A Brilliant Place: A Place of Calm 


Renowned researcher and academic, Professor (emerita) Karen McArdle from the Department of Education at the University of Aberdeen launched a Study of Impact in November 2019 based upon her research of Step by Step in Moray involving families past and present, volunteers and staff. Addressing invited guests from statutory and third sector organisations at the launch in Elgin on 7th November Professor McArdle evidenced the charity’s impact on families stating that values such as respect, inclusion, equality, diversity and a strong sense of community“were alive and vibrant in this project.” She went on to discuss the cost-effectiveness of Step by Step in Moray concluding that the organisation…“is value for money because it provides an essential service, as perceived by participants, to a significant number of people, at a relatively small cost.”

Step by Step in Moray has helped over 1600 families within the local community deal with issues such as post-natal depression, anxiety, stress, substance misuse, low income, dependence upon benefits and isolation from friends and family since opening in November 2008.

Chair of Step by Step in Moray, Nancy Robson OBE, DL said she was overwhelmed by the Professor’s findings:

“We are absolutely delighted to have a report of this calibre cast a spotlight on the principles and outcomes of our work and the families “experiences of care, nature and learning” at Step by Step. To know that we have made a positive and lasting difference to families, helping them to build strong relationships in those important early years, to overcome social isolation and improve their confidence and self esteem is very rewarding. To read that none of our families had any criticisms of Step by Step other than their regret when it was time to leave is very humbling.”

Professor McArdle is an active member of the Collaborative Action Research Network with over 30 years’ experience researching evidence of impact and evaluation with a particular interest in the third sector: She said:

“Step By Step surmounts all the projects I have encountered in this time through its synergy throughout the organisation of expressed values; its successful management of complex needs and issues in a simple and accessible way; and its quality of staff and volunteer relationships. It is hoped that this report will assist with illumination of this complexity and the effective sophistication with which the project meets the complex needs.”

To access the full report please click here: Study of Impact September 2019