The Big Lottery Fund has commissioned a team lead by the University of Sheffield and CFE to evaluate their initiative on multiple needs to provide a package of learning support.

CFE Research

CFE Research is leading the delivery of the evaluation and learning activities. CFE is a not-for-profit organisation that specialises in providing research and evaluation services to government departments, public bodies, educational institutions and employers. CFE has a track record in designing complex, multi-staged evaluations and large-scale research projects.

Dr Abigail Diamond – Managing Director, CFE Research
Abigail Diamond Abigail is the Managing Director of CFE and holds a BA, a PhD and is a member of the UK Evaluation Society as well as the Social Research Association. She has over nine years’ experience of social research in both consultancy and academia and has led many national evaluations concerning further and higher education as well as sport. Prior to CFE, Abigail was the Director of the East Midlands Cultural Observatory, where she supported the East Midlands Creative Programme for the 2012 Games. This entailed devising impact measures as part of a business plan for Cultural Olympiad, designed to ensure a lasting legacy in the region as a result of London 2012.Abigail specialises in: programme policy evaluation; economic, social and cultural impact assessments; and both qualitative and quantitative work with hard to reach groups. She has led on projects for government departments and non-departmental public bodies including: HM Treasury; Department for Culture, Media and Sport; Office for National Statistics; Department for Business, Innovation and Skills; Skills Funding Agency; Sport England; Youth Sport Trust; v Inspired; and the National Apprenticeship Service.

Dr Jo Welford – Research Manager, CFE Research

jo-1024x684Jo is a Research Manager, joining CFE in 2017 with over ten years research experience in the social sciences. After being awarded a PhD in 2017, Jo worked at De Montfort University and Loughborough University on a range of projects for clients such as the Ministry of Justice, the British Council, BHF, Connextions, City and County Councils and the European Commission. Whilst working on a range of topics Jo has consistently focused on social inclusion, disadvantaged groups and community integration and has brought this experience and qualitative research expertise to the Fulfilling Lives National Evaluation.

Peter Howe – Senior Research Executive, CFE Research
Peter HoweJoining in 2001, Peter is one of CFE’s longest serving staff members. He holds a BA (Hons) in Human Geography and the Advanced Certificate in Market and Social Research Practice. Peter has extensive experience of supporting large scale, longitudinal evaluations and research projects. He has contributed to the successful delivery of high profile research studies and evaluations on behalf of government departments and agencies, leading to changes in policy and programme delivery. Peter has worked on a range of projects carrying out survey design and administration, telephone and face-to-face interviews, data analysis and reporting.

As part of the Fulfilling Lives (multiple needs) evaluation, Peter coordinates data submissions from funded projects, ensuring the data is consistent and high quality. He also contributes to undertaking depth-interviews with projects and stakeholders.

Rachel Moreton – Associate Director, CFE Research
Rachel Moreton Rachel is a social researcher and project manager with experience working in the public and voluntary sectors. She holds a first class BSc (Hons) in Social Policy, an MSc in Social Research Methods and is a Prince2 practitioner.Since joining CFE in 2012 Rachel has managed a number of large scale and complex research projects and evaluations. These include the longitudinal evaluation of the National Scholarship Programme for HEFCE and project to track and assess the impact of PhD graduates seven to nine years into their careers. She has managed research projects on behalf of clients including the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, Shelter, and the Higher Education Funding Council for England.Prior to joining CFE Rachel spent time working as a freelance researcher. In this capacity she designed, delivered and managed projects for local authorities and national and local charities on a range of topics from space in the home to the use of customer insight in the public sector. Rachel has also worked as a Senior Research Officer at the Department for Communities and Local Government where she managed various research projects, including a cost benefit analysis of local information systems and an evaluation of how data sharing could help tackle worklessness.

Irshad Mulla – Senior Research Executive, CFE Researchirshad

Irshad joined the CFE team in March 2017. Previously, he worked for Millward Brown, a market leading research consultancy, for three years. Here, he partnered with some of the world’s biggest brands in designing and implementing large scale multi-country research projects. He has considerable experience working on complex tracking studies and designing bespoke research tools to help answer key client questions. He also has expertise in the field of project management.

In 2013, Irshad was awarded a BSc in Economics and Finance from De Montfort University. Here, he learnt about an extensive range of research methods both quantitative and qualitative, and he also developed an understanding of statistical analysis and econometrics.

Andrew Corley – Senior Research Executive, CFE Researchandrew

Andrew joined CFE in February 2017. Before joining CFE, Andrew spent three years as the Evaluation Manager for the national employment charity Tomorrow’s People, where he led on designing and undertaking evaluations of the charity’s work with young people who were unemployed.

Andrew has also worked as a researcher for the National Institute for Economic and Social Research (NIESR) and the Learning & Work Institute (L&W). His main focus in both of these roles has been evaluating government programmes. In addition to his research work, Andrew has also spent six years working for prominent Members of Parliament as a Caseworker.

In 2013, Andrew was awarded an MA in Social Research from the University of Birmingham. Here he learnt about a wide range of qualitative and quantitative techniques.

University of Sheffield

The University of Sheffield is the overall contract holder for the evaluation and learning activities and their contribution is led from the Research Exchange for the Social Sciences (RESS). The RESS brings together academic experts from the university to provide research and support to organisations addressing social change.

Steven McIntosh – Reader in Economics, University of Sheffield
Steve McIntosh Steve’s research interests are Labour Economics and the Economics of Education. He has published widely in academic journals on topics such as the wage returns to qualifications, the impact of apprenticeships and other vocational training on labour market success, and the match between the demand for and the supply of skills. He has also undertaken a large amount of funded research for various public bodies, including the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, Department for Education, Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Welsh Assembly Government, the Low Pay Commission, UK Commission for Employment and Skills, Learning and Skills Development Agency, the EU Commission and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). This funded research has mostly been on calculating returns to education qualifications, and policy evaluation.

Dr Abbi Flint – Learning and Impact Associate, University of Sheffield
Abbi is the Learning and Impact Associate based at the University of Sheffield. Abbi joined the Fulfilling Lives national evaluation team in October 2016, and brings over 12 years’ experience of facilitating professional learning in the Higher Education sector. In these roles she has led change and strategic enhancement learning programmes at both the organisational and national level, working with diverse staff and learners. Abbi is committed to engaging learners as partners in their learning experiences, and has published and led work on this across the UK. Her interest is in active, applied and participatory learning that leads to evidence-based and sustainable change to practice and policy. Abbi is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Jennifer Roberts – Professor of Economics, University of Sheffield
Jennifer Roberts Jenny has a BA in Social Science, an MSc in Economic Forecasting and a PhD in Economics. She is an applied economist specialising in micro-econometric analysis at the interface of health and labour economics. Jenny has published more than 50 articles in peer reviewed journals such as Journal of Health Economics, Journal of Risk and Insurance and the Journal of the Royal Statistical Society A. She has carried out research and consultancy work for many public sector clients including HM Treasury, Department of Health, Department for Communities and Local Government, the NHS Executive and National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), as well for a number of private sector companies such as GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer and IMS Health.

Professor Tim Vorley – Professor of Entrepreneurship, University of Sheffield
Tim is responsible for the overall management and delivery of the Fulfilling Lives evaluation and learning activities. As a professor of entrepreneurship his research interests are in public policy, and has particular interests in (social) innovation and system change. He has extensive experience working with government departments, publicly funded bodies and voluntary organisations nationally and locally. He has also undertaken two visiting researcher roles in the Department for Business Innovation and Skills and more recently in the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy. Tim was formerly the Deputy Director of the Research Exchange (now SSPIKE) at the University of Sheffield, through which he has led a number of interdisciplinary research and evaluation teams.


CPEA is a network of highly qualified and experienced specialists in the field of health and social care.

Vic Citarella – Company Director, CPEA Ltd
Vic Citarella Vic Citarella is a registered social worker with a substantive background in residential and day care work. He is a former Director of Social Services and worked in the personal social services for 25 years in London, Cardiff, Bristol, Liverpool and Sussex. Vic remains an active member of both the Associations of Directors of Adult Social Services and of Children’s Services – assisting the respective workforce networks.As a Director of CPEA Ltd – a twelve year old company with an extensive Associate network – he specialises in Professional Practice Development, Service Improvement and Evaluation Projects plus Commissioning Support in the Social Care, Children’s Services and Health fields. Current projects include adult safeguarding, market position statements and drafting of the leadership strategy for adult social care.He has built expertise in mentoring which stems from a practical interest in developing new ways of providing leadership, management and supervision. He mentors a number of professionals undertaking for example serious case reviews, investigations, file audits and project work. Vic has now mentored 8 individuals aspiring to leadership roles in children’s services, undertaken volunteer mentoring for the College of Social Work and is mentor supporter to an adult social care manager on the Skills Academy Black and Ethnic Minority managers programme.As an active member of the Residential Forum and the Skills Academy he is pushing, with colleagues, for stronger professional standing in residential and day care and is keen to develop mentoring support to registered managers of adult and children’s residential care homes.