Papworth research and Consultancy

testimonials

Rushmoor Citizens Advice Bureau (September 2014 - July 2015)
Alex Hughes, Chief Executive
We were facing some key challenges in relation to our project, due to staff changes and new directions being trialled, responding to local and national developments.

We realised the loss of the project manager had impacted on overall direction and focus, as well as highlighting the importance of external evaluation to ensure we made best use of the remaining nine months of a two year project.

As a result of Rachel’s review and findings, we have gained hugely in confidence and understanding of the project achievements, and learnt to value more highly some of the informal developments and ideas which have contributed to successes. We have moved from a position where we were focusing on “number crunching” to having a wider appreciation of the learning and development enabled by the project.

Rachel demonstrated a comprehensive understanding and appreciation of the particular challenges in working with vulnerable groups, recognising that traditional methods of analysis may not be appropriate in all cases.

Her use of incisive and careful questioning helped to draw out the real achievements behind the project, whilst not being afraid to challenge and ask the more difficult questions to get to the root of problems.

She appreciated the challenges faced by loss of staff, and made helpful, practical suggestions as to how the remaining period of the project could be best used to meet broader project objectives. Her experience in working in similar fields proved very beneficial, enabling her to challenge in a way which was both informed and supportive.

Her final report has helped to pull together a narrative which is realistic as well as highlighting successes and ideas for future work.
Hampshire County Council & The Bill Sargent T (June 2014 - July 2014)
Dan Stoneman, Transformation Co-lead, Supporting Troubled F
Hampshire County Council had been delivering Local Welfare Assistance for one year prior to approaching The Bill Sargent Trust to commission an independent research paper to look at the impact of this work over the first 12 months.

Papworth Research and Consultancy Ltd and Urban Pollinators Ltd were subsequently appointed to undertake this work. Hampshire County Council wanted to commission a piece of impartial research that went beyond numbers and high level statistics but contextualised a very public programme in a wider political and societal context.

Hampshire County Council now has a research paper that not only provides the contextual information required to better understand the reasons for the approach taken to deliver Local Welfare Assistance in Hampshire, but also identifies good practice, challenges, opportunities and risks.

The work carried out, against what was a challenging time frame, is of high quality. It strikes the right balance between addressing the project brief and achieving the aims for Hampshire County Council.

The paper provides a balanced and sometimes challenging account of the programme that demonstrates the integrity of the researchers in providing a truly independent, impartial and accurate piece of work.

There were three main aspects of working with Papworth Research and Consultancy Ltd and Urban Pollinators Ltd that made the difference:
• The desire to listen, contribute and engage fully with the formulation and the design of the research to ensure integrity and impartiality was maintained but that the expectations set out by Hampshire County Council were still driving their approach
• The ability and desire to use numbers, facts and case studies in such a way that they are clearly placed within the wider political and socio-economic context
• The ability to challenge and produce a research paper with clear and actionable recommendations.
Community & Voluntary Sector Forum (May 2013 - October 2014)
Sally Polanski, Chief Executive
Rachel helped us review and redesign support services to the community and voluntary sector in Brighton and Hove.

As Transformation Manager, she led a partnership of organisations in an 18 month change process, which culminated in the development of a new infrastructure organisation and suite of services, underpinned by new partnership delivery arrangements and a sustainable income generation strategy.

Rachel’s excellent project management skills and wider expertise in stakeholder engagement, business planning, service development and evaluation were integral to the project’s success.

I particularly valued Rachel’s attention to detail, clarity of communication, integrity and reflective practice.
Hastings Pier & White Rock Trust (July 2012)
Simon Opie, Chief Executive
I was looking specifically for someone to pull together all the elements of our Education and Learning Activities project into one coherent document. Working with diverse consultants each responsible for a section of the plan, the goal has been to pull all the information together, make sure it is produced in a timely manner, present it in a way that is self-explanatory and ensure that the output document is compelling from the HLF’s perspective.

I got what I had hoped for in the process and beyond that, I really felt that you were committed to the goals of the project and working to ensure that we achieved the best possible outcomes. I appreciated that you were directly implicated in the product and that you took personal responsibility for its content and quality.

I wanted a coordinator – and I certainly got that, but more than that, I also got a contributor. Thanks.
Brighton Peace & Environment Centre (June 2012)
Paolo Boldrini, Climate Connections Co-ordinator
In September 2009 we commissioned Rachel Papworth as external evaluator for a three year public engagement project called Climate Connections, a partnership between Brighton Peace & Environment Centre, Oxfam GB and Brighton & Hove City Council, funded by the Department for International Development. This complex project involved various activities and had ambitious targets.

Rachel's role was both to support/advise the Project Co-ordinator to undertake monitoring and evaluation, and to develop and implement independent evaluation activities.

Rachel analysed in depth the four components of the project: a large scale exhibition; attendance at events; workshops for community groups; and a website.

Rachel demonstrated a holistic approach to project evaluation during the planning stage, helping the steering group and the Project Co-ordinator focus their energies and capacities, and reorganise their ideas, in a very effective way.

From the onset of the project, Rachel demonstrated personal interest in, and passion for, the issues the project was addressing: climate change; its impact on global poverty; and the actions people in this country can take to lessen its effects.

She also dedicated extra time and support to the project, which was much needed when halfway through delivery, the funders requested extra work on the project's evaluation framework and planning.

On behalf of the steering group, I would like to say that we very much enjoyed working with you. Your professionalism and participation in this project has been remarkable, and we couldn't have found a better external evaluator.
Friends Centre (May 2012)
Maria Antoniou, Development Manager
We were preparing a bid to the Big Lottery and needed advice on monitoring and evaluating our proposed project.

After working with Rachel, we now have a good understanding of monitoring and evaluation good practice and the information we need for our bid.

Rachel was friendly, patient, listened to our needs, made sure she understood our project and gave us the information we needed. She is clearly knowledgeable about monitoring and evaluation and we would employ her again if we needed more help.
Hastings & St Leonard's Childrens Centres (March 2012)
Tracey Rose, Children's Centre Area Co-ordinator
"We had information about how the women felt about the course by the end, but did not know whether they were using the learning and strategies over a longer period of time and whether the Insight programme was having a long term impact.

The evaluation has given a much clearer indication of longer-term impact and the difference that the group has made to the women who have taken part. The plan is to disseminate this information to commissioners and senior managers and to use the evaluation to support funding bids so that the programme can be rolled out.

Rachel's experience of working with Childrens Centres, and her knowledge of and interest in the subject area, added a great deal of value. It was clear from the start that Rachel had an understanding of what we were looking for".
Locality (May 2011)
Vicki Papworth, Head of the Pool
"I wanted to say what a thorough and well-written piece of work this was. You’ve added a great deal of value to this process and I’m delighted to have commissioned you".
Selsey Pre-Trust Group (May 2011)
Ben Cooper, Trust Development Officer
"We have been extremely impressed with the way you have gone about writing our business plan and the role you have played in the final stages of our project - it was exactly what we needed. As a group we had the basics of the plan and plenty of background research but we needed somebody to pull all the strings together and to cast a critical eye over it, to make sure it made sense and more importantly added up. You 'got' the Trust concept from day one and that helped as it meant the questions you asked and the additional information you demanded was entirely relevant and moved us forward. It has been great working with you and I/we would have no hesitation in recommending your services to other organisations needing a leading hand".
Hastings and St Leonards Childrens Centres (February 2011)
Tracey Rose, Childrens Centres Area Co-ordinator
"Rachel delivered an insightful and effective evaluation report on the Children's Centres parent & toddler drop-in groups. It was clear that she had an understanding of the requirements of the project from the recommendations made. Working with our partners, these recommendations will be used to shape the service for the future. Thank you Rachel".
Thornhill Plus You New Deal for Communities (August 2010)
Marie Droniou-Bordry, Monitoring, Evaluation & Appraisal Team Manag
"We asked Rachel to do the final evaluation for one of our projects because we were so pleased about the work she had done with the interim evaluation. Rachel has worked very hard to deliver a report of high quality and consistency, as well as present it to the community and our partners. I would recommend her with no hesitation!"
West Sussex County Council (March 2010)
Sarah Hardman, Skills Development Manager
"West Sussex County Council has commissioned Papworth Research and Consultancy to support developments around Adult and Community Learning at a time of significant and complex change. The expertise and resource provided by Rachel at this time has been invaluable in moving us towards a clear vision and plan to take this agenda forward. Rachel is extremely knowledgeable and a very competent researcher, and produces clear reports with realistic proposals for action and timescales. It has been a pleasure to work with Rachel on this project, and I look forward to opportunities to work with Papworth Research and Consultancy again in the future".
Southwark Council (October 2009)
Rebecca Towers, Parks & Open Spaces Manager
"Thank you for your work on our tree strategy. Whilst we had all the content it was really helpful to have you to help us determine a structure that would work. You also really helped to keep us on track, pulling together the information and identifying remaining gaps. We're really happy with where we've got to with the document and it is only because of your help that we've managed to get to where we are. Thanks again."
Thornhill Plus You New Deal for Communities (May 2009)
Francesca Bonaduce de Nigris, Evaluation Manager
"I am very pleased with the evaluation that Rachel Papworth has delivered. I found the evaluation report well balanced and informative – it provided us with information and views we didn’t know at the time of commissioning the evaluation and I found this very beneficial".
Ocean New Deal for Communities (September 2008)
Paul Robinson, Programme Manager
"The Ocean New Deal for Communities (ONDC) engaged Papworth Research & Consultancy through competitive tendering to carry out an external evaluation of the Education Improvement Project that had been funded by the ONDC over a seven year period. The Education Improvement Project was a complex project due to the variety of funding streams and the number of the partner agencies engaged in the project and these included both statutory and voluntary sector agencies.

I wish to confirm that the working relationship with Papworth Research & Consultancy was supportive from the outset of this research and evaluation project. The strengths of the evaluation work were as follows:

· A focused and knowledgeable tender for the evaluation design.

· A good working relationship fostered by a speedy understanding of the issues of education projects within the setting of a regeneration programme.

· A understanding of the particular issues that relate to education delivery in a inner city setting ( class, ethnicity, gender, cultural factors etc).

· An excellent research design that was flexible and able to be amended in response to issues that arose during the evaluation research.

· Appropriate methodology deployed to carry out the work.

· Adherence to deadlines in delivery of the evaluation.

· Good inter personal skills displayed in meetings in local schools and voluntary sector agencies.

· Productive joint meetings based on a evidence based approach to the evaluation in progress.

· Good data collection and analysis of the objective and subjective evidence

· The evaluation provided good value for money based on benchmarking the project against other evaluations being undertaken in the regeneration areas.

· The final report that was produced used quantitative and qualitative data in an applied way to produce helpful recommendations for the ONDC.

Overall the evaluation was informative and objective enabling the ONDC to implement the majority of the recommendations flowing from the final report.

Please note that I wish to recommend Papworth Research & Consultancy in the light of the complex evaluation work that they delivered on behalf of the Ocean NDC".
Hastings & St Leonards Children's Centres (July 2008)
Tracey Rose, Area Co-ordinator
“The Children's Centre in Hollington commissioned Rachel to carry out a piece of evaluation on a post that was funded through the Children's Centre budget and which was due to come to an end. The evaluation ended up having a two stage approach as it also incorporated the same process for another Children's Centre area with the same post.

The process for the evaluation included face to face interviews, telephone interviews and research into the different services and roles of the people involved.

Rachel worked very methodically, ensuring that the information that she had was correct and that she had a complete list of people that she would need to contact. She met with me and my colleagues on a number of occasions, to talk through the brief of the evaluation, to give feedback and to take part in the interview process for the evaluation itself.

The evaluation report was concise and easy to read, capturing the essence of everyone that Rachel had been in contact with. It also highlighted some of the issues with regard to the understanding of the role by other agencies and how people could better work together to enhance the role in the future.

The report was used to give evidence of the importance of the particular role that was funded from the Children's Centre budget and led to the post being mainstreamed by the Primary Care Trust. The report has also raised the profile of the role and led to better communication and understanding of the post.

I enjoyed working with Rachel and thank her for her time and patience throughout the process and look forward to working with her again in the future”.
The Mackinnon Partnership (June 2008)
Iain Mackinnon, Managing Director
“I have found Rachel a thoroughly reliable consultant, with an excellent knowledge of her field and excellent understanding of its complexities”.
Bexhill & Rural Children's Centre Program (May 2008)
Fay Mitchell, Programme Manager
“I have always found Papworth Research & Consultancy to be very professional and accurate, they have delivered evaluations we have commissioned on time and within budget”.
Brighton & Hove City Council (April 2008)
Fiona Stokes, Monitoring and Technical Support Officer, Are
"Papworth Research and Consultancy have been of great value to the evaluation process. They have demonstrated a professional knowledge of regeneration and economic development and produced a high volume of quality work within a tight timescale, with Rachel's approachable and friendly manner facilitating the assignment".
The Sussex Learning Network (March 2008)
Chris Baker, Director
"Over the last year the SLN has worked with Papworth Research and Consultancy on a number of key projects related to marketing Foundation degrees, and Information, Advice and Guidance Services. We have been impressed with the way Rachel Papworth has led these projects. She has sought to engage us, as the client, at every stage in the process and produced well researched, documented and authoritative final reports. Rachel is a very effective and professional communicator and this was evident in a presentation she did for our Board".
Groundwork Southwark (May 2006)
Steven Gauge, Executive Director
Rachel came in to help pull together a Business Plan for me, and at the same time helped to coach another member of the team, producing as a result an impressive report in a short period of time and helping us to negotiate our way through a complex challenge.

Papworth Research & Consultancy Ltd :  92 Bonchurch Road, Brighton, East Sussex BN2 3PH  :  +44 (0) 1273 699993
Registered in England & Wales | Registration number: 07302269 | Registered office: First Floor, Telecom House, 125-135 Preston Road, Brighton, BN1 6AF