Embrace Wigan and LeighEnhancing the data capabilities of Embrace Wigan and Leigh

Embrace Wigan and Leigh is a user-led charity dedicated to supporting disabled people and their families in Wigan and Leigh area and surrounding districts.

The request

Embrace Wigan and Leigh wished to enhance their data capabilities to achieve their charity main objectives, which are to promote care, welfare, interests, treatment, education and advancement of people with any form of disability within Wigan and Leigh. A further requirement, in addition to this, is to better understand how they can use their data more effectively as evidence to secure funding for the future. The charity wished to develop on their current method of collecting data to provide them with more knowledge of their clients in the first instance. Furthermore, the charity wanted them to help provide consistency with the collecting of data after an intervention with a client to monitor and compare impacts.

The approach

David Loughlin and Laura Howell were assigned to this project. They arranged a meeting with Embrace in the first instance, to help them get a feel as to what data they already held and to have a face to face discussion around what they are able to help with and align that with what they required from them. From this they were able to create some key actions for them to work towards. As a result, they supported the charity with two key projects, Parent Support and Behavioural Support. In relation to the Behavioural Support project, they reviewed the questionnaires currently being used to capture data on clients at baseline and post-intervention and advised on possible improvements that could be made including the use of standardised questionnaires. In relation to the Parent Support project, they reviewed and analysed the data they currently collect on clients at baseline and provided advice on what improvements could be made.

The results

They provided a final report to Embrace Wigan and Leigh outlining our recommendations on how they could improve their data collection methods and what analysis they could potentially perform in the future using the statistical package SPSS. Included in this report are suggestions which would help to add credibility to their data collection methods, which will further help support them when securing future funding.

The impact/benefits

Chris Hamnett, Fieldworker Manager of Embrace Wigan and Leigh said:

We heard about the Statisticians for Society on Radio Four and decided to apply. We are a small charity, and while we collect a high volume of data, we do not have the resources to employ anyone to analyse it. The application process was simple and we were thrilled when Laura and David contacted us for an initial meeting. The pair were extremely accommodating and agreed to meet with us at our offices. They came with an open mind and was able to offer suggestions, about how we analyse our data, from the outset. One of the highlights from our first meeting was just the reassurance we received that our methods of data collection and analysis were already okay. However, Laura and David felt they could offer guidance on how to develop our service further. To conclude our first meeting, we agreed the outcomes we would like to achieve and timescales for when the work would be completed.

Laura and David took this information and worked autonomously to create a report. The report included a number of recommendations of how we could improve our current evaluations and collection methods. David and Laura met with us to discuss the report, and we really feel that the information they provided will benefit us going forward. Laura and David were extremely easy to work with, they were professional, knowledgeable and reliable throughout. Laura has also offered more of her time to continue supporting us, which will benefit our charity enormously.