“Upshot has revolutionised the way we evaluate activity and massively reduced admin”

Here, at Upshot, our focus is to enable organisations, that are delivering community-based projects to, manage, monitor and evidence the effectiveness of their work. Moreover, having been built by the Football Foundation and sport being our bread and butter, Upshot’s track record with working with sports charities and sport governing bodies is demonstrated by their work with Sport England’s Tackling Inactivity in Colleges programme (TIC) programme. The TIC programme aims to reduce inactivity levels among pupils at lower education colleges and sixth forms across the country and giving them the opportunity to participate in activities they wouldn’t normally have access to.

Sport England’s TIC programme has been rolled out across 49 colleges in England and receives £2.5m per year through National Lottery Funding. The main target audience for the programme is inactive further education students aged between 16-18 years-old who come from lower socio-economic groups, ethnic minority groups, females and disabled groups. Upshot is being used by Sport England and all the 49 colleges to monitor, evidence and evaluate the activities that are being put on across the country. Each college has its own Upshot account where they are able to survey and evidence the activities that they are putting on. Sport England have an overarching account where they have access to each college’s data and evidence which they can use when applying for more funding. 

Moreover, Faye Easton, Activate Your Future Coordinator at Sir George Mounoux college, said the following: 

“Upshot has revolutionised the way we monitor and evaluate the activities put on at the college. We use an internal system called FutureFest which is able to extract all the data from Upshot massively reducing the amount of time spent on inputting data in more than once. Upshot has reduced the amount of time spent doing admin tasks and has simplified this greatly. Consequently, I have spent more time developing activities and making them as engaging as possible to attract more students.”

As Duncan Skelton, Senior Manager, Children and Young people at Sport England, explained:

“As National Lottery funding is spread so thinly among the 257 colleges in England, it is important that Upshot allows us to demonstrate so clearly that the investment is reaching the target audience for the programme.”

Upshot has allowed both Sport England and the 49 colleges to tailor their spending and activities to meet the specified needs of each college and its students. This is a vital aspect of the TIC programme; creating a personalised and unique experience for students who don’t usually take part in physical activity to try and reverse their negative experiences of it. 

Another example can be seen where Faye describes Upshot as having “revolutionised the way we monitor and evaluate the activities put on at the college.” Faye gives the example of a female student who was once shy, reserved and lacking in confidence as now really growing into herself and is brimming with self-assurance and taking to the activities that are provided. In this students case, she got involved with archery sessions, a sport she had never done before, and really enjoyed it. There is a range of activities that are put on across the colleges, giving students the opportunity to try something new and develop further skills. 

The fact that Upshot is allowing Sport England to demonstrate that they are engaging the right people and having an impact on their behaviour, means they are able to advocate for more funding to come down from central government and Lottery funding. This is a stand-out benefit of using Upshot as a lot of the organisations we work with are charities who are always looking for more funding, Upshot can provide the real-time data to make a concrete case for that. Faye Easton describes one benefit of using Upshot as, ‘good when trying to put together case studies. When I need to present one, I can just pull out an individual’s report.’ This allows organisations to track an individual’s journey showcasing their positive development, emphasising the effective work the charities are putting on. 

Accompanying this article is a short video we put together outlining one example of a college that is taking part in the TIC programme, NewVic Sixth Form College. The video outlines the way the college uses Upshot in terms of showcasing the range of people attending, the number of active sessions and the online registers, as well as the many benefits we provide.

 The video can be found here.

If you have any questions or are interested in finding out more, please contact us on 020 7842 8899 or info@upshot.org.uk