Becky Nixon

Ideas to Impact

Overview

Becky Nixon is the director of consultancy Ideas to Impact. In recent years, Becky has included psychologically and trauma-informed aspects into her work, whether that is specific trauma-informed training, incorporating psychological factors in identifying outcomes when undertaking evaluations, considering how psychological approaches contribute to service design, or using psychology in workshops and facilitation to get the best out of people.

Typical areas of work include:
• Delivering psychological and trauma-informed management training and consultancy, standalone or part of a wider programme.
• Helping organisations to set up impact measurement frameworks, optionally writing an end of year impact report or facilitating learning and reflection workshops. This includes bringing knowledge of national indicators and benchmarks to improve practice.
• Undertaking evaluations and impact assessments – from a few days’ brief evaluation to longer multi-year evaluations.
• Facilitating planning sessions and awaydays – as well as developing and reviewing strategy these can include elements of team development, personal effectiveness, personality at work, and worker motivation and engagement, and can focus on the task and on group dynamics and relationships.
• Designing and assessing quality standards – previous examples include redesigning the national Investing in Volunteers quality standard 2021 and developing a bespoke trauma-informed safe accommodation quality framework, ongoing Investing in Volunteers assessment and assessing a national VCS network’s standard. Help can be provided with meeting quality standards.
• Partnership development and collaboration – bringing organisations together to deliver specific services or to work together more generally to improve learning, service outcomes and relationships.

Training is provided in many of the areas above – this is detailed on the services and training page on the Ideas to Impact website. You can also find an articles section demonstrating how an evidence-based approach is taken including free practical guidance and resources on various topics.


Clients

Recent clients include:

1. Psychologically and trauma-informed training and consultancy:
- Reaching People VCS consortium - psychologically and trauma-informed management training.
- New Dawn New Day Women's Centre – (a) collaborating on a year-long trauma-informed programme for safe accommodation providers. (b) Coordination of a partnership of VCS organisations providing counselling to people experiencing sexual/domestic violence.

2. Evaluation and impact assessment:
- Birmingham Voluntary Service Council – evaluation of Nottingham Practice Development Unit (which facilitates collaborative learning among those who work with people experiencing multiple disadvantage).
- Clinks – impact report about their work supporting VCS organisations in the criminal justice sector.
- Quetzal – working with women who have experienced child sexual abuse - evaluation of Breaking the Silence project
- VASL Community Champions – ongoing learning partner for a local project that supports lonely and isolated older people.
- Growing Together Northampton – development of impact framework for their community development work.

3. Quality standards development and assessment:
- NCVO – revising the Investing in Volunteers quality standard 2021 (plus ongoing Investing in Volunteers assessing for Volunteer Now).
- UK Community Foundations – assessment of Community Foundations against their quality assessment framework (twice).
- New Dawn New Day - developing Safe & Sound - a trauma-informed safe accommodation quality framework – and supporting organisations’ self-assessment.

4. Facilitation:
- Together Women - facilitation of management awaydays.
- Nottingham CVS - facilitation of staff strategy, values and team building day.
- Vista – development of two large partnerships to gain over £7m Lottery and European funding through the Ageing Better programme (loneliness and isolation) and Building Better Opportunities (employment/social inclusion).


Qualifications

Currently in the latter stages of an MSc psychology.
MSc management and business research.
Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) training practice certificate.
BSc sociology.

Postgraduate certificates in:
(a) Coaching.
(b) Managing VCS organisations.
(c) Applied advice work.

Research and evaluation short courses including: evaluating complexity; process tracing; Social Return on Investment.

Facilitation and coaching skills short courses including: motivational interviewing; managing conflict, challenge and confrontation in groups; group dynamics; mediation skills; working with constellations.

Member of the Association of Facilitators.


Experience

With 30 years' experience working in and with the VCS and public services, Becky started supporting VCS organisations 25 years ago in national infrastructure roles through a mix of advice, training, research, writing and editing publications, and policy and Parliamentary work. She has worked in regional infrastructure, supporting and developing regional networks and local consortia. She was deputy chief executive at Voluntary Action Leicestershire, one of the largest local infrastructure organisations in the country, leading a process of change to take on the delivery of services in the county to add to city provision.

With a career starting in Newham Council housing department, Becky has worked with and for the Legal Services Commission (as was), and various local authorities in a consultancy role, for example undertaking consultations to develop commissioning specifications.

Becky set up Ideas to Impact in 2013, having also had periods of freelance working previously. This enables her to have time to research and undertake development of specialist knowledge and skills around her areas of interest to bring into organisations. She is constantly learning (see qualifications above!) to deepen and reflect on her work.

Lived experience influences Becky's areas of interest, including poverty and trauma, growing up in a small and underserved rural community, and as an unpaid carer. Sectors worked in include VCS infrastructure, advice services, health, wellbeing and social care, women's organisations, domestic and sexual violence, older people, carers, loneliness and isolation, befriending, mental health, housing and homelessness, criminal justice, and community organisations.

She is currently a trustee and chair of the people subcommittee at Leicester Community Advice and Law Service, and undertakes voluntary work in schools to support students’ career choices.