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Interim Evaluation of Cornwall Works

For more information contact: Andrea Gilbert, Social Inclusion Manager Tel: 01872 355060 agilbert@cornwall.gov.uk

Cornwall Works 50+ is funded by the European Social Fund Convergence Programme


Contents 1.0

Introduction ............................................................................................. 1

1.1 1.2 1.2.1 1.3 1.4

Methodology............................................................................................................... 1 Programme Brief ........................................................................................................ 1 Programme activities.................................................................................................... 1 Rationale & Strategic Fit............................................................................................ 2 Report .........................................................................................................................2

2.0

Implementation in Year One................................................................... 3

2.1 2.1.1 2.1.2 2.2 2.2.1 2.2.2 2.2.3 2.2.4 2.2.5 2.3 2.3.1 2.3.2 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7

Programme Management .......................................................................................... 3 Management support ................................................................................................... 3 Steering and advisory group arrangements ................................................................. 3 Designs of the time (Dott).......................................................................................... 3 The Dott methodology.................................................................................................. 4 Understanding the context ........................................................................................... 4 Communication ............................................................................................................ 5 Cornwall Works 50+ or 50+ Cares? ............................................................................. 6 Achievement of targets ................................................................................................ 6 Small Innovation Grant Fund .................................................................................... 7 Delivery during year one .............................................................................................. 8 Outputs ........................................................................................................................8 Enabling Fund ............................................................................................................ 8 Transnational Working .............................................................................................. 9 Cross-cutting Themes ............................................................................................... 9 Dissemination........................................................................................................... 10

3.0

Outcomes in Year One.......................................................................... 11

3.1 3.1.1 3.1.2 3.2 3.2.1 3.2.2 3.2.3 3.2.4 3.3 3.4

Dott............................................................................................................................ 11 Partnership working ................................................................................................... 11 Innovation ideas ......................................................................................................... 11 Small Innovation Grants .......................................................................................... 12 Participants ................................................................................................................ 12 Raising profiles........................................................................................................... 12 Enabling growth & developing partnerships ............................................................... 12 Learning ..................................................................................................................... 12 Mainstreaming.......................................................................................................... 13 Developing Cornwall Works.................................................................................... 13

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4.0

Perspectives on Future Developments of the Programmes ............. 14

4.1 4.1.1 4.2 4.3

Activity Going Forward............................................................................................ 14 Pilot projects............................................................................................................... 14 Big or Small? ............................................................................................................ 15 Economic and Structural Change........................................................................... 15

5.0

Conclusions........................................................................................... 16

5.1 5.2

Concluding remarks ................................................................................................ 16 Issues for consideration.......................................................................................... 17

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1.0 Introduction This report presents an Interim Evaluation of the Cornwall Works 50+ programme. It provides an evaluation of the activities undertaken during the first year of the three year programme and will be followed by a final phase evaluation reporting in March 2012. The purpose of the evaluation is to assess the effectiveness of the programme in meeting its objectives. Cornwall Works 50+ The programme aims to pilot a series of new ideas to address the barriers faced by older workers in entering into the workforce, whether progressing towards or entering into work, or remaining and progressing within work. Demographic change means that people need to remain economically active for longer; this programme will help ensure that Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly retains the skills and expertise of older workers.

The 50+ programme is one of two programmes of activity being supported through the European Social Fund (ESF) Convergence Programme focusing on people aged 50 and over. Both the Cornwall Works 50+ and 50+ Cares programmes whilst capable of being delivered as standalone programmeV, are intrinsically linked. They have been subject to the same activity delivery process and are managed through a single Steering / Advisory Group and Management Team. Therefore, many of the process, outcomes and concluding considerations are common across the delivery of both programmes. Activity that specifically relates to the 50+ programme has been denoted as such.

1.1 Methodology This interim evaluation is based on evidence gathered through: ďƒ˜

Desk review of relevant documentation relating to the programmes, their context and operation.

ďƒ˜

In-depth interviews with 15 programme partners and projects.

1.2 Programme Brief 1.2.1 Programme activities Year One activity for the 50+ programme was about looking at how to innovatively develop ideas to support the agenda for people aged 50 and over – engagement, employment and retention of people aged 50+ in the workforce. The 50+ programme used the Designs of The Time (DoTT) design-led process during Year One to generate ideas through a partnership approach to be handed over to the Steering Group for consideration and prioritisation before leading into pilot delivery. Years Two and Three are due to pilot the Dott designed interventions.

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1.3 Rationale & Strategic Fit A significant aspect to the 50+ programme, as reflected in programme documentation, concerns the aim of adding value to existing provision, in part through contributing to the ongoing development of the Cornwall Works approach to addressing the worklessness agenda in the county. In line with this, the review of programme documentation and stakeholder consultations were used to examine the rationale and strategic fit of the two programmes. The rationale for the programme appears clear in terms of using the opportunity provided by ESF funding to focus specifically on the 50+ target group. While this represented a section of the population for whom activity developed under the Cornwall Works strategy was ongoing, ESF has enabled the piloting of new and specifically targeted approaches to addressing the needs of older workers in the context of demographic change and the aging workforce. The piloting activity may present opportunities in mainstreaming certain activities for the wider population. Given the positioning of the programme within the overarching Cornwall Works strategic approach, and as reflected in the consultations undertaken, there is a clear strategic fit with both existing ESF and mainstream provision. The steering and advisory groups established for the programme further contribute to ensuring effective links with partner organisations and developing links with complementary activity.

1.4 Report This interim evaluation report is presented five sections. Section 2 considers the implementation of the programme during the first year of activity. Section 3 examines the outcomes of the programme, and Section 4 perspectives on future developments of the programme. Section 5 brings together the overall conclusions of the evaluation.

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2.0 Implementation in Year One This section considers the implementation of the 50+ programme during Year One of activity. It examines process issues relating to the programme, looking at programme management and steering arrangements, the operation of the Dott process as the primary Year One activity and the functioning of the transnational elements of the programme. As outlined earlier, many of the process, outcome and concluding considerations are related across the delivery of both programmes. Activity that specifically relates to the 50+ programme has been denoted as such.

2.1 Programme Management 2.1.1 Management support The Cornwall Works 50+ and 50+ Cares programmes are managed through the Inclusion Cornwall delivery partnership. Both programmes are capable of being delivered as standalone programmes but they are intrinsically linked and are managed through a single Steering and Advisory Group and Management Team for added value. The programme activities in Year One have led to a number of considerations for the management team surrounding implementation, output and outcome generation through the Dott process, and the functioning of the transnational partnerships, the details of which will be explored in the sections that follow. It is clear that these issues have been positively managed, with the evolution of the Small Innovation Grants projects stemming from the unexpected difficulties with the delivery of the Dott process (explored in Section 2.2) and the active development of new transnational partnerships. The Small Innovation Grants projects and their administration and management were not an expected outcome for the management team from the activity in Year One. The projects supported through the Grant Fund have been managed flexibly, allowing the projects to develop and grow with targets and outputs being mirrored accordingly. The relationship between the projects and the management team was a supportive one.

2.1.2 Steering and advisory group arrangements The work of the Cornwall Works 50+ and 50+ Cares programmes is overseen by both a Steering and Advisory Group. The Steering Group has the remit of dealing with the financial, process and strategic issues and the Advisory group has a wider remit of bringing together an appropriate partnership to ensure engagement in the 50+ agenda across Cornwall. Both groups have functioned actively during the first year, and it is clear that partnerships have been developed within these groups that are working to take forward the overall vision of Cornwall Works. There are notable links for example being made between the worklessness and health agendas.

2.2 Designs of the time (Dott) Both programmes used the Design Council Dott process during Year One to deliver design-led research that aimed to explore innovative ways to co-design solutions for the 50+ age group with local

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communities and stakeholders. Dott Cornwall delivered the Dott methodology using the model to design ideas and solutions that Cornwall Works 50+ and 50+ Cares programmes could take forward. Dott Cornwall seconded Think Public staff to carry out the process. The Dott design-led process is typically delivered in five key stages with each stage aiming to develop and refine ideas: 1. Diagnosis: setting up the project, and diagnosing the nature of the problem including: identifying existing research and activity happening around the issue; bringing together a codesign team; building a picture of existing services, expertise and best practice; and, sharpening the brief toward a more focused issue that is closely aligned to the community. 2. Co-discovery: in this stage, research with the wider community is undertaken focussing and examining the local issue. The design teams work with user groups, particularly local communities, and a wider stakeholder group including service providers and other experts. 3. Co-design & co-develop: the team and/or community are involved in the idea generation with professional designers and other experts. The design team uses the research with local people in the co-discovery phase to generate new ideas and innovation. 4. Co-deliver: creating innovative ways that people can engage with the design solution in the medium or longer term. 5. Legacy: legacies can include the visible outputs from the projects or also embedded legacies. For the Cornwall Works 50+ and 50+ Cares programmes the team delivering the Dott process were to work with members of the community and the programme steering and advisory groups through the five key stages of the Dott methodology, transforming the generated innovative ideas and outcomes into potential courses for action. What has become clear is that the delivery of this process has been less successful than anticipated, culminating in a number of challenges over the course first year.

2.2.1 The Dott methodology The Dott methodology itself has been highly valued and has been viewed positively as a way of bringing delivery partners and local communities together to think differently about the challenges Cornwall faces with its ageing population. The potential for a creative and fresh perspective on the 50+ agenda has been positively regarded. It is, however, in the delivery of the methodology where areas for consideration have arisen.

2.2.2 Understanding the context The ineffective nature of the diagnosis phase at the start of the Dott activity has hampered the process, with this contributing to the communication issues that became apparent as the year progressed. In delivering the Dott methodology there has been an absence of understanding of the context of Cornwall and that has been evident in two ways. Firstly, there has been little activity around building an understanding of existing programmes and services, expertise and best practice in Cornwall to ensure that ideas generated during the codiscovery and co-design phases are clearly focused, and are additional to that which is already known or being provided. This can be extended to understanding the strategic context of both the 50+ and 50+ Cares programmes which are delivered under the Cornwall Works brand – the overarching strategy and model for delivering welfare to work activity in Cornwall. As a well progressed and established “works model�, a wide range of partners are already engaged in collectively thinking about how to support people back into work.

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The evidence of the presence of significant activity and partnership working within Cornwall prior to the delivery of the Dott process has a double edge. It can potentially make finding solutions that are innovative within an area that has high levels of activity more difficult. It also means that there has to be conscious management of what has been achieved already to enable those taking part in the process to remain open to new ideas and ways of working. However, these factors make the need for working with delivery partners in Cornwall to understand what has gone before even more critical to ensure that there is buy-in to the process from the start. It was thus noted in respect of those running the DoTT process that there has to be a better sense of “working with”. Secondly, whilst it is understood that efforts were made to understand the nature of Cornwall in terms of its geographic, economic and labour market challenges, and the nature of the 50+ population group, this potentially did not go far enough. This became evident in the development of the project ideas through the delivery of the Dott process, some of which lacked a contextual understanding that would have enabled the generation of ideas that could be practically developed. There is a sense that design was devoid of context. However, for some of those involved, the point of innovative design-led solutions was to be free of the constraints of context. Accepting this, more commonly those involved felt that perhaps the application of Dott to the Cornwall Works 50+ and 50+ Cares programmes was 'ill-matched’. The application of the Dott process to ESF will be discussed in the sections that follow.

2.2.3 Communication The lack of contextual understanding and the sense of not “working with” resulted in a number of communication issues. What is innovation? There has been a certain expectation that either the Dott process would result in a “big idea” or the generation of a number of smaller but equally new and creative ways of meeting the 50+ agenda. It appears that the communication of expectations was a little unclear at the start, particularly surrounding what constitutes innovation and what the Dott process would deliver and achieve. For example, it was not widely recognised that innovation can be about incremental changes rather than top down changes or one big idea. However, as noted by some partners, for these incremental changes to occur there has to be an understanding of what the starting point is.

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Talking to partners The methods for engaging and talking to partners have been well received. The process of getting partners together to talk about ideas and to communicate those developed by the communities in Cornwall has been a fundamentally good one, contributing to partnership working as a whole in Cornwall. However, there is a sense that the actions from this process were less successful. It has been clearly articulated that partners felt a level of reluctance during the process for ideas or suggestions that were being put forward to be adopted or understood. Talking to communities Around 70 people within communities in four areas of Cornwall were engaged in the Dott process to understand their experiences of being out of work and to develop creative ideas and solutions. It is evident that many of those engaged in the process found it a rewarding and positive experience with a good sense of being listened to. However, the numbers engaged were relatively small, not meeting the target requirements, and were somewhat unrepresentative of the 50+ population in Cornwall.

2.2.4 Cornwall Works 50+ or 50+ Cares? There were targets set for the Dott process in terms of engagement with both 50+ and 50+ Cares participants. The Steering Group agreed that the participants could be signed up for both programmes, provided there were clear objectives covering both programmes at the particular Dott sessions. Whilst there were participant engagement targets for the delivery of the Dott process for each of the programmes, it is unclear how in the summation of the outcome of that activity how the Dott process responded to the different agendas of the two programmes. The focus of activity, particularly at the partner workshops, was more generically centred on the 50+ agenda, and has as a result made it difficult to unpack what outcomes resulting from these workshops related to 50+ and what outcomes related to 50+ Cares. However a number of the final ideas from the Dott process were 50+ Cares focused.

2.2.5 Achievement of targets The Dott process delivered the contracted phases of development and research and developed a number of ideas, but did not meet the engagement targets for both delivery partners and ESF participants (see Table 2). The Dott process in total engaged with 165 people, of which 128 represented delivery organisations and 37 were ESF participants. As the programmes are closely aligned it was agreed that the total participant numbers could be counted against each of the programme targets. These figures reflect those who can be evidenced by the completion of the corresponding paperwork required to meet ESF funding regulations. It is thought that there are a large number who took part but cannot be counted due to a lack of completed paperwork. Dott Cornwall and Think Public estimate approximately 70 people within Cornwall’s communities were engaged during the delivery of the Dott process.

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Table 2: Dott delivery outputs Outputs  Delivery of 1 Dott Research / Development Phase 50+

 Generation of a 2 or more ideas per theme (3 themes) through the Dott process  Engage with 225 ESF clients/service  Engage with 200 Employers /Business /Voluntary Community Sector /Public /Private service providers.

Relationship between Dott and ESF The lack of achievement of set targets was in part as a result of the matching of ESF requirements to a design-focused process. Working within the framework of the ESF fund with the target volume of participants and the paperwork requirements has proved challenging to a process that is creativelybased. There seems to have been a lack of shared understanding that may have enabled better achievement of outputs.

2.3 Small Innovation Grant Fund The Small Innovation Grant fund was an unexpected development during Year One. It was designed to fund a number of innovative pilot projects to meet the deficit in the achievement of the engagement target numbers for the Dott process. During 2009/10, a total of five projects were funded with grants from between £500 and £3,000, and of those three were funded through the 50+ programme (Table 3). Table 3: Small Innovation Grant funded projects, 2009/10 Project Event Volunteering / Events 4 All

Surf Activity Days (Surf Action)

Menopause Self Care

Summary Confidence Building and motivation through Volunteering Engages with people over 50 to volunteer in a wide range of sport, recreational and tourism events taking place across Cornwall. The project aims to build confidence and motivation alongside equipping individuals with essential work skills gained through volunteering. The project records work skills gained on the Cornwall Works Passport to Work and works with employers to identify employment opportunities for participants. Deliver surf based activity days to help with motivation Engages with people over 50 who would benefit from motivational activity to stay in or progress into the labour market, including veterans. It will achieve this through participating in a peer group activity that is both physically and mentally challenging and perceived as a young person’s sporting activity – surfing. The project will deliver four surf activity days for a maximum of fifteen people each day based at Sunset Surf on the North Coast. Help women going through ‘the change’ with self care. Engage with workless women in their early 50s experiencing menopause and pre-menopause and offer a compassionate, common sense, consumer guide to ‘the change’ giving women tools to become their own best self-care advocate.

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2.3.1 Delivery during year one All funded projects were brought together at the start to take part in a workshop day to outline ESF management and paperwork procedures and to raise awareness of the issues of sustainability and equality. A further action of the workshop was to bring the projects together to develop linkages across the projects and through the Cornwall Works Hub to ensure progression routes for their participants. The Dott team were included within the workshop sessions to promote the engagement of the projects’ participants within the Dott process. In terms of the general management and process issues for the projects, those projects involved in the evaluation felt supported by the Inclusion Cornwall management team. The projects felt that the management of the grant was flexible, allowing room for innovation and trying out new ways of working. In comparison to other potential grant routes it was felt that the Small Innovation Grants were more about supporting the projects and innovation, rather than being overly bureaucratic in approach. The only issue raised was the completion of the ESF evidencing paperwork which the projects found difficult at the start and time consuming, with projects under-estimating the ESF-related administrative costs.

2.3.2 Outputs The funded projects have in general achieved some but not all of their outputs. Any output targets related to the Innovation Grant funded projects are in relation to engagement rather than tangible outcomes such as participation in training or employment as an outcome. These projects were also not meant to be the primary vehicle for engaging people in the 50+ and 50+ Cares programmes during the first year as this was part of the purpose of the Dott process. Table 4 details the expected and achieved outputs for each of the projects. ďƒ˜

In the case of Events 4 All there have been issues with the ESF paperwork requirements for evidencing participants and it is likely that more participants than indicated have been involved.

ďƒ˜

Surf Action is a very small project, previously unfunded and run voluntarily, which went through significant organisational change at the time of being funded. This resulted in a change of project personnel and a period of a gap in staffing and support. Alongside this it is acknowledged that the targets outlined in the application process were based on unrealistic expectations.

Table 4: Achieved outputs of small Innovation Grant funded project, 2009/10 Expected participant numbers

Achieved participant numbers

Event Volunteering / Events 4 All

50

35

Surf Activity Days (Surf Action)

60

21

8

9

Menopause Self Care

2.4 Enabling Fund As part of the Cornwall Works 50+ and 50+ Cares programmes the Enabling Fund, managed through the Cornwall Works Hub, provided one off payment funding to 14 people during 2009/10 following 17 funding applications. The fund provides a one off payment to individuals to help overcome specific

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barriers to participants entering employment. These can include the need for work clothes and equipment, help with transport costs, childcare, transitional allowances to cover any gap between benefits and the first wage, and to buy in one-off provision that cannot be sourced from elsewhere.  

 

2.5 Transnational Working  

  A key element of the ITM funded Cornwall Works 50+ and 50+ Cares programmes is transnational working. During the first year of implementation of the programmes some of the transnational partnerships have worked well, and others less so.

  Cornwall Council has a well established joint protocol relationship with the Counseil General du Finistere. The close relationship and aligned demographic challenges made for a well functioning transnational partnership, enabling the two regions to extend existing joint working relationships and develop and share thinking on the common area of demographic change.

  The experiences and good practice shared by Finistere added value to programmes through linking to the development of pilot design ideas. During the 2009 transnational visit, Finistere presented the ‘Tiss’âges’ project – a house share scheme between over accommodated lonely elderly people and students, particularly care students, looking for a cheap accommodation. The Dott team developed the Host Homes design idea as a variation of the French model. Host Homes was about developing a service that enabled older people to invite holidaymakers into their homes, to stay with them for short periods of time, in return for help with maintenance. Ultimately the design idea was not taken forward into a pilot project.

  The development of the second transnational partnership with a Finnish partner has been less successful. Inclusion Cornwall pursued the potential link but changes within Finland have hampered any further development. Inclusion Cornwall is developing new links with Sweden (visit planned for March 2011) and Poland to take the transnational element of the programmes forward.  

 

2.6 Cross-cutting Themes  

  The programme documentation reflects the implementation of good practice within the areas of sustainability, equality and diversity across both programmes. Inclusion Cornwall has a Sustainability Policy stating how sustainability is implemented across people, transport, procurement, communication, resources, waste and energy, and the policy is subject to a SMART Action Plan. Further to this, Cornwall Works 50+ promotes sustainability by working through the Cornwall Works model of welfare to work services in Cornwall.

  Sustainability has been integrated into activity planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation as required by ESF and by Cornwall Council Sustainability policy and practice. All contracts with sub contractors consider sustainability as standard practice and include conditions around the implementation of sustainability.

  All programme delivery partners are required to adhere to the programme Sustainability Policy. In addition, Inclusion Cornwall run a workshop day for the innovation pilot projects to outline sustainability and equality requirements and to review the required Sustainability and Equality Impact assessments, together with Safeguarding checks in line with ESF requirements. Further to this, Cornwall Works 50+ is working to capture information on the 'sustainability journey' and achievements.

 

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Cornwall Council and partners take appropriate steps to actively promote equal opportunities in line with their public duty under domestic legislation as well to as prevent any discrimination based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation during the various stages of implementation. In terms of equality and diversity, the programme documentation shows Cornwall Council has in place a comprehensive set of policies covering Equal Opportunities. Cornwall Council further monitors progress against performance of Equality and Diversity when it holds reviews with providers. As such, the documentation notes that Cornwall Works 50+ and 50+ Cares programmes promote equality and diversity in all aspects of work. Sub-Contractors and delivery partners are monitored with regular monitor meetings being held to discuss all aspects of equality and diversity. Equal Opportunity Participant forms are also completed and monitored as part of the delivery in each programme. Both programmes, through working within the Cornwall Works model, have strong organisational and strategic partnerships reflecting the equality and diversity agenda.

2.7 Dissemination During the first year of implementation there have been a number of routes established to disseminate the outcomes and learning from the programmes. The programmes were launched in October 2009 through a 'Jump on the Bus for 50+' event. Organised by Inclusion Cornwall, the day long bus trip visited a number of destinations around the county. Two events at Mevagissey and Truro were held to enable the public to have the opportunity to find out what the projects were about and how they could get involved. Further dissemination activity has included: 

Newsletter

EU delegation presentations and transnational visits

ITM Thematic Network meetings

ESF Works website

Strategic and delivery partner meetings and presentations

Cornwall 50+ forums

Cornwall Works 50+ and 50+ Cares Conference

Events and festivals including Respect and World Mental Health Day

It has been felt by some taking part in the evaluation that there is room for more dissemination activity to take place, particularly in terms of advertising to potential 50+ and 50+ Cares participants.

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3.0 Outcomes in Year One This section considers the outcomes resulting from the implementation of activities in Year One. It examines the outcomes generated from the Dott process and Small Innovation Grant funded projects, as well as dissemination and potential for mainstreaming activities.

3.1 Dott 3.1.1 Partnership working The process of bringing partners together in an integrated approach to discuss potential new ways of working to address the 50+ and 50+ Cares agendas was viewed as a useful mechanism for generating partnerships. It was seen by partners as a good opportunity that many do not usually get, to have the thinking space to develop new ideas. It brought people together and helped creative thinking. However, the Dott process was only somewhat responsible for the benefits stemming from partnership working that have developed through the first year of the 50+ and 50+ Cares programmes. The Steering and Advisory groups developed to manage the two programmes have functioned well in terms of the self-generation of partnership working. The bringing together of partners in line with the Cornwall Works model of working has developed new partnership working between the areas of health and work in particular. There has also been an alignment of Cornwall Works and the Changing Lives1 agenda where both parties are keen to ensure processes are not duplicated. There are also new links being made between Cornwall Works and the adult social care sector.

3.1.2 Innovation ideas Part of the outcomes of the Dott process were about developing an understanding of the experiences of the over 50s in Cornwall, and generating innovative ideas that could be developed during Year Two and Year Three. Whilst the Dott process has achieved both of these in some senses, overall the outcomes generated have been viewed by many of those consulted for the evaluation as being less successful. There is an overarching view that the Dott process has not generated anything new in terms of understanding the 50+ cohort and that the ideas generated have lacked a practical focus. The Dott process engaged with the community and those who were engaged were positive about the process of being able to communicate their stories. However, it is not clear what impact this process had on generating any new knowledge about the issues faced by the over 50’s. In another sense, however, this may be a positive outcome as it perhaps reinforces the knowledge already held in Cornwall. The Dott process generated a number of innovative ideas including the Arm Chair of Advice, the High Street Huer and the Treasure Chest. However, it has been clearly felt that many of the innovative ideas, whilst interesting, lacked the practical focus reflecting the lack of contextual understanding referred to in Section 2. There is a common feeling that the movement from initial ideas into something that could be made workable was a weakness in generating positive outcomes from the process.

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Changing Lives being an approach that aims to improve the health and wellbeing of people in Cornwall by creating a culture of mutual aid and self care

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3.2 Small Innovation Grants 3.2.1 Participants Whilst the numbers participating in the projects have been relatively small, the outcomes for these participants have been invaluable. Evidence from the case study materials shows that for those receiving the support of the 50+ innovation pilots the support is making a real difference to their lives. For some it has been about developing both confidence and new skills for example through the Events 4 All volunteering programme. For others, it has been about taking part in physical activities for example through Surf Action leading to improved motivation and given confidence to move towards getting back into work.

3.2.2 Raising profiles Outside of the participant focused outcomes, there are a number of wider outcomes those involved with the projects feel the Small Innovation Grants fund has helped to generate. The first of these is about raising the profile of the projects and this happened in two ways. All of the projects involved in the evaluation expressed the view that being supported through Cornwall Works added to their credibility and profile. Being supported and “believed in” added to the sense of being valued as an idea that could make a difference. As well as the overall support and backing from the Cornwall Works brand, the projects were supported with opportunities to attend events and conferences to raise their profile amongst a wider network of organisations and potential funding bodies. The funding enabled them to have the space to devote the time needed to network. For many the feeling is that not only has this raised the profile of their particular project but also the general focus of the needs of the 50+ cohort in Cornwall and the positive impact of thinking differently about supporting people into work.

3.2.3 Enabling growth & developing partnerships The effect of the networking has been the development of new partnerships and the facilitation of growth for the projects. All of the projects involved in the evaluation found networking led to new relationships with organisations for both client referral and funding, with more opportunities with other partners involved in Cornwall Works. As expressed by one project representative and reflected in comments by the others: “We are working with all sorts of partners and the whole thing has raised our profile and opened up a lot of doors”. The new linkages have had a positive impact on bringing into focus the potential for mainstreaming and the longer term issue of project development and sustainability.

3.2.4 Learning For all of the projects there has been an element of developing learning about the 50+ cohort in terms of what works and why. As a result of the close relationship between the projects and Inclusion Cornwall, much of this learning has been transferred more widely.

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3.3 Mainstreaming The majority of outcomes in terms of mainstreaming will occur later in the development of the programmes following the trialling of projects. However, there is evidence that some mainstreaming activity is already taking place. The Menopause Self Care project, for example, is one of the projects moving towards mainstreaming with interest from both Cornwall Council and the health sector. In a related way, in terms of using the funding for 50+ and 50+ Cares as a mechanism to lead to wider and more expanded delivery, Surf Action has been very successful in raising further funding with a large Lottery funded grant to push forward an ambitious development plan.

3.4 Developing Cornwall Works The introduction of the 50+ and 50+ Cares programmes to the activities delivered within Cornwall has contributed to the further development of Cornwall Works through enabling a more specific focus on the 50+ cohort as part of the agenda of tackling worklessness. The issue of demographic change in terms of the ageing of the population was an issue that Cornwall would have to face at a given point in time. However, the 50+ and 50+ Cares programmes have had the effect of bringing the issue to the fore.

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4.0 Perspectives on Future Developments of the Programmes This section brings together the perspectives offered by those consulted on the future developments of the programmes. It examines the activity going forward and highlights some key issues for reflection in terms of the challenges that may lay ahead.

4.1 Activity Going Forward 4.1.1 Pilot projects Activities going forward are centred on the Innovation Delivery Plan and a continuation of the Small Innovation Grants fund. The innovation pilots being taken forward within the 50+ programme include: 

Centre of Excellence for 50+: a centre of excellence for engaging and supporting people over 50 into and progressing within employment. This will take the form of a virtual team of champions who will come together as an expansion of the Cornwall Works Hub to improve engagement for 50+ people.

50+ for 50+: supporting existing Cornwall mentoring schemes to develop a 50+ specific element. The activity aligns with the Changing Lives and Big Society approach by empowering local people to take a role in bridging the gap between services and communities. A countywide network of 50+ mentors will develop helping to improve existing good practice and work towards mainstreaming.

Health Projects: raising awareness of the links between employment and health. The Cornwall Works strategy will be developed through health partners to provide more opportunity and awareness for 50+ people to progress towards and within work.

Cornwall Works Hub for 50+: a service offering a centred approach for people over the age of 50 considering how information might be provided in a more personal way. The Cornwall Works Hub will be developed for 50+ people with additional access points.

Local Skills Exchange: supports the existing Volunteer Cornwall Timebank scheme to develop a 50+ specific element encouraging people and communities to support one another. The idea will focus on people’s capabilities and connect them, making the best use of the experience of 50+ people and encouraging intergenerational exchanges.

Jobcentre Plus Advisors: development of literature for Jobcentre Plus advisers giving them an easy way to refer 50+ service users into Cornwall Works.

Community Skills Fare (Skills Chest): will capture the skills and experience of all within a community with the focus on those 50+ representatives and community groups in a Skills Chest as a tool to inspire other members of the community and provide a focus on moving towards and into work.

Surf Action 50+: developing the project through the first round of the Cornwall Works 50+ Innovation Fund, Surf Action uses surfing to engage with people over the age of 50 who would benefit from motivational activity to stay in or progress into the labour market.

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Menopause Self Care: developing through the first round of the Cornwall Works 50+ Innovation Fund, this project engages with unemployed women in their early 50s experiencing menopause and offers a compassionate, common sense, consumer guide to ‘the change’ giving women tools to become their own best self care advocate.

Each of the pilots have clear outputs, outcomes and strategies for mainstreaming, and their progress will be examined in the final evaluation of the 50+ programme.

4.2 Big or Small? One of the specific questions about the activities going forward is about direction. Many of those involved in the evaluation, when thinking about the key priorities over the remainder of the programme’s lifetime, talked about big versus small. Currently, the projects being developed through the programmes are having a large impact but only on a small number of people. This issue leads to two main areas for consideration, around whether to: 

Fund many small test-bed projects that explore creative new ideas of working and, whilst only reaching a small number of people at the test stage, have the ability to be scaled up if their methods are successful, or,

Fund a smaller number of projects that are more immediate in being able to reach a large number of people.

4.3 Economic and Structural Change The economic, policy and structural changes within the public sector will have an impact on the 50+ and 50+ Cares programmes. In part this offers an opportunity to the programmes. For example, the focus on innovation, community engagement and self reliance within the programmes suggests that they may be well placed to take advantage of the political and economic shift towards the Big Society. As with this wider agenda, the emphasis of the 50+ and 50+ Cares approach is on relatively small financial interventions with the potential to make a significant difference. Accepting this, the challenge for the programmes will be in maintaining the focus on thinking creatively in tacking the issues faced by the ageing of the population during these changes. Maintaining partnerships and new ways of working through the structural changes is likely to be challenging, none more so than the anticipated changes in the health sector. The potential changes such as the shift towards GP-led consortia will affect the long-term sustainable impacts of the 50+ programmes and the closely aligned health agenda

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5.0 Conclusions This section concludes the interim evaluation report by offering some overall concluding remarks prior to highlighting the issues for consideration that arise from the analysis undertaken.

5.1 Concluding remarks Despite some challenges emerging in year one of programme delivery (principally around the Dott process), it is clear from the analysis undertaken that both Cornwall Works 50+ and 50+ Cares are well positioned to build on the work undertaken to date in years two and three of their delivery. Both programmes have a clear rationale in terms of enhancing service provision for the 50+ age group in the context of an ageing workforce and the need to address worklessness within the county. Likewise, there is a clear strategic fit between the two programmes and other complementary activity being taken forward under the Cornwall Works strategy. The management of the programmes, and the governance structures put in place to support this, appear effective and efficient, with remedial actions having been put in place in response to issues with the Dott process and difficulties in taking forward the transnational aspect of the programmes. The experience of running the Dott process in particular offers some useful learning around the need to fully understand and reflect the particular context of Cornwall, the existing services in place, and the needs of the 50+ age group throughout the process, and for this to fully inform the outcomes it generates. The need for clarity of purpose in relation to the Dott process, and clear communication of its intended outcomes (and likely limitations) to all relevant partners and participants similarly offers a useful area of learning. In terms of delivery, the Small Innovation Grant Fund has offered an effective route to establishing activity, and hence achieving some positive outputs and outcomes, in the context of difficulties in ensuring the Dott process led to the development of pilot projects in the way initially intended. While projects funded through this route have made a good start, as with the Dott process itself, there is a need to ensure that outputs generated are able to be evidenced, and hence counted, in an efficient and timely way. Accepting this, the management of the projects, along with other wider management responsibilities around dissemination, appears to have functioned well. In terms of broader outcomes to date, activity in year one has clearly served to enhance the partnership working already evident in respect of the Cornwall Works approach, in addition to facilitating and creating new partnership activity. Alignment between the Cornwall Works and Changing Lives agenda, and the development of transnational links with partners in Finistere and Poland, are positive examples of outcomes emerging in this area. While innovative ideas have been generated through the Dott process, the difficulty of developing these into practical projects to take forward has meant that outcomes more broadly are evident through the development of the projects under the Small innovation grants approach rather than through the Dott route. Key outcomes in relation to this activity include raising the profile of the projects themselves to pave the way for delivery in years two and three, and enhancing the focus on the 50+ group being developed under the overarching Cornwall Works strategy. While it is early in the programmes to expect significant outcomes in terms of mainstreaming, there are some positive developments in this area, with the Menopause Self Care project, for example, having generated interest in routes to

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mainstreaming the model of working generated. This focus on mainstreaming is likely to remain significant as the programmes move into years two and three.

5.2 Issues for consideration The key issues for consideration that emerge at this interim reporting point can be summarised as follows: 

How to ensure that developments in aligning the health and work agendas, linking the programmes’ activity with the Changing Lives agenda, can be further developed to ensure that the potential strategic significance of this can be maximised.

How to achieve the most effective balance between testing pilot projects in depth on a small number of participants, hence generating effective learning and mainstreaming potential, whilst still ensuring that good output levels (in terms of participants reached) and positive outcomes for as wide a number of individuals as possible can be achieved.

How to effectively link with wider policy agendas, for example the Coalition’s Big Society approach, to ensure that the potential of the approaches being developed is effectively maximised and ongoing positive outcomes are generated.

How to maintain the focus on generating innovation whilst retaining the engagement of key partners and organisations in a challenging economic and public sector funding context.

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Interim Evaluation of Cornwall Works

For more information contact: Andrea Gilbert, Social Inclusion Manager Tel: 01872 355060 agilbert@cornwall.gov.uk

Cornwall Works 50+ is funded by the European Social Fund Convergence Programme


Interim Evaluation of Cornwall Works 50+  

Interim Evaluation of Cornwall Works 50+

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