Although we are only at the start of our journey with Black Thrive and have a long way to go before we can show impact, there is a plan in place to ensure we are assessing our own efficacy and driving forward with a culture of learning and constant improvement. 

To do this, Black Thrive will appoint an independent evaluator to assess the efficacy of the initiative in achieving its goals and outcomes, and the impact on the wider system and community approach to mental health within black communities. A core group of the facilitating team, led by the former head of Public Health Lambeth, is in the process of drafting the scope of the evaluation. The objective of the evaluation is to demonstrate:

  1. What has been achieved? Has Lambeth seen any improvement in specified outcomes for black populations? Are these improvements significant and long-lasting?
  2. Why has change been achieved? To what extent has the Black Thrive contributed to achieving these outcomes? What other factors have contributed?
  3. How effective are the processes and model used? What components are critical to its success? How effective has the Collective Impact model been?

The evaluator will work closely with the Shared Measurement System (SMS) and Evaluation Working Group, leveraging the data they have collected and undertaking qualitative analysis to understand these outcomes within the Lambeth context.

Learning and dissemination

Those already involved in the development of Black Thrive have recognised the benefit of using this approach in other areas, and to tackle inequalities experienced by other ethnic groups. There is a strong commitment from the partners to share learnings from Black Thrive more widely.

The Black Thrive facilitating team will work with partners to capture learnings and use information from the evaluation to coordinate and inform providers of mental health services in regions experiencing similar health inequalities. This will enable the codification of what works with a view to integrating the intervention into a whole system-wide response.

This work will likely include:

  • Coordinating a workshop with other local Healthwatch organisations
  • Engaging with nearby boroughs, particularly those where SLaM operate
  • Leveraging the dedicated resource available within the team at Social Finance responsible for sharing learnings across the portfolio of projects within the Impact Incubator.
  • Exploring how to share learnings at a strategic level with Jacqui Dyer MBE, drawing on her role as Vice-Chair of NHS England’s Mental Health Taskforce and an appointed member of the Ministerial Advisory Group for Mental Health