Evaluation Exchange: Who are Street Storage?
29 March 2022
The Evaluation Exchange is a partnership between UCL and voluntary and community sector organisations that aims to improve evaluation practice. This blog reflects on the work Street Storage, the only UK charity providing storage to people experiencing homelessness.
Who are Street Storage?
The team was originally made up of four researchers with a range of disciplines and experience and two staff members from Street Storage. Alas, the team ended the Exchange with one researcher (Jasmine Cockcroft, PhD candidate in Psychology at UCL) and one staff member (Rachel Woolf, Director) but nevertheless has done their best to produce something of value. They started by trying to gain an understanding of how the charity is currently operating and what data they were collecting at the time. By their own admission, Street Storage were at a very early stage in terms of M&E and wanted to build in some processes to take forwards to guide future growth, report to fundraisers and aid in trustee/impact reporting.
The EvEx Begins
The UCL team first gathered at the Street Storage offices to see how they operate and to get to know the staff on the ground. They met the very impressive Caroline Allouf, who manages referrals/outreach as well as all storage appointments and case work. She was currently recording stories, quotations and snippets of context from people as they were given to her and developing them into case studies when time allowed – but needed a more holistic and flexible way of managing feedback and proving impact. We had a useful time thinking of ways to collect information in a light touch and voluntary way while also helping to cover the currently austere walls, providing a more welcoming environment whilst also focusing on M&E!
Putting down roots
With a clear overview of the context, challenges and goals, the team co-wrote a baseline document that captured the current picture and used the recently updated Street Storage strategic plan to identify relevant data collection against objectives and develop a format that could be easily updated on a regular basis to track progress to both trustees and funders. With this in place, and clarity on how to implement it and the impact this could have, Street Storage is now ready to take the next step. It will take a few months to see the fruits of this labour, but the charity now has a much better understanding of the nature of M&E and hopes to develop its practice and prioritise this as it grows.
- Main image: Photo by Erwan Hesry on Unsplash
- Image 1: Street Storage
- Image 2: Photo by Piret Ilver on Unsplash
- Image 3: Photo by British Library on Unsplash