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Blagrave Feedback Fund: First Steps

The Blagrave Feedback Fund aims to support charities to embed youth feedback practice within their organisations.

Research conducted by Keystone Accountability and the Blagrave Trust in 2015 into the common challenges charities face in listening to, and acting on, feedback from young people highlighted variable practice. We are committed to the importance and value of listening but recognise that that for various reasons it is not always prioritised. The Feedback Fund is an attempt to support the sector in putting this right.

We asked charities to provide a short outline of their project idea for between £1,000 – £4,000 to assist with a particular aspect of gathering feedback from service users or advancing work in this area.

We had £40,000 available for this purpose and have funded 12 organisations from Berkshire, Hampshire, Sussex and Wiltshire, who work with young people aged 11 – 25.

The projects we are supporting fall into various categories:

  • Projects to trial new mechanisms to capture young people’s feedback. These include setting up a text messaging system following an intervention to ask for feedback; developing a follow up questionnaire via email for those who have disengaged from a service; and the purchase of ipads to facilitate feedback from young refugees whose English is weak. We are seeing these projects as pilots for new ways of working and will be able to share the benefits and learning in due course.
  • Projects to make films showcasing young people’s feedback. We prioritised films that enable both feedback and shared learning. For example, a charity working with young people who have experienced sexual violence will conduct some research to hear young survivors’ perspectives. Their short film will encourage access by others to the charity’s services and also inform other stakeholders.
  • Projects to develop the capacity of young people themselves through young listeners / young reviewers schemes. These have the dual benefit of embedding feedback practice within an organisation and growing the skills of the young people involved.
  • Action research with groups of service users to establish their feedback. For example, one charity that works with young people who have been adopted will research into their experience of service use.
  • Specialist training on how best to capture feedback from young people – specifically around using ‘guided conversation’ techniques to identify what really matters to their customers. We felt this application had the potential to improve feedback practice within 30 organisations in Portsmouth and were interested to find out how this approach will make a difference.

Projects are taking place over the coming 6-8 months and partners will be reporting to us by the end of May 2017. At this point we will summarize the learning on the Blagrave website, provide links to the video content, and possibly launch Feedback Fund 2!