Renaisi evaluated six resilience projects funded by City Bridge Trust to test different approaches to supporting and developing the resilience of frontline staff in the voluntary sector.

City Bridge Trust funded six organisations between October 2019 and March 2020 to design and deliver a pilot project to support the resilience of their staff and/or volunteers. Each project was unique, tailored to the specific circumstances of their workforce.

Renaisi was commissioned in August 2019 to evaluate the pilot projects and identify promising approaches to developing charity workers’ resilience. We looked at answering the following research questions:

  1. Is there value in supporting resilience or can it be sufficiently supported through other existing forms of support?
  2. What are the features of successful interventions to build resilience and are some features more important than others?
  3. Can resilience support be generic or is it more effective if it is sector specific? Are certain features more important to certain organisations, depending, possibly, on size, geography, management or governance structures, or sector?
  4. Are there contextual factors that can influence the success or effectiveness of an intervention?
  5. How can funders best support interventions to build the resilience of charity sector staff, particularly those for whom there is no existing support mechanism in place?

We used a mixed methods approach to evaluate the pilots. This included:

  • Semi-structured telephone interviews with the lead contact at each organisation, at the start and end of their pilot project
  • Monthly assessments of participants’ resilience levels, using a tool called the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale (see p.18 of the report)
  • A visit to each pilot organisation, to observe resilience activities taking place, speak to participants of the project and understand more about the workplace context
  • A participant feedback survey at the end of the pilots
  • Interim and final project reports submitted by the lead contact at each pilot
Alice Thornton