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OUT!

Evaluation Report: October 2016
Sally Fort
www.sallyfort.com
CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................................ 1

TERMS OF REFERENCE....................................................................................................... 2

EVALUATION BRIEF .......................................................................................................... 3

PROJECT DESCRIPTION .................................................................................................... 6

PROJECT OUTPUTS & OUTCOMES ...................................................................................... 8

Outputs ..................................................................................................................................................................... 8
Outcomes ................................................................................................................................................................ 10
Volunteers ............................................................................................................................................................... 14
Trainees .................................................................................................................................................................. 15
Visitors .................................................................................................................................................................... 18

DIGITAL RESOURCE ........................................................................................................ 21

CHALLENGES & RECOMMENDATIONS .............................................................................. 23

Digital Development .................................................................................................................................................. 23
Volunteer recruitment & retention ............................................................................................................................... 25
Steering group retention ............................................................................................................................................ 26
Content ................................................................................................................................................................... 27
Marketing ................................................................................................................................................................ 28

APPENDIX: ATTENDANCE ................................................................................................ 29
INTRODUCTION
Manchester Pride is a charity which campaigns for equality; challenges discrimination; creates opportunity for engagement and
participation; celebrates lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender life; and fundraises to enrich and empower LGBT organisations,
charities and communities in Greater Manchester. Out! is a project run by Manchester Pride, which sees the charity return to its
early community roots, broadening its reach beyond the well-established celebrations of the Manchester Pride Big Weekend.

The vision for Out! was to rejuvenate and better interpret the series of mosaic rainbow tiles placed in the floor around Manchester
centre. The tiles have been the anchor for a physical walking tour led by professional tour guides on an occasional basis for a
limited number of people. The knowledge of why the tiles exist and what each of them represents has got lost among the city’s
consciousness over time, and Out! presented an opportunity bring them to a wider audience using digital technology. By mapping
them on an interactive map and including snapshot histories, the tour and knowledge becomes readily available to any visitor to
the city centre, at any time.

In addition, Manchester Pride knew of several other LGBT heritage projects which had taken place but were not receiving current
attention. This presented the opportunity to draw several heritages and histories of LGBT relevance together online as part of
bringing new audiences to the hidden histories of the city and LGBT pasts.

Not wanting to impose an authoritarian approach to these histories, and to address the many gaps and underrepresented pasts
among LGBT+ people, the project was also seen to be an opportunity to crowd source further content. The map helps achieve this,
as anyone can drop pins with images and descriptions of places that are important to them for any relevant reason. Manchester
Pride has no plans to censor the content, only to ensure that what is published is historically verified and accurate. It also wanted
to ensure people in the city had more skills to find hidden histories within existing archives, and from local communities, and
designed a programme of archive research and oral history training to support this.

Out! Took place over 18 months from April 2015 to October 2016. It was supported by funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund
(HLF).
TERMS OF REFERENCE

The longer first, mainly technical, stage of iterative design and testing in a small (usually internal)
Alpha testing
group before rolling a product out to a wider public. Results in technical / functional changes.
Archives+ is a purpose-built centre, showcase and repository for archives and family history situated
Archives+ in Manchester Central Library. It holds regional and national collections of documents, photographs
and films, and supports accessible community history and personal heritage.
The second stage of design and testing, open to usage for most or all the public, shortly before a full
public launch. Generates much useful feedback for future developments, though only essential
Beta testing
changes are made at the time. More focused on user / real world scenario testing than Alpha testing.
Can be a short time-limited period, or run on an ongoing basis for at least 12 months.

HLF Project funders Heritage Lottery Fund

Manchester The festival is run by Manchester Histories. It is a 10-day festival in June to help people to learn about
Histories
past histories and take part in creating tomorrow's histories
Festival
Participation A series of statements Arts Council England advocate for use in assessing the quality of participating
Metrics in cultural activity, particularly for children and young people

Pride Pioneers The early name of the volunteer team, though this was dropped later in the project

A series of statements Arts Council England advocate for assessing the quality of cultural events and
Quality Metrics
activity. Also known as Manchester Metrics and Culture Metrics
A set of rainbow striped mosaic squares set in the ground around Manchester city centre to mark sites
Rainbow Tiles
of LGBT historical interest
Superbia is Manchester Pride’s year-round programme of cultural events to support, curate, fund and
Superbia
celebrate LGBT life across Greater Manchester

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EVALUATION BRIEF
Manchester Pride commissioned independent consultant Sally Fort to advise on the project’s evaluation. The requirements of the
brief were to:
 Create an evaluation strategy to monitor work with volunteers and usage of the digital tool
 Help document the project's successes and lessons learned
 To ensure the evaluation process matches Heritage Lottery Fund guidance

Although the programme changed over time, the original project aimed to:
 Create an interactive digital heritage portal to bring together previous and current LGBT heritage projects in one place
 Train 32 people in collecting and transcribing a target of 120 oral histories which will be used in performances, at
Archives+ and the heritage trail and portal.
 Train 10 people to undertake research of archives to identify additional heritage resources.
 Train five people to introduce the heritage trail and portal to community groups and other stakeholders.
 Showcase the project at Archives+ during 2015 Manchester Pride.

Early into the project, Manchester Pride were informed Out! had been selected as a case study for Heritage Lottery Fund’s national
evaluation. The national monitoring and outcome requirements were integrated into the project’s evaluation framework as much
as possible.

For the purposes of reporting according to Heritage Lottery Fund evaluation guidance; participants in the Out! Project are
organised into the following categories:
 Volunteers
 Trainees
 Visitors
 Organisations / Steering Group Members

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PLANNED METHODOLOGY
Qualitative
Quantitative

 Volunteers: Baseline of outcomes, participants
 Volunteers: Number of volunteers, volunteer hours,
included in training, outcomes from training, end
demographic data, training events, trainees per event
feedback on outcomes and general experiences
 Public events: Number of events, audiences or visitors per
 Public events: Feedback on outcomes and
event, participants per event, demographic data
experiences
 Digital engagement: Number of oral histories collected,
 Digital engagement: Feedback on outcomes and
new trail points created, participants, demographic data
experiences
 Partner organisations: Number of posts created, steering
 Partner organisations: Types of post(s) created,
group members, attendees to final steering group event,
types of organisations involved in steering group
organisations benefitting from heritage training, members
and training, organisational outcomes and
/ beneficiaries taking part in training
impact

Summary of Actual Data
Summary of Planned Methods

 2 x steering group meeting minutes
 Project registration sheets for volunteers
 2 x event observation sheets
 Event feedback forms
 Attendance at 3 events
 Online surveys
 4 x steering group telephone interviews
 Attendance at events
 9 x monitoring and baseline volunteer
 Event observation sheets
questionnaires
 User testing / consultation via street team with i-pads
 9 x training feedback forms
 Telephone interviews
 18 x monthly updates from Out! Project
 Meeting minutes
Manager
 Social media comments
 72 x event feedback forms
 Google analytics
 73 x formative user testing surveys
 Regular liaison with / updates from Out! Project Manager
 82 social media posts / comments

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Evaluation Specifications & Limitations

HLF’s national evaluator’s methods were merged into the project’s evaluation framework in most areas. For this reason, the
Quality Metrics questions and scoring system, implemented by HLF’s evaluators, was used to gather feedback about outcomes and
the quality of the project with participants.

Two monitoring fields were not directly compatible and so the project’s needs took priority. This related to ethnicity and gender,
which were left as open fields so that participants could describe themselves in their own terms (or not at all). This need is not
specific to this or other LGBT+ related projects and should be common to all activity; though it does present a very clear lens and
opportunity to flag up the need to review traditional demographic monitoring to become more inclusive. This point was fed back
explicitly to HLF’s evaluators in the hope it can influence HLF’s longer
term thinking about evaluating the impact of their investments.

The project changed course over its lifetime, meaning initial plans for
evaluation needed to shift. As a result, baseline information recorded
could not be revisited at the end since the volunteer groups changed;
no monitoring information on oral histories and the people could be
collected because content was gathered using alternative methods;
web analytics could not be gathered as the online resource was
launched later than planned, and the end of project reflective debrief
and organisational impact consultation session initially planned with
the steering group changed to one-to-one interviews as the
structure and input of the steering group evolved. Presentation at Superbia Weekend. Photo, Abigail Ward

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PROJECT DESCRIPTION
Out! was created and run by Manchester Pride via a freelance project manager. Its intention was to update and collate
several histories and archives documenting the LGBT+ people and past of Manchester. As explored detailed further on,
the project changed course over time, leading to a reviewed and refined set of aims and objectives from those set out
on page 3, as follows:

 Create an interactive digital heritage portal to bring together previous and current
LGBT heritage projects
The resource is now live at https://outmanchester.org/
 Train 15 people in researching archives with an LGBT focus
22 people trained to research in archives with an LGBT focus
 Train 15 people in recording and preserving oral histories
17 people trained to recording and preserving oral histories
 Trainees will contribute 5 items to the Archives+ permanent digital exhibitions
 4 oral histories have been recorded. Two are fully documented and deposited
with Archives+. A further 34 images and 34 associated research writing pieces have, or are
about to be deposited with Archives+ for their Oculus Stack, and the Radical Thinking displays.
 Project will be launched and showcased across 3 events as part of Manchester
Histories Festival 2016
Manchester Histories Festival programme included the soft launch of the Out!
Online resource and two archive research workshops
 Project will be showcased during 2016 Manchester Pride Big Weekend
Out! Was included in an LGBT histories tour of Manchester’s Rainbow Tiles, a presentation Oral history workshop
on LGBT music and club life in Manchester, and a presentation about the project at the Photo, Jenny White
Superbia event.

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Timeline
2015 Pre-project: Digital agency consulted
April: Project manager appointed
April-June: Digital development; evaluation strategy; volunteer recruitment
June: Meeting 1 (steering group)
July: Briefing meetings (volunteers)
July: Oral History training (volunteers)
June – Sep: Digital development
Aug: Manchester Pride Big Weekend: Formative user testing / consultation (participant)
Sep: Briefing event (volunteers)
Sep-Dec: Digital development
Oct: Tour of Central Library and Archives+(volunteers)
Oct: LGBT Foundation visit (volunteers)
Oct: Museum of Science & Industry Collections Centre visit (volunteers)
Nov: People’s History Archives tour (volunteers)
Nov: Meeting 2 (steering group)
2016 Feb: Change of Project Manager
Feb-Jun: Digital and event development
Jun: Manchester Histories Festival: Digital resource launch event (visitors)
Jun: Manchester Histories Festival: Introduction to researching archives x two workshops (trainees)
Jun: Introduction to recording oral histories (trainees)
Jul-Oct: Digital development
Aug: Manchester Pride: LGBT Histories tour of Manchester’s Rainbow Tiles (visitors)
Aug: Manchester Pride: Queer Noise: the Hidden History of LGBT Music & Club Life in Manchester presentation (visitors)
Aug: Manchester Pride / Superbia: Out! Presentation (visitors)
Sep: Guided tour: The History of Manchester’s LGBT Centre (participants)
Oct: Out! Training day and pinning party (volunteers)
Oct: Digital resource publicly available

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PROJECT OUTPUTS & OUTCOMES
OUTPUTS
26 events were held for volunteers, trainees and public visitors over the course of the project (See Appendix: Attendance)
 17 events for volunteer recruitment, development, training and formative consultation in the first phase of the project (2015)
 4 events to launch the digital resource and build skills to help populate the site and increase research potential of hidden
histories across the city (June 2016)
 5 events during Manchester Pride Big Weekend and beyond, to showcase the resource and connect online content to physical
locations around the city (August-October 2016)

278 attendances took place over these events; including the 73 members of the public who gave user feedback to street team
volunteers during the early development stages of the digital resource design. 45% of people took part alone, particularly in
volunteer and training activities. 55% attended with a friend or partner, though this applied more to audience style events rather
than hands-on involvement. 72 volunteers, trainees and visitors gave feedback.

4 oral histories, 2 of which were submitted with full documentation to Archives+ at Manchester Central Library, and 2 being
processed to be deposited there when ready. These include:
 An interview with Luchia Fitzgerald and Angela Cooper about women-focused LGBT+ life in Manchester in the 1960s
 Two interviews about women-focused LGBT+ life in the 1980s
 Recorded recollections from Andrew Lowrey about the Mancunian Gay magazine - a Manchester publication from the 1980s

One online resource containing
 24 pinned sites of interest around Greater Manchester and 20 rainbow tiles around Manchester with short histories
describing the significance of the location
 22 images and descriptions linking to LGBT+ archive collections in Manchester, Greater Manchester, and nationally
 A collection of 91 images with short histories, grouped into 3 timelines

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Demographics

The 72 volunteers, trainees and visitors who provided feedback described the following characteristics:

ETHNICITY GENDER AGE OCCUPATION TIME IN POSTCODE AREA
MANCHESTER AREA
White British 57% Male 50% 26-39 42% Paid employment 20-40 yrs 38% Manchester 66%
64%
White 19% Female 35% 40-59 35% Studying 8% 5-10 yrs 17% Other Greater
Manchester 23%
British 6% Non-Binary 4% 60 + over 12% Retired 8% 10-20 yrs 12% Other NW 7%

Mixed race 3% Transgender 19-25 11% Self Employed 5% 2-5 yrs 11% Yorkshire 5%
3%
Welsh Irish 3% Cis female 2% 18 or under 0% Unemployed 4% Over 40 yrs 9%

White Non-British Cis woman 2% Volunteer 3% Under 12 months
3% 8%
Asian 2% Gay 2% DISABILITY Full time carer 1% Lives elsewhere 6%

Black British 2% Lesbian 1% 13% consider (Other 7%)
themselves to
White Scottish 2% Woman1% have a disability

White Spanish 2%

American 1%

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OUTCOMES

Learning outcome charts – Skills

Digital Skills
Heritage Skills
60%
50%
40% 50%

30% 40%
20% 30%
10% 20%
0% 10%
N/A None Not much Some Much Very much
0%
None Not much Some Much Very much
Carrying out oral history interviews
Documenting oral history to deposit with an archive Finding locations on the Out! app
Carrying out library / archive research
Finding information on the Out! app
How to handle historic objects
How to use archive materials in displays Adding my own content to the Out! app

Learning outcome charts – Knowledge & Understanding

50%
40%
30%
20%
10%
0%
None Not much Some Much Very much
LGBT histories around Manchester
The local area, its heritage and people

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1
Social Outcomes

Quality Metrics
Challenge: it was thought-provoking 7.0

Relevance: it had something to say about the world in which we live 7.0

Average Score out of 10
Rigour: it was well organised (well thought out and put together) 7.0

Distinctiveness: it was different from things I've experienced before 6.8

Presentation: it was well produced and presented 7.0

Local impact: it is important that it's happening here 7.0

Enthusiasm: I would use this again 6.9

Captivation: it was absorbing and held my attention 6.9

Concept: it was an interesting idea / programme

Selected Participatory Metrics Other HLF Evaluator Outcomes

7.0 7.0 6.9

Average Score out of 10
Aerage Score out of 10

6.8

6.6
6.5 6.3

Enjoyment: I Experimenting: New people: I Stretch: I did I developed greater This event helps my This event has
had a good I felt got to know something I understanding / local community motivated me to do
time encouraged to people who are didn't know I respect for people or something to carry it
try new things different from was capable of cultures different from on
me my own

1
http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/quality-metrics/quality-metrics
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Heritage Lottery Funded Outcomes

 Heritage is better interpreted; identified and recorded
 The Out! online resource enables unlimited numbers of people to take the
Rainbow Tiles tour around Manchester at their leisure, rather than being
restricted to infrequent tours on fixed dates
 22 images and descriptions showcase 22 archives relevant to LGBT histories
across Greater Manchester and beyond
 20 descriptions accompanying the rainbow tiles, and (to date) 24 pins with
associated histories show notable sites of LGBT historic interest are shared via
an interactive map
 4 oral histories have been recorded and documented

 More people and a wider range of people have engaged with heritage
 54% of people had not knowingly been to a HLF funded event before. Almost
58% had not been to any other Out! Event. 61% had not been to other
Manchester Histories Festival events
 Manchester Pride attracts a much younger audience than many other heritage
projects (over half the participants were under 40)
 Two thirds of whom live in Manchester which has nationally significant levels of
digital natives and professionals; so the project has a particularly digital savvy
clientele
 Around 15% of the project’s population identifies with genders outside the binary
categories of male or female Tour of Archives+

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 People have developed skills and learned about heritage
 96% have developed skills in how to use, follow and add to the digital resource
 93% of people learned about the local area, its heritage and people
 91.5% learned about LGBT+ histories around Manchester
 88% developed skills in carrying out oral history interviews
 76% in how to carry out library and archive research
 75% in how to document oral histories to deposit with an archive
 75 % in how to handle historic objects
 67% in how to include archive materials in displays

 People have had an enjoyable experience
 100% of those who provided feedback scored their enjoyment at 7 or more Volunteer at Pride Big Weekend
Photo, Daniel Jessop
out of 10. 67% rated their enjoyment at 10 out of 10

 People have volunteered time
 16 volunteers took part and were involved in an average of 4 events each
 25 days’ worth of time in total was provided by volunteers

Trainees at archives workshop
Photo, Max Bamber

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Volunteer Outcomes
VOLUNTEERS
67 attendances took place by… All volunteers learned about heritage. For
16 volunteers (i.e. an average of 4 events per volunteer) some this was a small start which could
25 days or £15,500 worth of time (based on £50-150 / day calculation be built on in future… “I didn’t know it
rates, depending on the task) was provided by volunteers was this easy to access records”
For others it became a heartfelt
Volunteer Demographics
commitment:

 Gender: Volunteers defined their gender as follows: 40% female /  One volunteer attended every single
60% male (no other genders reported) event on offer
 Age: 18% of volunteers were aged 19-25; 46% aged 26-39; 18%  Four followed up workshop training
aged 40-59; 18% 60 and over by researching and recording oral
 Ethnicity: All those who described their ethnicity were white. histories
However other ethnicities did exist amid volunteers  One volunteer spent ten days
 Occupation: 50% of volunteers are full time employed. The rest researching deep into Manchester
are equally divided between unemployed, studying, retired and Council’s archives to find out more
volunteering (including caring) about the early origins of Manchester
 Locality: 63% are Manchester residents; all but 1 of the rest are Pride
from surrounding areas of Greater Manchester. All have lived in the  Another explored Archives+ leading
Manchester area for over 5 years, with the majority having lived to an oral history collected from
here 20 years or more. Spain, and a post written for the
 Motivation: The three main reasons for volunteering with this Archives+ blog
project were a pre-existing interest in the subject matter; wanting  As a direct result of volunteering
to contribute to the community; and to help look after heritage. for Out! one volunteer gained
paid trainee employment with
Archives+ and the National
Archives Transforming Archives
programme.

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TRAINEES Gender Age
19-25 9%
60+ 5%
39 people took part in 8 training Non binary 13%

workshops: 22 people trained to
research in archives with an LGBT
Male 40-59
focus and 17 people trained to 44% 41% 26-39
recording and preserving oral Female
45%
43%
histories. 30 trainees provided
feedback
Locality Ethnicity Black
Trainee Demographics (Caribbean,
Yorks 11% African,
Other British 5%
other) 5%
NW 5%
Motivation White
Irish
4%
Gtr Mcr
16% Manchester
68% White
86%
LGBT+ community activism 9%

LGBT+ interest 35% Occupation Disability
Unemployed 10%
Volunteer Yes
The heritage 61% Studying 5% 14%
9%

0% 20% 40% 60%
Employed No
76% 86%

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Training outcomes - planned

Learning outcomes specific to the aims of the project, or being considered within the national HLF evaluation, formed the basis for
training participants rating how much they felt they had learned: choosing from none, little, some, much or very much.

Learning Outcomes
 91% of trainees in the recording oral histories workshop said they learned much or very much at this session
 79% of trainees in the using archives for research workshop learned much or very much at this session
 56% of people learned much or very much about using archives for research and recording oral histories across the
training element of the programme overall (including at workshops not specifically intended to achieve this)
 50% learned much or very much about LGBT histories of Manchester and 43% learned much or very much about the
local area, its heritage and people throughout the overall training programme (despite this phase being focussed on
skills development rather than gathering subject knowledge)

Social Outcomes
 Training scored an average of 9.3 out of 10 on the Quality Metrics framework (i.e. the quality of the event/ programme
presented and the relevance of the project for the local area) and 8.7 out of 10 on the Participation Metrics framework
(i.e. the quality of the personal experience for the participant).2 These exceed the averages at a range of other cultural
venues / events / programmes across Manchester recorded in the Quality Metrics pilot project.

Training outcomes - unplanned

Unplanned outcomes, as described by trainees in their own words were grouped into categories.
Those most commonly recurring were:
 Feeling more encouraged, stimulated or inspired (37% of comments)
 Feeling more included, represented or valued (33%)
 Being more skilled and confident to carry out future projects (30%)
 Having better knowledge of Manchester venues and resources (26%)

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Trainee feedback

“I like fact it was highlighted that the majority
of LGBT+ recorded history tends to be about
white gay men and good to work to redress
balance”
“It was a really well presented workshop, good sense of story of oral “Good to see that LGBT resources are
histories and how to record an oral history” assimilated - don't sit separate so they seem
“Good networking & boosted confidence in oral histories.” usual- 'usualising' of LGBT information.”
“I enjoyed this event and it was well organised and well-presented
and good balance of presentation and participation. I have a lot of
previous experience social science interviewing but little knowledge of
oral history interviewing before.” “Amazing training event, fascinating & some
great debate.”
“I had hopes for it being better than most lgbt
related conference discussion days I've been
to. It exceeded my hopes”

“Great introduction to the topic, will definitely be pursuing further
research on my own”
“More confidence and direction in doing bi & lgbt history projects” “Brilliant session in an amazing space!”
“I want to put it into practice - contributing some oral histories from “Training was insightful as to the rich
friends/networks about lesbian experiences of people my age. resources of archives within the library”
Would also like to get funding for a related project, might work “Very good, saw extra things like the strong
towards this” room. I didn't know how easy it was to
“Confidence to get out and record some histories” access records”
“Not aware of how much archive material
there was in the city and how accessible it
was; ‘you don't need to be an official person
to use archives’ "

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VISITORS
Gender
Excluding events and attendances of volunteers and trainees, the project also
Lesbian 2% Trans female 2%
included
6 visitor events: The digital resource launch; a tour of Manchester’s rainbow Gay 3% Woman 2%
tiles; a presentation as part of the Superbia festival; a talk on histories of queer
Cis woman 3%
music histories of the city; and a tour of Manchester’s LBGT Centre. Some
specially invited visitors also attended the project’s final celebratory Pinning Cis female 3%
Party, alongside volunteers.
115 visits
Male
Female 56%
Visitor Demographics 29%
45 visitors provided demographic information and feedback across a range of
the above events; although two almost two thirds were from the resource
launch event as part of Manchester Histories Festival.
Ethnicity
MOTIVATION Asian 3%

American 3% White Scottish 3%

Brought by a friend 2% White Non-British 5%

Professional involvement / interest in the event 12% Mixed Race 5%

LGBT+ history interest 16% British
8%
White
The heritage 79% British
White
18%

0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90%

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Age Occupation
Part time 2%

Full time carer 3%
Volunteer 2%
19-25
12%
Self employed 7%

60 / over
15% 26-39
41%
Studying

40-59 Retired Paid
32% 14% employment
62%

Locality
Disability Yorks
3%

NW
Yes 10%
13%

Gtr Mcr
23% Manchester
64%

No
87%

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Visitor Outcomes

Most of the visitor events were not about learning opportunities in the same way volunteering and training had been. Their aim
was more to showcase the resource and its potential. Understandably therefore, the quality of experiencing the event itself scored
more highly than the learning outcomes in this strand of the project. Overall visitors commented mostly on the positive potential
of the resource and looking forward to getting more involved in the future.

Social Outcomes: Events for visitors scored an average of 9.07 out of 10 on the Quality
Metrics framework (i.e. the quality of the event/programme presented and the relevance of “This event has really
the project for the local area) and 7.7 out of 10 on the Participation Metrics framework (i.e. motivated me. It is so
the quality of the personal experience for the participant). As with the training workshops, important that these things are
these scores exceed the averages at a range of other cultural venues / events / programmes visible/funded and are vital for
across Manchester recorded in the Quality Metrics pilot project. our community.”

The top ten characteristics visitors scored the events on were:
1. I had a good time (Score: 9.45 out of 10)
2. Local impact: it is important that it's happening here (9.43)
3. Concept: it was an interesting idea / programme (9.41)
4. Rigour: it was well organised / well thought out and put together (9.36)
“It made me proud to be OUT
5. Captivation: it was absorbing and held my attention (9.32)
6. Presentation: it was well produced and presented (9.30) and living in Manchester”

7. Enthusiasm: I would use this again (9.27)
8. This event helps my local community (9.25)
9. Relevance: it had something to say about the world in which we live (9.20)
10.Challenge: it was thought-provoking (8.93)

Learning Outcomes: The strongest learning outcomes for visitors were in understanding how to use the digital resource: finding
information, adding information and finding locations; all of which scored between 8.6 to 8.8
Learning about LGBT histories of Manchester or the local area, it’s heritage or people scored 7 to 7.5

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DIGITAL RESOURCE
The project aimed to create an interactive digital heritage portal to bring together previous and current LGBT heritage projects in
one place. The online resource is live at https://outmanchester.org It includes

Archives – with 22 images and descriptions linking to 10 LGBT+ relevant
archives across Greater Manchester and 12 from elsewhere around the country,
to date, with ongoing potential to grow this section.

Timeline – 91 images and stories categorized into 3 themed histories about
creating awareness; campaigning for equality; and celebrating diversity.

Map – an interactive map showing the location of the 20 rainbow tiles, each
accompanied by a brief history, 24 crowd-sourced sites of interest with
associated factual stories of interest, and potential for infinite crowd sourced
additional pins (which will be monitored to ensure relevance and factual
accuracy).

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DIGITAL ENGAGEMENT TIMELINE

2015 Aug: Formative consultation with 73 members of the public consulted about

the resource. Maps most popular feature (64%) then pinning (10%)

2016 Aug: Soft launch of alpha testing version held at Manchester Histories Festival

Aug-Oct: 4833 page visits from 367 individual visitors

Oct: Beta testing public version launches

Out! Soft launch at Manchester Histories
Festival
Formative Consultation 7
Challenge: it was thought-provoking

7
Captivation: it was absorbing and held my attention

7
Relevance: it had something to say about the world in which we live

7.1
Meaning: it meant something to me personally

7.2
Distinctiveness: it was different from things I've experienced before

7.2
Local impact: it is important that it's happening here

7.3
Enthusiasm: I would use this again

7.3
Rigour: it was well thought through and put together

7.3
Functionality: it was easy to use and understand

7.3
Presentation: it was well produced and presented
Average scores out of 10

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CHALLENGES & RECOMMENDATIONS

DIGITAL DEVELOPMENT
Recommendation 1: In projects creating new digital
The development of the digital resource was delayed for a resources, involve the digital agency as the content is
variety of reasons which had knock on effects for the rest of almost fully developed so they are briefed to start work
the project. These are explored in detail below, to help inform soon after. Develop clear milestones, attached to a
Manchester Pride’s growing emphasis on digital engagement. payment schedule.

Learning:
 The vision for the digital resource was ambitious in relation
 The digital agency was ready to begin work at the time the to the budget available. There were mixed opinions about
funding was confirmed. They did not fully understand the how achievable this was, and whose responsibility it was to
engagement process needed to generate content for the advise on or negotiate this. The digital agency felt the
resource. Therefore, this had not been timetabled in their budget could not cover the extent of the ambition and
workload at the time needed by Manchester Pride. There is discussed other ways to fulfill the brief, however they were
a cultural difference in the way the private design agency keen to work with Manchester Pride and wanted to take on
operates (sold services with specific timetables and fixed the project to build the relationship with a new partner.
modes of operating and communication) and charitable / Manchester Pride wanted the digital agency to advise on
cultural organisations, especially during engagement what should be possible within the potential and limitations
programmes, which work more flexibly and need to change available and had some non-negotiable aspects as a core
plans as their understanding of their communities develop. part of the project such as having a web based resource
This cultural difference was an unknown at the outset and rather than an app, for accessibility reasons. The digital
affected the success and momentum of the process. agency was keen to pilot innovative new technology
particularly regarding the mapping element.

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Recommendation 2: Set out a design brief categorising
requirements as ‘essential’ ‘desirable’ and ‘optional’ to
focus negotiations. Ask for explicit advice on how realistic
the vision and budget are together, and prioritise or
change plans if needed. Ask designers to confirm their
work is fully covered financially. If not, assume delays will
happen as other projects take priority by designers and
developers. Archives Workshop. Photo, Max Bamber

 Once the resource had been developed, it transpired the
design agency had not carried out Beta testing on the
streets around Manchester City Centre where the rainbow
tiles were sited, and glitches came to light. Manchester
Pride assumed this would have been carried out by the
agency. The agency say they carry out iterative technical
Alpha testing during the build, and that the client then
needs to beta test the product and give feedback. This was
further complicated by new technologies piloted in the
resource, and browser updates implemented after it had
been created, resulting in more glitches. This set digital
development back several stages and caused further
delays.
Recommendation 3: Include time and budget
contingency in digital projects. Plan for alpha and beta
Out! Resource soft launch at Manchester Histories Festival:
Slide shows mapping and rainbow tile locations
testing with further development. Clarify and agree what
the agency will test and what the client is responsible for.

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VOLUNTEER RECRUITMENT & RETENTION

At the start, recruitment was slow with low take-up, and attendance reducing
weekly.

Learning:

 Volunteers were recruited at the start of the project, before the digital resource or
project had gathered momentum. The nature of volunteering means that
participants want to actively take part and ‘do’ – giving something back to a
community that matters to them. The first stage of volunteering was designed
around learning and training without much clarity of purpose. A clear call to action
based on some more tangible, purposeful opportunities would gather more
interest. In the second phase, once the resource could be seen, and there was a
clear role for volunteers to fulfill; aided by workshops embedded into other well
established festivals, recruitment and retention became much more successful.

Recommendation 4: Wait for something concrete to show volunteers, and have
clear roles, tasks and purpose for them to commit to. Using workshops to recruit
volunteers is a more successful approach than recruiting volunteers then running
workshops for them. Embedded workshops in established or larger events
Volunteer street team: digital resource consultation.
programmes is a good way to reach new people. Photo, Daniel Jessop

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STEERING GROUP RETENTION There was some ambiguity around what steering group
members felt the steering group existed for, and it
The steering group’s involvement ebbed as the project transpired that the inclusion of one-to-one conversations
progressed. or an initial group meeting to explore what the purpose of
the group was at the outset would have helped
Learning: consolidate the full support of the group.

 With time needed to attend to the digital delays and
Recommendation 5: Future projects may find a project,
difficulties with volunteer recruitment, managing the
working group or task group more useful than a steering
delivery of the project took priority, and there was less to
group unless there is a specific need for strategic
report on in the early stages than anticipated. As a result,
responsibility to monitor the project meeting its aims and
few steering group meetings were scheduled, and
objectives. If so, an induction process clarifying the role
numbers dwindled at each of the three scheduled. There
and commitment expectations of group members would
was then a gap between one project manager leaving and
be beneficial.
a new one starting, so the steering group was not called
together. Once the new project manager came into post,
there was a good deal of catching up to do with the
project and limited time, so her work had to be
prioritized. As a result, co-ordinating the steering group
took a back seat. The plan for quarterly meetings and
monthly updates went unfulfilled.

In the latter stages, involvement of the steering group
tended to be more on a one-to-one basis and with a
pragmatic emphasis such as planning events together.
Calling on the steering group for practical support tended
to be more productive than them working as a group to
monitor and quality assure the progress of the project.

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CONTENT Recommendation 6: More needs to be done to represent a
fuller diversity of heritages within Out! especially (but not
The content relating to the rainbow tiles on Out! is mostly limited to) bisexuality and LGBT life in ethnic minorities.
comprised of stories of white gay men. Efforts to diversify the
content across rest of the resource were made with some
 Not all the work produced can be deposited with Archives+
success, however some people’s stories are still not
until more is done to meet the standards of a professional
sufficiently represented.
archive. Clear guidance is provided in the oral history
Learning: workshops, but relevant permissions and recording styles are
not always used by participants. In addition, only a very small
 Early consultation showed the need to diversify Out! so number of participants on the oral history workshop training
that it portrays a wider representation of genders, go on to collect oral histories. Combined with volunteer
sexualities and ethnicities. Significant efforts were made in recruitment and project delay difficulties, it was challenging to
this project especially around gender and sexuality. Some gather enough content.
lesbian and transsexual leads have been developed though
more work is needed. Finding bisexual stories has been Recommendation 7: Assume in future projects that only a
particularly difficult and is still a gap in the content of the small percentage of participants attending oral history
resource and the work submitted to Archives+. Steering workshops or training will lead to oral history outputs. Fewer
group members suggested wider circumstances still will be of a quality to deposit with an archive. This needs
surrounding bisexuality (i.e. difficulty from some to be taken account of when planning future projects and the
heterosexual, gay and lesbian populations in accepting targets within them.
bisexuality as a discrete status rather than a transition
Recommendation 8: Project partner Archives+ could
between one sexuality and another) are likely to be the
consider raising awareness of this difficulty to help influence
main cause for this and that if bisexual heritages exist,
and improve work of this type across the city and wider
they are hidden within lesbian, gay or heterosexual related
sector. Not through ‘how to’ resources, many of which already
content. Alternatively, that for the same reasons, bisexual
exist, but by focusing more on quality assessment,
people may have felt prevented from coming forward with
development and advocacy.
their stories.

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MARKETING
More awareness of Out! as a resource is needed. Delays to
the project meant that plans to promote the resource had to
be postponed.

Learning:

 The Out! resource is a highly accessible way for a wide
number of people to access the Rainbow Tiles. However, it
relies on knowing that the tiles exist and Out! is available
to find out more. It has not been possible within this
project to create physical signposting close to the tiles to
send passers-by and tourists who discover them by
accident to the information held on the out! resource. In
addition, more general marketing of the resource is
needed. Plans for a twitter game to draw attention to the
new resource had to be postponed due to the priority
needs of the project.

Recommendation 9: Out! needs to be marketed by
Manchester Pride and other partners as an ongoing
resource for the city and other interested parties, and the
forthcoming feasibility study identifying how to create
explicit links from the physical rainbow tiles to the Out!
resource should be acted upon as soon as possible.

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APPENDIX: ATTENDANCE
2015 ACTIVITY (26 X PUBLIC EVENTS IN ITALICS) STAKEHOLDER TOTAL DAYS PER VOLUNTEER
JUNE Meeting Steering group 10
JULY Welcome event Volunteers 6 0.5
Oral history training Volunteers (training) 6 1
Meeting Volunteers 4 0.5
Meeting Volunteers 1 0.5
Meeting Volunteers 3 0.5
AUG Meeting Volunteers 3 0.5
Meeting Volunteers 3 0.5
Meeting Volunteers 3 0.5
Big Weekend briefing Volunteers 4 0.25
Formative user testing / consultation Volunteers 4 1
Participants 20
Formative user testing / consultation Volunteers 4 1
Participants 7
Formative user testing / consultation Volunteers 4 1
Participants 46
SEP Research stage welcome Volunteers 4 0.5
OCT Tour of Central Library and Archives+ Volunteers (training) 2 0.5
LGBT Foundation visit Volunteers (training) 1 0.5
Museum of Science & Industry Collections Centre visit Volunteers (training) 1 0.5
NOV People’s History Archives tour Volunteers (training) 1 0.5
Meeting Steering Group 5
2016
JUN Manchester Histories Festival: Digital resource launch event Visitors 35
Manchester Histories Festival: Introduction to researching archives Trainees (two workshops) 15 1
Introduction to recording oral histories Trainees 13 1
JUL Archives research (Mardi Gras) Volunteers 1 10
AUG Manchester Pride: LGBT Histories tour of Manchester’s Rainbow Tiles Visitors 20
Manchester Pride / Superbia: Out! Presentation Visitors 18
Volunteer 1 1
Manchester Pride / Superbia: Queer Music talk Visitors 16
Recording oral histories Volunteer 4 1
SEP Guided tour: Manchester’s LGBT Centre Visitors 20
OCT Out! Training day and pinning party Volunteers 7 1
Visitors 6

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