Evaluating The Foundation Fund’s reach

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St John’s joins forces with national not-for-profit organisation, ImpactEd to evaluate its work supporting disadvantaged children in BaNES.

Determined to build a community where children are supported to grow up healthy, happy and educated, last February St John’s launched The Foundation Fund. This substantive 10-year fund, allocated finances and resources to be spent primarily on nutritious food projects; safe spaces; behavioural and emotional support and help with literacy and numeracy.

Evaluating the impact of The Foundation Fund is crucial to making sure that St John’s is using its resources in the best possible way and ensuring lasting change is being made in children’s lives.

Not-for-profit, ImpactEd, helps schools, charities and funders to properly evaluate impact and to see what is working best to improve outcomes for young people so partnering with them made perfect sense to St John’s. “After a thorough recruitment search, we are delighted that ImpactEd are to be our new evaluation partner. Our aim, when launching The Foundation Fund last year was to level the playing field when it comes to life chances and expectations of our children” said Sam Gillett, Head of Delivery and Impact at St John’s. “It’s crucial that we understand the impact of any projects we may support, so we can best direct our funds and resources to the most successful initiatives” he added.

Kristy Evers, Head of Impact Partnerships at ImpactEd was equally enthusiastic about the partnership. “We believe this is a great opportunity to help improve young people’s outcomes and life chances, which is at the core of our mission as an organisation. Evaluating and understanding the impact of interventions is crucial in supporting children as it helps us to understand what works and what doesn’t and so we can make more informed decisions as a result”

Among other things, the new partnership will be analysing direct and indirect consequences of the Fund, looking at whether the original objectives have been realised, as well as assessing what costs the results have been achieved at – as in are there wiser ways to allocate the money. Results of the St John’s/ImpactEd evaluation will be shared with stakeholders on a regular basis throughout the longevity of the Fund, making the work transparent and available to all.

Over the coming months, St John’s will be looking to engage with organisations able to support the Fund’s aims. The team has been working with local primary schools to develop The Primary Empowerment Programme, due to start in the new academic year; organisations that come on board will be awarded funding to deliver support to their chosen schools. This provision will cover emotional and behavioural support, as well as additional support with numeracy and literacy.

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