Report Launch! A Qualitative Evaluation of Better Connect’s Thriving at Work: Workplace Support

Report Launch! A Qualitative Evaluation of Better Connect’s Thriving at Work: Workplace Support


Last week, we launched our in-house Thriving at Work report, and as part of the round-up, today we’re excited to launch our evaluative report on the 121 Workplace Support strand of the programme – read it here.

Led by Dr Jane Suter, Dr Annie Irvine, and former TAW Programme Manager, Emma Lyons, this report follows an earlier collaboration between Better Connect and Annie, which explored the Action Towards Inclusion programme, our largest, furthest reaching project to date.

Meet our researchers:



Exploring the experiences of programme participants and their Keyworkers, our researchers highlight the necessity of a programme which supports those already in employment, and specifically, workplace challenges for those with neurodiversity, disabilities, or mental health conditions in work (such as, anxiety, bullying, overwhelm, navigating social relationships):


“I basically wanted coaching, and somebody that would help me to separate out all the different strands of what I was dealing with, and would be able to take my perspective on it. Because I was juggling a lot of things, and they were pulling me in different directions, and I was getting pretty stressed … The job seemed too full. And I don’t want to go and be as dramatic as to say, well, the job was breaking me, but I was struggling with competing demands … It was causing me a considerable amount of stress and difficulty, and I didn’t know what to do.”

(TAW Programme Participant, page 11)


The report also covers features of effective support across the ‘Keyworker vs Coaching’ model, strategies used for workplace wellbeing (CBT-rooted exercises, assertive communication, practical strategies, workload planning), and the resounding impact of this support:


“I’m definitely in a better place, and I’m in a better job and a more sustainable job. A lot of the issues haven’t gone away. On a good day, my relationship to those issues is way better, but on a bad day, it’s not as bad. I’m noticing me, and even if things are difficult, I’m noticing what I can do about it … [It] made me more aware of me and what I want and need at work, such that I think I’d probably notice sooner if there was something going wrong, and I’d try and fix it sooner, so I could keep things in line … I’ve got more resilience; I’ve got more ways of working around something that’s not ideal … I think it is resilience that I’ve got more of … More self-respect, in a way, now.”

(TAW Programme Participant, page 31)


As with the report on ATI (and the subsequent creation of our RISE peer support group for keyworkers) we hope to use Annie and Jane’s findings to inform and strengthen our existing programme model, and any future programmes.

Want to learn more? You can watch the impact that having an inclusive, supportive employer has had on Soren and Georgia here.


Laura Sandiford

Post by Laura Sandiford

Impact Coordinator

A keen storyteller & collaborator, Laura works alongside Hannah as the Impact Coordinator, where she measures and highlights the impact of Better Connect across its business, programmes, and partnerships. She does so by working with a range of people to gather information and stories, which she then translates into engaging content across Better Connect’s channels.

Building relationships and networks is a large part of Laura’s role, alongside ensuring the ‘’Better Connect story’’ is woven throughout all communications.

Laura’s favourite part of the role is connecting with the faces behind the case studies and giving voice to their experiences.

Learn more about Laura