We support a range of services as they develop, deliver and evaluate their programmes. Some want input around structure, length or frequency of their interventions; others need insight into particular approaches or activities to ensure that they use their resources; and thus support their service-users; most effectively.
Many agencies find that evaluation; understanding and measuring impact; is one of-if not the-most challenging aspects of their work; How do we ‘know’ that we’re improving social competence, self-esteem and other ‘soft’ skills? How do we evidence those changes? How do we articulate those in ways that will be taken seriously?
At Well Within Reach, we really get to know-or help to clarify-what a service needs from us and; according to your needs, project outcomes, time scale and budget etc,; we build our input around that. Below are three examples of programmes we are, or have recently been involved in; more details about our role in each is outlined further down the page.
'Wishing Well'; a Music in Healthcare programme
which takes place in Critical Care wards at Brighton’s Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital.
'Mind the Music'; an intervention supporting young people with a range of mental health needs, including those accessing Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services.
'Building Brilliant Brains'; a project using creativity and play to support attachment between newly adopted under 4's and their parents.
Reflections from Wishing Well on Working With Us...
"We wanted an evaluation partner to work with us in an open enquiry;
we didn't have a set question or theme but wanted each enquiry stage to inform the next.
It's been a fascinating and hugely rewarding experience working with Jo, whose observations
and subsequent evaluation of our work in children's critical care have given us
enough learning and insight to reflect on for the next decade!
She and Liz have helped us to understand much more about what is actually going on beneath the surface in our music interactions with children and families, drawing on information from current theories and research from the fields of neuroscience and psychology. By understanding more, we can practice with greater confidence and advocate with greater clarity."
(Jo White, Wishing Well Programme Manager)
'Wishing Well' Music in Health Care, Brighton
Since 2017, we’ve been working with ‘Rhythmix’ to help evaluate their 'Wishing Well' programme, which takes place on the
Critical Care wards at Brighton’s Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital.
The nature of the practice; particularly working with babies, and children who are developmentally delayed, have complex needs or trauma;
means that the programme's impacts are often very difficult to reliably observe and record.
We've introduced different areas of appropriate research; such as 'Developmental Relationships' and 'Affective Neuroscience'; enabling
Wishing Well to frame their outcomes through the lens of well-established psychological theories and frameworks.
We've also created a written report which ‘decodes’ the likely impacts on the neurological and internal states of children and families, supported by a narrative report on psychotherapeutic outcomes, with a particular focus on non-verbal children. A public version of the report is available here.
Our findings also highlight the enormous range of holistic and relational qualities that musicians need to practice effectively and safely
in such an emotionally fragile environment, and we've consequently supported Wishing Well through the development of a
‘Competency Framework’ to articulate these important; but very often subtle; behaviours and characteristics.
We're following this up by developing a tool for observation-designed around the complexities of the work-to enable Wishing Well to independently observe these competencies in action, and record the subsequent responses these initiate in the children and families they work with.
'Mind the Music’ with Community Music, London
'Mind the Music’ is a 3 year programme, ran by Community Music, targeting young people in the Tower Hamlets area of London experiencing
a range of wellbeing issues; from low level anxiety to those requiring Children and Mental Health Service (CAMHS) residential care.
We're helping to both evaluate the programme and develop assessment tools to enable Community Music to evaluate their work independently. We've helped to articulate the theories and clarify the definitions and deeper meanings associated with project's objectives;
such as self-esteem, social integration and resilience; and helped to identify both the learning and wellbeing outcomes already emerging.
Based on these, we're currently developing a range of assessment tools to help baseline, track and evidence young people’s progress
through Mind the Music, including appropriate ways for young people to peer and self-assess their own progress.
‘Building Brilliant Brains’ with Turned On Its Head and Faith in Families, Nottingham
'Building Brilliant Brains' was a partnership programme between Turned On It's Head; a performance company specialising in Early Years
movement and play; and adoption agency Faith in Families. The programme was designed to promote secure attachment and bonding
between newly adopted under 4’s and their parents, by engaging them together in playfulness, creativity and curiosity.
We supported the evaluation by observing the sessions and then recording the outcomes against criteria set by the programme's funding body
(Children in Need). We finalised our involvement by making a presentation to parents and Faith in Families staff about the observed behaviours
of the children and their interactions with their new families, and helping to translate the neurological developments behind these.
How Much Does Evaluation & Consultancy Cost?
Our prices inevitably vary according to the nature, complexity, length and location of the programmes we get involved in and we work this out based on a dialogue with you to gain a clear understanding of your needs. Often our partners already have a defined budget for consultancy or evaluation, in which case we can design our input accordingly.
We do our best to work within our partner's available resources and budget, so please contact us to discuss your specific needs, or whatever plans or ideas you have at the moment, even if you're still unsure what you need and whether you need our input.