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  • Author or Editor: Natalie Russell x
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Decision makers’ capacity to use evidence is a key component of evidence-informed decision making (EIDM) at a policy level. This paper describes a unique combination of EIDM workshops and mentoring to build decision makers’ capacity to use evidence. It reflects how the deliberate design of sequential workshop and mentoring capacity-building activities enhanced programme effects and reports on the design features that we believe have most contributed to the observed effects. We have found that this combined approach is most effective when it is underpinned by a relationship-building theory of change and remains flexible and responsive to delivering on the needs of participants, and when it is delivered in a timely manner by partners who have been carefully paired with participants based on required expertise.

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The emotional and mental wellbeing of young carers is known to be poorer than their peers. Data from a large cross-sectional school survey of 7,477 12 to 14 year olds (72 per cent response rate) living in Cornwall, South West of England, were analysed to assess whether existing school-based interventions support the wellbeing of young carers. Outcome measures were derived from the Short Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale and the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. Young carers experienced greater emotional and mental wellbeing problems than their peers. Being eligible for free school meals did not attenuate these higher needs, indicating that broader support other than financial measures are needed, such as education, health and care plans which were associated with higher mental wellbeing among young carers. Early community and school-based interventions that consider the complex needs of young carers, especially emotional wellbeing, are needed.

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