young people standing under waterfall

Research into our impact
is one of our charity's key objectives

When we talk about impact we mean the contribution Brathay makes to the needs of the people we aim to serve, within the systems and structures of communities and society at large. We've been doing it for a long time:

Brathay’s youth work will promote investigation and research into questions affecting the resources and education of young people.

The role of research at Brathay, founded in our Charitable Objectives in 1946

As a charity, we continue in to be as committed to this and we are now more actively engaged in promoting investigation and research into questions affecting the education of young people in the UK today than ever before.

We focus on:

  • research to understand and evidence need
  • evaluation to understand and evidence our contribution to need
  • development to continue learning and innovating to meet need


Our approach centres around a Theory of Change model.

It is the overarching framework we use to research, evaluate, and develop impact. As a model, it helps in designing and reporting impact and showing the thinking behind the contribution we want to achieve.

This can be particularly helpful to understand our contribution within the wider community and third sector overall. Working in partnerships with other charities and voluntary agencies also allows us to join forces to help meet shared needs. This in turn leads to collaborative impact measurement and collective impact.

We currently use our own Theory of Change model across our social enterprise, evaluating our charity work as well as many of our apprenticeships and other fee-paying people development and coaching programmes.

We look at:

  • Context (the needs, issues, assets, stakeholders, policy, funding, etc.)
  • Impact (the contribution our programme makes to the context)
  • Outcomes (a breakdown of indicators of impact that participants achieve)
  • Mechanisms of change (the conditions we create to achieve outcomes)
  • Quality (how we ensure consistency and quality across all programming)