Home Start South & West Devon (formerly Home-Start South Hams, Plymouth and Tavistock) commissioned Steve Allman to undertake a summary evaluation of their charity, which was formed by the merger of two Home-Start schemes and provides support to families across a five hundred square mile area of Devon.

The board of trustees commissioned a summary evaluation to externally validate the findings of a 2013 self-evaluation which focussed on the outcomes of two Big Lottery Fund Reaching Communities projects, one in each scheme prior to the merger. Parents, volunteers, partner organisations and staff and trustees were all engaged in the evaluation process and their views are represented in the final report. Andrea Chandler, Scheme Manager, shares her experience of working with Steve:

“I am delighted with the external evaluation Steve Allman produced for us. It’s an outstanding piece of work and I’m sure it will help us. Steve was great to work with, he explained the process clearly gave really good feedback throughout. I felt confident that he would gather good information and that the people he spoke to would have a positive experience of engaging in the evaluation process.

In addition to the evaluation document, which gave us a really clear view of our strengths and challenges, my conversations with Steve really helped me to see our service from the outside and as a result I feel I now have a much better idea of where we are and where we need to go. The recommendations are excellent and I was surprised at how much more we gained than expected, not only from the report itself but from the entire evaluation process.”

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