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19 August 2015

 

We are delighted to share with you our learning from the Youth Action programme, Athan 31, over the year March 2014 – March 2015.

Athan 31 offers a framework and funding for young people to design, lead and learn from their own social action projects across three progressive and challenging stages – My Team, My Club, My Community.

We are very pleased to say that the evidence we collected as part of our evaluation all points in the same direction: the Athan 31 programme has made a real difference to the lives of the young people involved in it with programme participants rating the programme as having helped them develop confidence and leadership skills, become more resilient and feel better about themselves.

Our evaluation approach 

We want the young people who attend our member clubs and take part in Athan 31 to be able to lead change in their communities and in their own lives. To achieve this we believe each of our individual programmes contribute to young people developing the following non-cognitive outcomes:

·         confidence and agency

·         resilience and determination

·         relationships and leadership capabilities

We believe these social and emotional capabilities are all important building blocks for improving a young person’s character and helping them affect a positive change in their life, and we have been evaluating the extent to which Athan 31 does deliver this change for young people. The findings in this area have been independently evaluated by theRTK consultancy.

Alongside this we have also been measuring Process – the extent to which the delivery of the programme has been a quality experience – with the hypothesis that the better the delivery of Athan 31 is, the stronger the impact will be.

636 young people were involved in total in the project evaluation from 40 different youth clubs between March 2014 and March 2015. The evaluation considered ‘before’ and ‘after’ impact data from 263 young people completing the whole programme. We also asked young people and youth workers to complete a Process Form at the end of the programme giving qualitative feedback on the Athan 31 programme.

You can look more into our approach to learning here.

What we learnt

Building on our wider organisation learning about the value of high quality youth work, the Athan 31 evaluation consolidates our evidence that building good relationships, creating a safe and enjoyable experience, and involving young people in activities leads to improved emotional and social skills for young people.

The results showed statistically significant improvements in participants’ subjective well-being and participants also rated the programme as having helped them develop confidence and leadership skills, extend their creative capacity, become more resilient and determined to succeed, and feel better about themselves more generally.

In particular, Athan 31’s Impact Evaluation, independently conducted by theRTK consultancy, highlighted three key facts about the programme:

1.       Athan 31 participants report significant improvements in emotional and social skills (problem solving, planning, self-efficacy, leadership, creativity, and well-being / locus of control)

2.       Athan 31 participants are significantly more likely to be volunteering in their local communities compared to figures for the national average

3.       Many of the clubs that took part in Athan 31 improved the way in which they delivered services

Our Process Evaluation discovered that:

·         Young people join Athan 31 with a variety of expectations. The majority joined to have fun and gain new experiences.

·         The quality of relationships with staff, their overall sense of an enjoyable and safe experience, youth participation, and their emotional and social development were the four areas of process that satisfied young people and youth professionals the most.

·         Young people and youth workers felt that there were too many forms to complete as a part of the programme.

·         91% of young people and 100% of youth professionals would recommend the programme to others and all youth professionals also stated that Athan 31 met the needs of young people.

·         Approximately 75% of participants indicated that they developed three key skills (communication, planning and teamwork).

 

Another great opportunity for young people to be at the forefront of the work we do

Youth Participation Manager

You can read the full reports by downloading them from the side tab on this page.

What now?

As a result of this feedback the Youth Action team have:

·         Maintained the core elements of the programme because we know they are working

·         Revisited the number of stages at which impact forms are completed so that young people will complete the forms less times but still at key points

·         Linked the programme up more formally with youth clubs Quality Mark journeys supporting the clubs to improve their Youth Participation more widely and embed this at the club