Measuring our success

In 2021, we created a robust evaluation framework for all of our children and young people’s programmes, which measures impact and outcomes against four key areas.

Young people at Leeds Waterfront Festival Young people at Leeds Waterfront Festival

Evidence-based youth social action is vitial. In order to create and develop our framework accurately, we ran a study to scientifically measure the benefits of our youth programmes.

We looked at external contexts and asked young people about the concerns and challenges they currently face, as well as their motivations for getting involved with us. From their answers, we identified four key areas where we believe we can make a positive impact for them, their communities and the environment through our youth-focused activities and interventions.

These areas are: health, wellbeing and happiness, engaged people and cohesive communities, and learning and enhancing skills.

Young people volunteering in Nottingham Young people volunteering in Nottingham

Our evaluation framework

Our new evaluation framework for all of our children and young people’s programmes measures impact and outcomes against the following:

Improved personal wellbeing

We find this out by asking questions such as:

  • Has physical health improved, and levels of activity increased?
  • Has mental health improved? Do participants feel happier, more confident, less lonely?
  • Has a person’s outlook, life satisfaction and aspirations improved?

Improved skills for life and work

We ask if participants feel they have enhanced their skills and learning through engagement on our programmes.

Community connectedness

We look to find out if our interventions have improved community cohesion, enhanced an individual’s sense of belonging to their community, and/or improved communication, understanding and interaction between different groups within a community.

Connection to nature and environment

We ask young people whether they feel more connected to nature, or if they have an increased awareness of and appreciation for the natural environment as a result of their engagement with the Trust.

Young people litter picking near the canal Young people litter picking near the canal

The results

Connection to the waterways, nature and culture, improved wellbeing, skills and sense of civil mindedness all have shown to increase for participants involved in these programmes:

Our youth outcome assumed results Our youth programme outcomes and assumed results

This framework has been successfully piloted on our Water SafetyKickstartYouth Fellowship and Explorers Education programmes.

More to come

We will be sharing the complete reports in due course, so be sure to check back here soon.

In the meantime, you can find our full youth engagement strategy below:

Last date edited: 22 November 2021