Meet the evaluation team

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 local and central government, public bodies and voluntary sector organisations. CFE has a track record in designing complex, multi-staged evaluations and large-scale research projects.

Rachel Moreton, Associate Director

Rachel has worked at CFE since 2012 and has been involved in the Fulfilling Lives evaluation since the start. Prior to this she spent time as a freelance researcher and as a senior research officer for the Department for Communities and Local Government. She has lots of experience in managing large and complex evaluations, many of which are related to tackling disadvantage. Rachel is a keen rambler and once walked home from work – 30-odd miles from the CFE office in Leicester to Derbyshire.

“As Fulfilling Lives is an eight year investment, it’s a great opportunity to work on something over the longer-term. So often programmes only just get going and start to show promise before the evaluation comes to an end. The scope and scale of Fulfilling Lives gives a rare chance to follow the impact over the longer-term and to explore what works in depth.”

Chris Milner, Senior Research Executive

Chris joined the Fulfilling Lives national evaluation team in February 2019. Before joining CFE Chris had an eclectic background working in journalism, the fitness industry and political research. Chris’ expertise and research interests are in mental health and gender, especially concerning access to mental health care. A keen runner and climber, Chris can often be seen dragging colleagues to the nearest climbing wall and carb loading for his next race.

“Facing multiple disadvantages makes it much more difficult to access the care you need, and I’m delighted that the Fulfilling Lives programme has already done so much to recognise and tackle this. There is a great deal that can be done to enact systems change and what the partnerships have done so far is really eye-opening and progressive.”

David Merrett, Research Executive

David joined the Fulfilling Lives Evaluation team in early 2020. His background is in market research, with experience at Ipsos Connect and a variety of smaller agencies working on brand tracking, advertising, product testing and membership organisation evaluation. In spare moments David can be found running laps around the park in preparation for his next marathon or clinging onto rocks at his local climbing wall.

“It’s exciting to be part of such a long-term and valuable project and heartening to see the impact of work done by partnerships and the implications for systems change. Only a project of this scope has the possibility of understanding and addressing a complex issue like multiple disadvantage.”

Hayley Lamb, Research Director

Hayley is a highly skilled researcher with over 12 years’ experience of undertaking applied social research and evaluation on behalf of a wide range of public sector clients. She has a particular interest in evaluations of health and well-being initiatives with expertise in process, policy and economic evaluation as well as experimental and quasi-experimental evaluation design. Hayley recently dressed as Mrs Incredible for her daughter’s superhero-themed party.

“I’m passionate about evaluation and the opportunity to develop a better understanding of how to improve outcomes. Through the hard work of the Fulfilling Lives partnerships we now have a unique long-term database of information that we are using to provide new insights into what works in supporting people with multiple needs.”

Dr Jo Welford, Research Manager

Jo joined the Fulfilling Lives national evaluation team late in 2017. She has worked in research for ten years, holding several academic posts, and has lots of experience evaluating interventions for excluded and minority groups. Prior to joining the team, Jo spent two years cycling around the world and often turns up to the office wearing Lycra and carrying a bike helmet.

“What has struck me most is the level of need for this type of service. Fulfilling Lives partnerships are working with as many people as they can, but there’s always more. It’s particularly saddening that some beneficiaries have died since the start of the programme, so not only is there a high volume of demand for this type of intensive, flexible and long-term support but a high seriousness of need.”

Michelle Hansel, Senior Research Executive

Michelle joined the Fulfilling Lives Evaluation team in early 2020. She has several years’ experience of contributing to numerous national programmes, working for and with the public, private and voluntary sectors. Michelle has also spent time as a freelance researcher and writer. When she is not managing her children’s hectic social lives, she is an avid reader and keen walker.

“Those in society who face multiple disadvantage are often overlooked when it comes to accessing the care they so urgently need. It is inspiring to see how the Fulfilling Lives programme is recognising and addressing these complex issues and are working on providing real and lasting changes”.

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.

Dr Beth Collinson, Learning and Impact Associate

Beth’s research interests relate to gendered experiences of recovery from substance use and how community engagement helps to aid the recovery process. Beth’s role is to ensure the learning from the programme is communicated widely and influences change. Beth is a keen CrossFitter and can be found at her local box in her free time.

“With so many complex systems, unfortunately the most vulnerable in society can often fall through the gaps. Those most in need of help, often go without – and we question what we can all do to make a difference. That’s where the work of Fulfilling Lives becomes so significant. There’s never been such a pressing moment to influence systems change”.

Professor Steven McIntosh, Professor of Economics

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.

Professor Jennifer Roberts, Professor of Economics

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. 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.