Our small research team runs projects for organisations that want to gain a better understanding of their work and the impact it’s having.
We tend to work with people who experience and go through projects and services, and try to tell their stories through our work. This makes our approach quite qualitative as a result, but sometimes the hardest problems cannot be shifted by numbers alone. We believe that the only way to really learn, and therefore to really change and improve, is through understanding the experience of the people that services or projects are trying to help.
Family working and young people are topics that have been the focus of our most recent workshop research.
We all understand the importance of the family unit, but quite often, public policy or projects focus only on individuals in isolation. By ignoring the important social bonds that families create, they are missing out an essential element that can contribute to a person’s wellbeing.
We’ve been working with Carers Trust since 2010 on a pilot project that has been funded by Comic Relief. This takes the concept that young carers with high levels of need could be better supported through a programme that works with the family as a whole, rather than just the young carer in isolation. Details of that project can be found here.
One of the significant findings of this work was the improvement to family wellbeing through the reorganisation of roles. That this approach made life easier for young carers without needing to spend lots of money on extra support services.
We’re looking at that idea in more detail and how it applies to our other work with families who are new to London and don’t speak English, and therefore aren’t able to get involved in their child’s education. We think there’s a lot that can be done by having a dedicated worker to support families through challenging periods – moving country, or an event which can create the need for a young carer – and then helping them rethink about the resources they have in their own family and community, and how they can move forward together.
Youth unemployment is an issue that is high on the public, political and economic agendas – for good reason. We’re conducting an evaluation for the Prince’s Trust to explore how it is helping young people furthest from the labour market, and assisting them to improve their delivery. That work will finish in mid-2013, and we hope to help the Prince’s Trust continue to support young people who need the most help.
And we’re also keen to explore ways in which we can support young people ourselves. We published some research on the combination of youth unemployment and local business skills needs in East London and we’ve been taking that further with local employers who want to support young people further via our Tech City Academy work.
If you’d like to know more about our research on either of these areas please contact John Hitchin on email@example.com