Tyrone’s story: How the Star helped me change my life

Just before lockdown, Tyrone Stanley attended Outcomes Star training to help him in his work to reach violent criminals and gang members. For Tyrone this was coming full circle – because he knows from personal experience just how powerful the Star can be.

Photograph of Tyrone looking at the camera with a view of a city behind him“I’m a project worker for Catch22’s Violence Reduction Service in Wolverhampton. I deal with the resettlement of 18-30-year-olds, predominantly violent criminals and gang members.

But my early life was very different. There was always violence in the home when I was younger, and I started to develop anger issues when I was about 12 or 13. I got sent to prison for the first time in 2011 when I was 16 and got remanded, but didn’t really learn my lesson. I got arrested again and sentenced to two years.

That time I was more productive with my time in prison – I did every single course available to me.

Not a tick box exercise

At the start of a course from the Prince’s Trust, the tutor pulled out the Outcomes Star. She said it was something that was for me, and that was the first thing that made me think ‘oh, OK’. Obviously I was used to doing tick box exercises for different organisations, but the way she approached me for the Outcomes Star was the key element in why it was so beneficial for me.

I was really honest with my answers. I was excited about what the next Outcomes Star would reveal about my progress – it became something to be excited about rather than to be self-critical about. I put an honest reflection of me on paper, and I looked at it and looked at it. Then when I did my next Star I was logging things I was doing, feeling happy about all the good change I’d made.

I got onto an enhanced wing, I even got released on temporary licence. I got out of the bubble I was in – mainly because the Outcomes Star made me see my faults on paper. It gave me a perspective on my actual life – from the outside looking in rather than the false mirage that I’d created.

The key thing in the Outcomes Star that made me think hard was when I realised I didn’t have any long-term friends apart from one or two – they were all connected through badness. I thought about it – like, who are all my friends? Who enjoys my company? I wrote it down on paper and I thought, you know what, I’m not really any good at relationships. Certain things really resonated with me; they made me think I wasn’t the person that I wanted to be when I was a young boy.

It broke me down, man. Peeled off all the layers. Got to the root cause and started again from scratch.

Changing my life

Everything changed – my lifestyle, my circle of friends, the way I spoke. From then on I’ve never stopped working. After various jobs I started with Catch22. My job was to go out and talk to young people about the effects of knife crime and gang culture – and it really helped that I knew exactly what they were going through. Within 18 months I was promoted to my resettlement role.

Honestly, one of the key things in changing the way I thought about myself was being valued – not having people look at me like I was a dreg. I just couldn’t look people in the eye, and I knew no one wanted to look me in the eye. But when I started to do good things, all the blessings started to coming through, non-stop man, non-stop.

And I want to project that to young people. It just goes to show that anyone can change as long as you’ve got the right intervention at the right time.”

Tyrone: How I introduce the Star with service users

OK, so this is an Outcomes Star. Now I know it may seem like a way of recording data for our benefit but I can assure you that this is one of the best proven ways to track your progression. It can also be a great tool to learn things about yourself that you may not have thought about much at all. I have first-hand experience completing an Outcomes Star myself and it was the best start to my journey. By the end I was shocked and amazed at the progression. So be honest, and you will see changes by the end. This is the best way to help me to help you.”

Read Tyrone’s full story here and explore the Stars available for the sector you work in.

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My Star is the Outcomes Star for children, especially children in families that are identified as vulnerable/trouble and receiving services, or looked after by foster carers or in a children’s home.  The Young Persons Star is for young people moving to independent living and the Youth Star is for youth work, while the Justice Star is the Outcomes Star for people in the criminal justice sector.  If you have any questions on which Star to use for your sector, or if you would like any information on the new Star Online, or anything else, please contact us on info@triangleconsulting.co.uk or +44 (0) 207 272 8765.

Triangle measures what matters at GO Lab’s Social Outcomes conference

Triangle’s Co-founder and Director contributes to GO Lab’s Social Outcomes conference programme to share learning from using the Well-being Star in a large social prescribing  programme and how vital it is that measurement approaches are designed with relationship building and behaviour change in mind.

Hosted by The Government Outcomes (GO) Lab, the Social Outcomes conference brings together researchers, policymakers and practitioners working to improve social outcomes. Joy MacKeith, Triangle’s Co-founder and Director features at this year’s virtual event; she will share learning from 20 years of measuring individual outcomes to contribute to a debate about how commissioning approaches and Social Impact Bonds in particular can help or hinder the achievement of social outcomes.

Joy Said:

“When people design a Social Impact Bond or any other commissioning approach, they need to be mindful of how it will impact at the front line because that is where the real change happens. Research tells us that the quality of the engagement between workers and service users is absolutely critical to behaviour change but sometimes payment mechanisms can unintentionally impact in a negative way."

"The Outcomes Star has been designed to provide service-wide outcomes data whilst at the same time supporting that collaboration and helping people take the small steps that together add up to achieving their goals.“

Joy Mackieth

Joy is joined by Tara Case, Chief Executive of Ways to Wellness ­– a large-scale social prescribing service and the first health service in the UK (and globally) with social impact funding. Ways to Wellness, with Bridges Fund Management as investors and Newcastle Gateshead CCG as commissioners, has been using the Well-being Star since 2015 as part of the support their service provides and to capture client-reported wellbeing improvements; the Star was specified in the outcomes-based funding contract for the programme.

Tara said:

“We have found that the Well-being Star helps to open up conversations that might have been hard to broach without it.  It helps our Link Workers take a holistic approach and make links between different aspects of someone’s situation. It helps services to tailor what they do to support the person whilst also providing a standardised framework for reporting results.”

The Well-being Star was created for people living with a long-term health condition, to measure their progress in living as well as they can, and support self-management, rehabilitation and person-centred approaches. Triangle recently conducted further validation work on the Well-being Star within the Ways to Wellness service and shared their findings.

GO Lab’s Social Outcomes Conference runs 1st-4th September. Triangle is contributing to “Back to the Future? Learning from the UK”s experience with impact bonds: what should we take with us and what should we leave behind?” which takes place 15.30–17:00 (UK BST) on Tuesday, 1st September. You can register to attend free of charge via Eventbrite.

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Triangle is the social enterprise behind the Outcomes Star™. Triangle exists to help service providers transform lives by creating engaging tools and promoting enabling approaches. Through the Outcomes Star, they work with services to promote and measure individual change and to enable learning at an individual, service, organisation and sector-wide levels. The Outcomes Star™ is an evidence-based management tool for both supporting and measuring change. For more information email info@triangleconsulting.co.uk.

Ways to Wellness is a service for people in the west of Newcastle whose daily lives are affected by certain long-term health conditions. GPs and their primary care teams use social prescribing to refer patients to the service. Ways to Wellness adds to and complements the medical support that people receive, to help them feel more confident to manage their long-term conditions and make positive lifestyle choices. For more information email info@waystowellness.org.uk.

The Well-being Star and The Family Star Plus are available to all organisations with a Star licence, and full training can be given for workers and managers. For more information on the Outcomes Star, please contact us on info@triangleconsulting.co.uk or +44 (0) 207 272 8765.

Recent updates on the Well-being Star™ for adults self-managing health conditions

The Well-being Star is a holistic, person-centred, outcomes focused and strengths-based tool. It encourages people with long-term health conditions to consider a range of factors that have an impact on their quality of life.

The completed well-being Star
Figure 1

 

It was developed with DoH funding in collaboration with North East Essex PCT and can be used in a variety of settings from hospices to rehabilitation centres and social prescribing services. The Star supports and measures progress in eight areas identified by patients, health professionals and researchers as central to maximising well-being and independence when living with a long-term health condition (See Figure 1).

Service users may begin at the bottom of the Journey of Change (‘Not thinking about it’) and the aim is to progress to things the situation being ‘as good as it can be’.

We have recently conducted further validation work on the Well-being Star within Ways to Wellness, a social prescribing service using the Well-being Star.  Ways to Wellness is an innovative service for people whose daily lives are affected by certain long-term health conditions such as diabetes, epilepsy or heart disease.

Our psychometric validation presents evidence that the eight outcome areas form a coherent measure, with no repetition and good sensitivity to detecting change.  Since publishing the first version of this factsheet we have expanded the sample of link workers who have taken part in our peer-reviewed case study method for assessing how reliably workers apply the scales. The findings using the larger sample confirmed initial positive results showing good understanding of how to use the Well-being Star’s scale descriptions.

Chief Executive of Ways to Wellness, Tara Case is talking alongside our Strategic Director, Joy MacKeith, about the Well-being Star in the context of social prescribing and payment by results at the upcoming Government Outcomes Lab International Social Outcomes Conference.

Their session “Measuring what matters: an innovative outcomes tool capturing what is most important to beneficiaries” contributes towards the broader topic “Back to the Future? Learning from the UK’s experience with impact bonds: what should we take with us and what should we leave behind?” and  takes place 15.30–17:00 (UK BST) on Tuesday, 1st September. Register to attend free of charge via Eventbrite.

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Triangle is the social enterprise behind the Outcomes Star. Triangle exists to help people reach their highest potential. Through the Outcomes Star, they work with services to promote and measure individual change and to enable learning at an individual, service, organisation and sector-wide levels. The Outcomes Star is an evidence-based management tool for both supporting and measuring change. For more information email info@triangleconsulting.co.uk.

Ways to Wellness is a service for people in the west of Newcastle whose daily lives are affected by certain long-term health conditions. GPs and their primary care teams use social prescribing to refer patients to the service. Ways to Wellness adds to and complements the medical support that people receive, to help them feel more confident to manage their long-term conditions and make positive lifestyle choices. For more information email info@waystowellness.org.uk.

The Well-being Star is available to all organisations with a Star licence, and full training can be given for workers and managers. For more information on the Outcomes Star, please contact us on info@triangleconsulting.co.uk or +44 (0) 207 272 8765.

The importance of relationships with youth in mind

Tom Currie, Outcomes Star’s Implementation Lead, shares his thoughts after attending Oxfordshire Youth’s Youth in Mind conference.

It was a real pleasure to spend a day at Youth in Mind, the annual conference about young people and their mental health. The event was beautifully hosted by Oxfordshire Youth and Oxfordshire Mind with 400 delegates and a wide range of presenters from a diverse mix of organisations speaking on several subjects. But one thing that kept coming up in the talks, demonstrations and workshops was the importance of relationships in supporting young people to maintain optimal mental health.

Relationships: a key component

Whether it was Rowen Smith and Mary Taylor from Family Links talking about resilience and managing difficult emotions, or Julia Belton from Clear Sky describing how she uses play to engage children who had Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE), relationships kept being identified as a vital ingredient.

The value of relationships was also highlighted in the Step Out workshops, hosted by two Donnington Doorstep Junior Ambassadors, young people who deliver sessions on Protective Behaviours to year 5 students. These peer led sessions offer yet another example of how you can use the power of relationships to gain credibility and influence with the people you work with. (They were preaching to the converted with me on this one, as I have been a strong advocate for the power of relationships for a few decades.)

What are the vital ingredients of a supportive relationship?

This question came up in my conversation with Julie Belton in the exhibition hall just after her presentation on how to engage children with ACEs. We agreed that many practitioners would probably say that good relationships are at the core of their work but that they may well mean different sorts of relationships. And that makes assuring the quality of those relationships tricky. Luckily some clever people at Search Institute in Minneapolis have done some great work researching and articulating these qualities in their Developmental Relationships Framework, which is free to download

The Developmental Relationships Framework identifies five elements:

  • Express Care – Show me that I matter to you
  • Challenge Growth – Push me to keep getting better
  • Provide Support – Help me complete tasks and achieve goals
  • Share Power – Treat me with respect and give me a say
  • Expand Possibilities – Connect me with people and places that broaden my world

Each of these elements is then linked to three to five well defined actions, so it really is a practical, useable framework. I believe the Search Institute are spot on with the balance of the elements they have articulated. If you want to put their theory into your practice, then you could download the framework and start to strengthen these elements in your work.

If you are interested in using a tool that helps provide a structure for four of the elements they identify, and also provides useful evaluation information, then get in touch and we could talk about whether one of the Outcomes Stars for young people would suit your way of working. It would be a pleasure to talk to you about what you are trying to achieve, because all supportive relationships include good conversations.

Speaking of good conversations, I had a great one with Bethia McNeil  (CEO of the Centre for Youth Impact), when I saw her a few months ago and she told me about the Supportive Relationships Framework. She knows a thing or two about frameworks having written the seminal Framework of Outcomes for Young People in 2012 as well as its brilliant 2019 sequel, predictively titled: A Framework of Outcomes for Young People 2.0.


If you’d like to talk to Tom following his attendance at the event, please call +44 (0) 20 7272 8765 or email info@triangleconsulting.co.uk.