The Sea Cadets
The Sea Cadets works with 14,000 young people at any one time across 400 local units. The organisation first approached NPC in 2014 to help think about, articulate, and measure their impact. The challenge for the Sea Cadets is that the impact of the work often occurs far into the future and is hard to measure—a challenge that is shared by all young organisations—and yet funders and stakeholders are keen to see better evidence of what is being achieved.
Since 2014, NPC has worked with the Sea Cadets on a number of projects. We began by helping them to agree their theory of change, and think about the various ways they could improve their data collection. We have since run surveys of Sea Cadets, volunteers, and parents, helped them to analyse their existing data, and commissioned a small-scale qualitative project.
The longstanding relationship between NPC and the Sea Cadets has enabled us to gain a good understanding of the organisation, to act as a sounding board, and to provide advice whenever needed.
In 2018, the Sea Cadets will publish their first impact report, which draws on all the evidence to indicate what the Sea Cadets achieved and highlight where they could do more. We also have new projects underway to further strengthen their evidence collection. We aim to help the Sea Cadets lead the youth sector in terms of impact practice.
[This work] has helped to professionalise what we do, give us confidence in the market place, and bolster our view that we are making a positive impact. It’s helping us to begin to monitor and evaluate in a more targeted way, and to marshal our resources more effectively and consciously.