Images courtesy of: www.positiveyouthfoundation.org
Healthy Futures was a three-year project delivered by Positive Youth Foundation (PYF) with young people aged 14–25 in Coventry. The project focused on participants from two of the most deprived areas of the city; Foleshill and St Michaels.
The ethos of the project was to direct young people towards positive, healthy, well-informed life choices. The project was delivered by the PYF team through a programme of community-based activities including a mix of educational, recreational and advice-based services. The programme aimed to improve the health and wellbeing of participants, broadly impacting on participant’s resilience and their long-term behavioural change.
May 2017 – April 2020
The scope of this evaluation project was to establish the success of the project against the targets set in the funding agreement and to establish sustainability and legacy for the project. The following key themes informed the evaluation and impact assessment:
Evaluation and monitoring information was compiled by analysing quantitative data about participation in the programme and gathering qualitative data from staff, stakeholders and the participants who interacted with the programme of activities. An effort was made to track impact both quantitatively and qualitatively across the three years of the project.
In Year One the emphasis was on gathering information to understand progress against quantitative targets. We conducted interviews with staff members and a selection of external stakeholders.
In Year Two, we conducted semi-structured interviews with project stakeholders, who had worked with PYF in the past and on this project. We also conducted semi-structured interviews with young people who had participated in various strands of Healthy Futures to gain insights into their experience and the personal impact.
In Year Three we conducted interviews with young people, who had previously participated in Healthy Futures to find out more about the personal impact and their journey over the past two years. Staff members were also interviewed in order to learn more about changes within the organisation over the three years and its future ambitions.
This focused approach to the research with the team and participants is the best method to understand the details and nuances of the project from the perspective of those closest to its operation. We also interviewed external stakeholders to gather evidence about PYF’s function in Coventry and their role in the city’s health care provision.
The evaluation activity informed the future work of PYF as an organisation in the local area and in the youth services sector. This aspect of capturing young people’s opinions by enhancing youth voice has been crucial to enable further understanding of the indicators and precursors to some of the long-term health issues in Coventry’s communities. PYF now aims to reduce the severe health inequalities within these communities by improving local solutions influenced by young people, with a clear dialog connecting grassroots initiatives to local Public Health strategic aims.