Versus Arthritis

Evaluating a helpline service

Our evaluation of the Versus Arthritis helpline in 2018 was designed to find out who the helpline was reaching (or not reaching), what the user experience was like, and what difference the helpline makes to users. We were then tasked with running a series of workshops to explain the findings, to allow ourselves and the charity to develop a set of clear recommendations for the future.

The research methodology was a blended approach of a quantitative online survey and qualitative in-depth telephone interviews with people who had contacted the service. The main survey was undertaken by more than 400 people, a success rate of 20% of the contacts received during the agreed timeframe.

We delivered initial workshops at the helpline office in Derbyshire, at which we discussed the findings and our draft recommendations in detail, before refining the learning into a set of four clear considerations for the future – three relating to the delivery of the helpline, the other about the external work of the charity.

“It was great working with Fiveways, they really understand service evaluation and I quickly trusted that they would deliver against every action and meet all our deadlines. I would recommend Fiveways to other charities wanting to evaluate their services.”

– Louisa Gunnee, Helpline Manager, Versus Arthritis