Our research and evaluation projects are vital to our success as a charity, and give those who deliver and use services the opportunity to share their views and ideas for improvement. However, we know that effective research is conducted with service users, not to service users. With this in mind, we have put together the Sparkle Research Advisory Group.  

Many charities have Research Advisory Groups which help shape their research activities. For example, medical research charities have groups who help decide what research projects to fund. Our group is slightly different as we don’t fund external research. The Sparkle Research Advisory Group helps shape our research activities by testing questionnaires we might want to use to measure the impact of our services and letting us know if they think they are easy to use or if they have any other feedback. They will also be consulted whenever we have an idea of how to develop our services or facilities. For example, recently we wanted to develop the outside space at Serennu Children’s Centre and had a number of different pieces of equipment in mind. Family members from the Serennu catchment area who are part of the group were asked to rate the different pieces of equipment, and we are now sourcing funding so that we will be able to install the piece of equipment rated highest by families (more on this soon, watch this space!).

Research Advisory Groups are made up of experts in a field, and we believe there are no better experts on the issues and challenges faced by children and young people with disabilities and/or developmental difficulties, and their families, than those families themselves.

If you would like to join Sparkle’s Research Advisory Group, please contact Bethan, our Research and Development Officer, on 01633 748024 or research@sparkleappeal.org. Joining will mean you receive an email from Bethan about every three months with an update on Sparkle’s research activities, and you will be invited to test questionnaires or share your views on issues relevant to you. Being part of the group is very flexible; we won’t expect you to take up every opportunity we share, just as much or as little as you like, and understand that people’s circumstances change so there is no long tem commitment needed.

If you think you can support our research activities, then please get in touch, and help special children shine.