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Evaluation Partners
Role Description


The Hearts and Minds Partnership

The Hearts and Minds Partnership is a collaboration of two England-based perinatal mental health charities: Acacia Family Support and Smile Group, established to connect, support and celebrate the VCSE sector in this space. We are a thriving community of grassroots perinatal mental health services committed to sharing, learning and creating a coherent voice for our sector.

Our programme of work focuses around:

  • An England-wide interactive map of quality VCSE perinatal mental health services

  • The development of trusted spaces to share learning, make new connections and discuss challenges

  • The creation and delivery of dedicated training to support the emerging and established services in the grassroots PMH sector.

What is an Evaluation Partner?

An Evaluation Partner is someone external to the Hearts and Minds team, a representative of perinatal mental health VCSE services (given their direct experience of service delivery), who supports and influences our project evaluation.


We are recruiting three Evaluation Partners to work alongside our external evaluation consultants, Clear Impact Consulting. The aim of the role is to co-design our evaluation work from inception to completion, focusing on the effectiveness of Hearts and Minds to deliver against its objectives and outcomes.

Key tasks include:

  • Refining and developing our Theory of Change

  • Co-design of evaluation framework  

  • Conducting interviews with VCSE stakeholders

  • Analysing interview data

  • Revising and refining VCSE surveys

  • Contributing to the structure of evaluation reports and providing commentary and feedback


Our decision to recruit Evaluation Partners comes from our desire to ensure as equitable approach as possible within our time and funding limits, opening our hearts and minds to different voices and perspectives. Our evaluation consultant will act as a facilitator and enabler of the process, providing you with training on evaluation design and research methods.  This training and guidance will provide you with what you need for the role and it is therefore not necessary that you have a background in research.  Throughout the project, support will be provided by our evaluation consultant as well as the wider Hearts and Minds team.

What are we looking for?

  • Three Evaluation Partners who already work, or have experience of working, in the perinatal mental health VCSE sector

  • Individuals with some existing knowledge of evaluating a service (this can be your own grassroots service) with the desire to learn more about evaluation design and analysis

  • People with a keen interest in supporting and shaping the sector, especially in relation to increasing its ability to reflect the needs of diverse communities

  • Individuals who share our ethos of balancing ‘hearts’ and ‘minds’ - combining integrity, compassion and meaningful connection with rigour, strong foundations and evidence-based rationale

  • People who feel they can realistically offer the time required for the role – we are only too aware of how busy life can be working within our sector, so we want to ensure this role feels manageable alongside your other responsibilities

  • We would like Evaluation Partners to go some way towards reflecting the diversity of the PMH VCSE offer in England and also offer insight of EDI issues through lived experience. We therefore particularly welcome applications from people who can represent the diverse work happening within our sector e.g. fathers/partners, young parents, diverse ethnic backgrounds, gender/sexuality, disability and neurodivergence as well as specialist areas of PMH e.g. baby loss

Helpful to know . . .

In Spring 2024, we will be releasing another, separate opportunity for members of the VCSE perinatal mental health community. This other role, called a 'Root Maker' will involve helping to develop our programme with particular emphasis on equality, diversity and inclusion.


Being a ‘Root Maker’, is about shaping the vision and direction of our EDI work specifically through our established (as well as developing) workstreams.


Being an 'Evaluation Partner' is about actively supporting, influencing and co-implementing our evaluation programme.


Please consider which role might be better suited to you before applying as it won’t be possible to be both an Evaluation Partner and a Root Maker.


Feel free to contact us if you'd like further information on this.

What will you be signing up for?

  • Approximately 11.5 days of work across the duration of the project

  • We anticipate the entire time span of the role running until around May 2026 but the first phase will take us up to the end of June / July 2024

  • The tasks will involve remote online meetings and interviews, contributing to documents and analysing data, and responding to emails/general admin

  • As far as possible, the timing of meetings will be planned around the availability of all Partners. The remaining work can be managed flexibly as long as deadlines are adhered to

What will you receive?

  • Payment (on a freelance basis) of £200 a day

  • Relevant training from Clear Impact Consulting

  • Skills development in Theory of Change design, evaluation design and methods, qualitative interviewing and analysis skills

  • The opportunity to help shape the sector

  • Be rooted in a collaborative peer community to create greater connection and opportunities for learning

  • Friendly, warm, supportive core team

What happens next?

  • Please complete this short expression of interest form

  • The deadline for completion is 5pm on Monday 25th March 2024

  • After the deadline we will arrange informal discussions on Zoom to explore what you bring to the role and what you would like to gain from it as well as any questions you would like to ask us

Please note: this opportunity is not open to employees, trustees, volunteers or anybody else connected to the two core charities - Smile Group and Acacia Family Support.

If you’d like an informal chat about the role or to find out more please contact us on 

This role is funded by the National Lottery Community Fund.

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