Evaluation Exchange: Supporting Vulnerable Residents in Diverse Communities
18 January 2022
The Evaluation Exchange is a partnership between UCL and voluntary and community sector organisations in Camden and East London that aims to improve evaluation practice. This blog reflects on the work done by the Subco Trust for vulnerable adults in Newham.
With experience of providing culturally and linguistically appropriate services for vulnerable Asians elders and carers in Newham since 1993, Subco Trust were able to recognise an unmet need in the community created by the COVID-19 pandemic. In Autumn 2021, they launched a Mental Wellbeing project to enable people to develop coping strategies, including support groups covering bereavement, reducing stress, and healthy living.
As with any new project, the Wellbeing project needs evaluation: to learn what service users have liked and what can be improved; to meet the reporting needs of funders; and to provide evidence for the next steps. Our team of researchers are working closely with Subco Trust to develop tools which can be used to measure two of the key outcomes: changes in mood and well-being; and service user empowerment. We know that our evaluation approach needs to be sensitive to the diverse communication needs of Asian individuals living in Newham. As part of this, we are testing short forms, which can be easily translated or completed with the support of staff, and include icons as well as text.
Looking to the future, we want this to be sustainable. One outcome that we identified was in supporting staff with the skills needed to be part of ongoing monitoring and evaluation. We hope that the work we do together on the Mental Wellbeing project can be used as a template by Subco Trust in the future to streamline the support evaluation and reporting on other programmes of work.
The team: Taskin, Chief Executive of Subco Trust; Giulia, PhD student in Mental Health Science; Sethu, Senior Lecturer in Nursing and currently undertaking an Educational Doctorate; Anthony, PhD student at the Social Research Institute; and Mel, Post Doctoral Researcher at the Institute of Health Informatics.