Thames Reach has conducted regular internal and external evaluation and monitoring of its GROW service user employment project since its inception in July 2005.
In February 2010 Thames Reach commissioned Kevin Ireland, of Compendium Consulting, to undertake a research project into the costs and benefits of service user employment in the homelessness sector.
Kevin's report "Walking the Walk" is available to download here.
Internal evaluation has included:
Feedback exercises with trainees, placement supervisors and life coaches about the traineeship programme
Statistical reviews regarding the impact of changes made to recruitment procedures on the direct employment of staff who have experienced homelessness
Project reviews by the GROW Manager
Feedback obtained about the traineeships is regularly analysed and changes are made to the project, accordingly.
Thames Reach has commissioned The University of Sheffield to carry out a two-year evaluation of the GROW project starting in July 2006. The information and recommendations provided through this evaluation have helped to improve and shape the project over its life span.