Dear Chance UK Referrer, We would like to thank you for your

Dear Chance UK Referrer,
We would like to thank you for your continuing support of Chance UK and would like to inform you of some
exciting news for our service.
Chance UK has been operating for 18 years but our service has been externally evaluated only once before
(Goldsmith’s, 2008). However, we are pleased to announce that we have been chosen, as part of the Realising
Ambition, Big Lottery project, to be externally evaluated by The Social Research Unit (SRU)*. This means they
will be conducting a Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT) evaluation of the Chance UK early intervention
mentoring service. The evaluation will be of national significance as the number of UK-developed, homegrown programmes undergoing this type of evaluation is extremely limited.
Chance UK mentors will be working with exactly the same number of children as usual, but as a result of this
development, any child you refer to us from now onwards will have a 50/50 chance of being offered our
service as normal. The children who are not offered our service will be in a comparison group and able to
access any other services as usual. Changes in children’s behaviour will be monitored in the same way for each
group so that the SRU is able to study the difference and demonstrate the level of impact that the Chance UK
service has on children’s outcomes. Random allocation to groups will be controlled by the SRU to ensure that
the process is fair. It is important to note that both groups are equally important for the success of the project.
SRU are working with us to develop the methods for this project, once finalised the research design will be
subject to scrutiny by an independent ethics committee. Please see the enclosed leaflet to find out more about
the study or contact your Senior Programme Manager at Chance UK (details below).
Chance UK wants to take part in this study to demonstrate the value of our service. An RCT will provide
unequivocal evidence of the impact of the service. This evaluation will help us to better understand the effect
of the mentoring programme on children’s outcomes, and is also important for the future of the service.
Currently we are funded to work with only 180 children across six London boroughs per year. As this number is
small, it is impossible to work with all of the children who are referred to us and we often have long or even
closed waiting lists. To work with more children, we need to acquire more funds, and funders/commissioners
are increasingly asking for robust evaluations to prove what we do before supporting us. It is therefore now
vital for us to take part in this study, first to secure our service in the boroughs where we currently work, and
second to expand and serve children in other parts of London (and the UK) in the future.
We are extremely hopeful that the study will show strong, positive results as all the indicators from the
qualitative and quantitative results we’ve collected over the years point in that direction. We are delighted we
will now be externally evaluated in order to prove this.
Yours Sincerely
Chance UK
*The Social Research Unit is an independent charity that seeks to increase the use of evidence of what works in
designing and delivering services for children and their families. The SRU are a strong advocate of prevention
and early intervention based approaches. The team has extensive experience in the design and implementation
of randomised controlled trials under real-world conditions.