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Threading the Needle in Fife

Resources developed from this area of work:

'From the source to the sea - Understanding how befriending can help Fife & Social Care Partnership addess its priorities' - Download your copy here 

The story of Threading the Needle in Fife

Layers of support

Blog: Gathering the threads - Horizontal Learning by Joanna Clark, Fife Voluntary Action

For more Threading the Needle resources...

Theme: Getting ready to gather evidence about the difference befriending makes.

Purpose: To help funded befriending services and their local authority link officers:

  • identify what differences befriending services may be able to make in Fife
  • illustrate how these relate to the Partnership’s strategic priorities and the nine National Health and Wellbeing Outcomes
  • develop the required skills to evaluate and report on how and when these outcomes are being achieved.

Who was involved

Our partners were:

  • 11 third sector befriending services (funded through the Integrated Care Fund and Fife Council)
  • council link officers
  • local authority and third sector interface representatives from the Fife Health and Social Care Partnership (strategic monitoring group).

What we achieved:

By the end of Threading the Needle, the Fife Health and Social Care Partnership were in a position to start gathering appropriate evidence in order to learn (and be able to demonstrate) the ways in which a variety of befriending models can contribute to the achievement of the Partnership’s strategic priorities.

More specifically:

  • Befriending services and link officers had increased self-evaluation skills.
  • We had developed a clear model to illustrate how befriending may be able to contribute to the achievement of these priorities. There were plans in place to map evidence gathered in years 2 and 3 to this model.
  • After consultation with funded services, ESS had met with council and TSI staff to consider how best to adjust reporting requirements in order to allow funded befriending services to share useful evidence. 

What we did

The work involved:

  • Evaluation skills and logic modelling training for third sector befriending services, local authority link officers and TSI staff
  • Supporting befriending services, third sector interface and local authority representatives to develop a logic model for befriending in Fife which links project outcomes to the Partnership’s strategic priorities and the nine National Health and Wellbeing outcomes
  • Helping services increase befriendees’ involvement in evaluation
  • Helping services think about how to develop appropriate evaluation tools which are accessible for their befriendees
  • Bringing everyone together to develop an appropriate reporting template for the Integrated Care Fund funded befriending projects
  • Collating and sharing the learning.

The story in Fife:

"Our ‘Evaluating Outcomes’, ‘Logic Modelling’ and ‘Telling My Story’ training sessions were well received by both befriending staff and council link officers.  A subgroup of services and council staff worked hard to produce the publication: 'From the source to the sea - Understanding how befriending can help Fife Health & Social Care Partnership address its priorities' which is based on the strategic logic model we had developed. 'From the source to the sea' is designed to help Fife Health & Social Care Partnership and the funded services measure and learn about the difference that befriending can make – particularly in relation to Fife’s strategic priorities. The publication was launched at the national Befriending Networks conference on 4 November 2016.  A great deal of interest has been generated – both within the wider world of befriending but also in how our approach could be used to explore the potential impact of other types of interventions.”

Martha Lester-Cribb, ESS Evaluation Support Manager, worked with Fife (pictured left)

See what happened in GlasgowNorth AyrshirePerth and Kinross by clicking on the name.

The learning from Threading the Needle has been gathered in the following learning points documents:

We need to talk about data and evidence

We need to build on outcomes

We need to understand where third sector evidence fits

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