Wellbeing Our Way is about enabling people to manage their health in ways which matter to them. We work through community and voluntary organisations.
Friday 10 July 2015

Dear <<First Name>>,

Many of us working in the voluntary and community sector (VCS) do so because we believe in the difference we’re making. We believe that community approaches can tackle inequalities. We believe that peer support can help people become more confident and less lonely. And we believe that the kinds of approaches which charities and community organisations deliver so well can change people’s lives.

But how do we communicate this change? How do we persuade commissioners and funders of their value? And how do we engage doctors, nurses and social workers in these approaches, so that they signpost those most in need to us?

This edition of WOW Now focuses on some of the ways in which VCS organisations can demonstrate the difference they are making – to the people with whom they work directly, and within the context of the wider health and care system.

It offers blogs, case studies and resources which I hope will be helpful guides for your organisation in telling its own story of the difference it is making. You can access the slides and notes from our recent Demonstrating Impact POW WOW (shared learning workshop) below, and there are profiles of some of the people who are so generously contributing their time, experience and enthusiasm to help Wellbeing Our Way create the change we want to see.

As ever, if you work within a charity or community organisation and would like to get involved with Wellbeing Our Way, please do
get in touch.

Best wishes,

Natalie Koussa
Programme Lead – Wellbeing Our Way
P.S. Wellbeing Our Way is one year old! Click to see our blog,
Wellbeing Our Way – Just the beginning... Next week, we will be sharing case studies showing the difference Wellbeing Our Way is making to some of the organisations involved in the programme - please look out for these on the National Voices' blogspot.


Wellbeing Our Way’s POW WOWs (shared learning workshops) bring together people working in charities and those with lived experience to develop approaches which enable people to live well. They are a great opportunity for shared learning between staff working directly with people with long term health needs, as well as those who are developing these approaches. 
“Great speakers and good mix of theory and real examples…Made me realise the importance of theory of change and impact measurement.”

- Workshop participant
On 23 June, Wellbeing Our Way held a POW WOW which explored how charities and community organisations can use a theory of change to demonstrate the difference they are making. Please click here to see the agenda for the day. 
Many thanks to David Jones (Diabetes UK), Dimitrios Tourountsis and Francis Augusto (London Youth), and Lee Robinson (Bright Ideas Consulting Ltd) for facilitating a hugely enjoyable and interactive day.

In their morning session - Theory of Change: the missing link between good and great? - David and Lee explored how theory of change can be used as a practical framework for organisational planning, using Diabetes UK’s Patient Leadership programme as a thought-provoking case study. You can see their slides here

The ‘What are we already doing? What are the challenges?’ session gave an opportunity to share the existing ways in which organisations demonstrate their impact, alongside aspirations and challenges in this area. Please click here to see the table notes. 

Finally, London Youth’s ‘Making a Positive Difference’ was led by Dimitrios and Francis in their energetic and inimitable style. Please click here to see their slides and here to see London Youth’s Learning Report 2013-14.

This storify summarises some of the highlights from the workshop. 
If you would like to find out more, share examples of your practice in this area, or get involved in the Peer Support community of practice, please get in touch with Natalie.
Demonstrating Impact POW WOW on Tuesday 23 June.

Upcoming POW WOWs:

It's been a positive start for Wellbeing Our Way's series of POW WOWs, with workshops on care and support planning and peer support. There are still plenty of opportunities to get involved throughout the rest of the year. These include: 
  • 26 August - Self-management support, with particular attention to meeting the needs of young people and meeting the needs of people whose capacity is changing (such as those with neurological conditions)
  • 14 October - Developing person-centred information and helplines 
  • 11 NovemberEnabling people to influence 
Read more and register here. We will confirm places as soon as we are able.

If you are a person with lived experience who would like to attend one of the POW WOWs, please see our Reward and Recognition policy for details of travel expenses and fees available.
WOW How: London Youth- From a ‘hunch’ to credible evaluation

WOW How is a regular feature which highlights some of the great work already existing within the community and voluntary sector. This week's WOW How is from Dimitrious, Head of Learning at London Youth.

London Youth’s vision is that all young Londoners grow up healthy, are able to navigate a fulfilling career and make a positive contribution in their communities. Our mission is to support and challenge young people to become the best they can be.

We believe that good youth work works and we deliver it with, and through our network of 400 community youth clubs and at our two residential centres. We create a broad and inclusive range of opportunities for young people and develop, train, connect and quality assure our membership network to deliver good youth work.

London Youth has a long history - it was established around 1887. The last 128 years have resulted in the accumulation of a significant body of practices relevant to young people. For example, we know that a residential can change the lives of inner city young people.

But what we knew - our know how - was supported by observation, anecdotal evidence, personal opinion and tradition. In 2001 we let the world know that we had a
hunch about the benefits of youth work delivered in a place where young people choose to go. We published a document that argued for the value of good youth work and outlined the limits of our knowledge. But we lacked a robust set of data to back up this hunch.

Despite our previous failed attempts at measurement - partly due to motivation and mainly due to lack of adequate resource - we embraced evidence-informed practice and acknowledged our role in influencing the new systems of public services. We directed our energy towards learning how to sustain, to endure without giving away.

In the last three years, London Youth has piloted the Catalyst youth outcomes framework, adopted robust methods of programme design (theories of change) and evaluation (process and impact), involved young people, practitioners and funders, produced its first
Learning report, and become an Early Adopter of the Centre for Youth Impact’s offer. London Youth is learning how to be sustainable.

Our top tips:
Ensure that your work to develop a theory of change reflects your organisation’s mission and strategic objectives. Be prepared to support and challenge your staff during their own learning journey.
Be accountable to your beneficiaries, stakeholders and funders – involve them in your impact measurement practice, make it ambitious but take small and confident steps when implementing it.

What is different as a result?
  • Delivery staff feel more empowered, are better engaged in programme design and evaluation and consciously use their theory of change in working with young people; and
  • Organisational planning and decision-making is informed by credible evidence.

Dimitrios Tourountsis – Head of Learning, London Youth
If you would like to share an example of promising practice for inclusion in future editions, please get in touch with NatalieWe would be particularly interested in examples around ways in which organisations are supporting people to manage their long term health needs.
Tell us something about yourself...

Max is a retired GP and director of Conscious Ageing Trust, home of Diealog. Diealog programmes support community wellbeing through “open and honest talk about ageing, dying, caring and loss, sharing our stories, and creating mutual support networks...”  Diealog programmes are currently located mainly in Dorset, the south-west, and London. 

What inspired you to be part of Wellbeing Our Way?
Conscious Ageing is a very small, 100% community owned and run charity, and collaborating with others and national partners like Wellbeing Our Way is the only way we can bring about positive 'bottom up' community change together and co-create better wellbeing for us all.

What’s your number one tip about how you live well?
Remembering to be more compassionate to myself, and giving myself time every day to relax, have a laugh, and ‘smell the flowers’.

What has happened to make you feel most in control of your health?
Being able to be open and honest talking with other people, including sharing my worries and fears as I grow older and look forward to my future dying. Then realising others feel the same, and finding out that together we have an abundance of our own resources to help and support each other.

What change would you like to see in how charities enable people to live well, in the ways which matter to them?
Together we are creating a “Quiet Revolution”! It is a social movement for wellbeing, and we need charities to understand that our community programmes are effective, and result in better experience, good practice and more compassionate care for us all. The “Quiet Revolution” is bringing about a really big change, away from ‘top down’ service delivery, and towards local ‘bottom up’ approaches – genuine wellbeing our way for the whole population. The evidence is there that it works and we need the big charities to back us so we can do more.

Tell us something surprising about yourself.
I stand on my head every day!

Latest Blog:
Demonstrating impact within the charity sector 

Lee Robinson is the Director of Bright Ideas Consulting, a consultancy providing innovative, evidence-based strategy, research and financial sustainability support for organisations with a social mission. Bright Ideas has recently been working with National Voices and the Wellbeing Our Way programme to develop the organisation’s approach to sector mapping and impact assessment.

In his blog, Lee writes about the challenges charities face when demonstrating impact and how to meet these challenges. Here's a sneak preview...

The long-term trend across the charity sector is for funders, decision makers and the public to have increasing expectations that charities must produce evidence of the impact they create. I wanted to share some of the insights we’ve gained from our work with charities from across the country.

Read the rest of Lee's blog here


Click here for the latest WOW blog

Meet the Steering Group
Richard Owen works in the Person-Centred Care Team at NHS England and has previously worked in a number of policy roles in the Department of Health. He is currently working on how to measure person-centred care, including the pilot of the Patient Activation Measure.

In his steering group profile, Richard reflects on the role of voluntary and community organisations in enabling people to live well, and how they can demonstrate the difference they are making.

What sparked your interest in getting involved with Wellbeing Our Way?
The voluntary and community sector is going to play a key role in turning the NHS into a social movement that recognises people’s assets and supports them to live their lives. Many policy documents have called on a greater role for VCS organisations, however, the timing of the NHS Five Year Forward View and WOW (surely the winner of best acronym award!) programme gives us the opportunity to work together to make it a reality.

Read more here

Useful Resources 

Reflections from an Action Research Project (The Centre for Youth Impact)

A Guide to developing a theory of change (NPC and Clinks)

Demonstrating Outcomes (Clinks) – scroll down for some example theories of change

Developing a Theory of Change (The Centre for Youth Impact) – this has a range of useful resources to support the development of a theory of change.

What leads to – an online theory of change tool

Specific Impact and outcome measures (Inspiring Impact) – this comprehensive list includes scaling tools which can help to evidence outcomes

Measuring what really matters (The Health Foundation)

The Community Builder’s Approach to Theory of Change (The Aspen Institute) - This practical guide is for people creating a theory of change with community-based programmes and community change initiatives.

Working with young people with disabilities: Demonstrate the impact of your work (London Youth) 
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