We commissioned Revealing Reality to conduct a research project during the summer of 2021 to explore the needs, motivations, and barriers to successful employment for people with learning disabilities and autism in Essex.
Three intrepid researchers deliver ECC’s first in-house digital ethnography. It’s been a daring adventure and a leap of faith for us to combine an online tool (Incling) with research skills, for a project about mental health support.
Recently we completed a research project with survivors of domestic abuse, and wanted to share a bit about how we did it and why it was so important to us that this research has an impact. We engaged with survivors of domestic abuse over a period of several months, to explore how they want to share their views, provide feedback and be involved in decision-making, in a way that is best for them.
This week our team visited a high school in Essex to talk to sixth formers about their experiences of Covid-19 in terms of the impact to their mental health, relationships, education and future opportunities. Updated guidance meant that all pupils were now expected to wear face masks in classrooms, so this went for us researchers too...
We commissioned Oxford Consultants for Social Inclusion (OCSI) to undertake a review of community need and ‘left behind’ areas in Essex. The review sought to help us understand how Essex compares to other areas in terms of its levels of community need, and which factors are more significant than others in contributing to areas having high levels of need.
“How hard can it be?” That is my thought process when I come to approaching new challenges. If I’m able to see others excelling at one thing, I know that with enough time and practice I’ll be able to replicate what they can do. So, when I was asked to create a Power BI dashboard to enable ECC to share the residents’ survey data, “how hard can it be?”, came straight into my head.
Over the last year or so our team has carried out research around Covid-19, mental health, financial struggles, women’s safety and domestic abuse among other things. This has involved participants discussing past traumas and difficult periods they have experienced, which can leave us as researchers often dwelling on those conversations long after they have taken place...
Through research with employees we found that there are many working parents within ECC who are feeling the pressures of juggling work and home life, and would benefit from some extra support. Our insights informed the development of a group coaching pilot. Evaluating well was key, and we were keen to learn as we go.
When I heard that the government had pulled the plug on unconscious bias training, I remember thinking that it felt like a backwards step. But a review found limited evidence that it creates behaviour change, and could even lead to "unintended negative consequences.” So, what was going on there that meant not only was it not very effective, but could actually be making things worse?
Any project in a local authority setting has a certain degree of bureaucracy. And that’s good, bureaucracy makes sure people are kept in the loop, makes sure services are fit for purpose, makes sure we are accountable and transparent. But bureaucracy can also make our workdays too long, frustrate us and distract us from our, and the organisation’s, motivation.