webinar of interest

Programme leaders, project managers, decision-makers, and change-makers from third sector and public sector organisations who want to make the best difference they can and understand their impact.

Watch the webinar

This webinar was held live on 26 September 2023


Evaluating impact within complex systems: the importance of context
28 November 12.30–1.30pm (GMT)

This webinar will address the importance of understanding the unique and complex context in which you are working. Drawing on examples from our work, we will show how, by mapping context, you can articulate the risks and assumptions that underpin your theory of how change will happen in your programme or initiative.
Find out more and register your place


Green Health Prescribing is an approach that supports people to engage in nature-based activities which offer solutions to improve physical and mental health outcomes, as well as reducing social isolation and improving community cohesion.

The aims of this evaluation were to use the available data and evidence to understand the Project’s ability to:

This report sets out the background and development of the Midlothian Green Health Prescribing Project. It presents a summary of the key learnings and impacts of this work based on evidence gathered by the project stakeholders and through additional data collection.

A series of next steps were also identified by the project team, to progress this work further in Midlothian and spread the approach to other areas.

Download this report

You can click the button below to download this report as a PDF.

Download

You can also view this report on the NHS Lothian Green Health website, where you can find out more information about their work.

In 2020, the Scottish Government Cashback for Communities granted funding to includem to provide an early intervention service in West Dunbartonshire. This service aimed to help children and young people aged 10 to 15 who were felt to be at risk of offending, and their families. The service had six key outcomes.

Matter of Focus is the evaluation partner for this work. In collaboration with includem, we produced this impact report for the service’s third year. It draws together evaluative evidence gathered by includem, along with independent data collection, and guided by the Matter of Focus approach.

Download this report

You can click the button below to download this report as a PDF.

Download

This report can also be viewed on the Cashback for Communities website, where you can learn more about their work with includem.


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We carried out an independent evaluation of the Life Changes Trust Advisory Group (Young People with Care Experience Programme), co-commissioned by the Trust alongside the young Advisors.

Find out more, read the report and watch the online learning event