Guest Blog, Sara Fernadez, Director at Oxford Hub
At Oxford Hub we’re really interested in impact. What are our aims? How are we achieving these? Where do we need to challenge our assumptions in order to get the most accurate picture when measuring impact? These questions are relevant across all of the social action programmes we run in the City, and since 2017 we have also been supporting organisations in youth sector to tackle these questions through our programme Impact Labs.
Through our partnership with Oxfordshire Youth, we are offering a tailored package of support for youth organisations who want to take their next step in their impact journey:
- A training day to get started in understanding the building blocks of your charity’s impact, your evaluation priorities and potential approaches to measuring your impact. Our next workshop is taking place on the 26th of April, and it will give up to three people from your organisation (staff, volunteers and / or trustees) an opportunity to better understand this area of work and how it specifically applies to your charity.
- A team of Impact Labs volunteers assigned to your charity during May-June to work on a specific evaluation project designed by you at the training workshop, helping you to achieve your goals.
Our Impact Labs volunteers have supported over 20 local charities during the last two years in order to add capacity to impact, evaluation and learning across the youth sector. Volunteers could be university students, young professionals from the charity sector or anyone else looking to skill up and make a difference in their local community.
During regular training sessions at Oxford Hub, volunteers learn about best practice published by sector-leaders such as the Centre for Youth Impact and share challenges and ideas from their own projects as they progress. Past projects have ranged from analysis of impact data that has already been collected to the design and delivery of surveys which collect perspectives from young people using particular services.
Hear what some of our partners and participants had to say about the experience:
“The volunteers clearly received sufficient training, both prior to, and during the project; they were well briefed, confident and seemed to have a clear understanding of the task in hand”—Anna, Yellow Submarine
“I have learnt a lot about the problems charities face and have a greater understanding of the various social issues which exists here in Oxford. It’s also increased my level of connection with the community” — Impact Labs volunteer.
“We have a beautiful report to share with all our stakeholders and potential funders, lots of data yet to sift through, a template and lots of learning to inform further impact assessments. This has been an enormously helpful project for us — we couldn’t have done such a thorough, professional job without the Impact Labs volunteers.” — Jayne, Oxfordshire Breastfeeding Support.
For our next round of Impact Labs we are looking to partner with another five youth sector providers from Oxford City or surrounding areas.
If you are a local organisation and think you might benefit from participating in Impact Labs, you can find more information about the programme here and sign up online to come to our workshop on April 26th 10am-4pm.
To access Oxfordshire Youth range of learning opportunities go to our training and events page!