Throughout 2021, the Church Army Research Unit was commissioned to undertake an independent evaluation of the Centenary Project to assess its impact. The reports were published in early March and are overwhelmingly positive. The evidence shows that the Centenary Project is making a difference to lives of children, young people and families in the Diocese of Sheffield and positively impacting disadvantaged communities.
The evaluation report includes six case studies, five of which illustrate the project’s impact in deprived communities. Interview data revealed comments about the economic challenges experienced by children, young people and families in the communities in which they work. The Centenary Project seeks to address these challenges through establishing programmes of activities including parent and toddler groups, school uniform banks, after-school clubs and youth groups. Throughout the pandemic, Centenary Project Workers have gone even further, providing online activities, delivering resources and when restrictions allowed holding outdoor activities.
Participants in Centenary Project groups were surveyed and questions about the impact all received high average scores. Statements about feeling ‘accepted’, ‘supported’, ‘belonging’ and ‘understood’ scored particularly strongly. The research uncovered many stories and examples that illustrate the Centenary Project’s impact on children, young people and families’ wider wellbeing.