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The tools that Maddy and her team have utilised in some of their evaluation approaches, perfectly echo many of the key considerations that Jane details in her introduction to evaluation in cultural social prescribing.

How did you first approach evaluation for the ‘Meet Me…’ programme, and has this changed over time?

“We tended to be led by the needs of the funder – lots of statistics, case studies etc.

The most powerful way of evaluating our programme is personal stories – so case studies, voices are key. There have been moments during the programme (for example during Age Against the Machine in 2019) when a more comprehensive evaluation was carried out.”

What kinds of evaluation data do you collect within the programme?

“We collect data on who attends, such as demographic information and frequency of participation. But we also leave plenty of space for unexpected things to come up – we have a vast amount of archives, crafts and things that people have made, which tell us stories of the journeys people have been on with us. Now we are working more specifically in SP, we are tracking better people’s health journey and the longer term impact of the programme on them.”

Any tips for things to consider, in terms of experience of participants, when putting together your evaluation strategy?

“In our experience, Artist led evaluations generate the most interesting, dynamic results. This is in addition to incorporating personal stories and case studies into evaluation, which is key.

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