Sure Start Hyndburn Children's Centres offer services, information and advice to families with children aged under five years old, across five centres within Accrington, Lancashire. Mackman Research was commissioned to survey households on behalf of Sure Start Hyndburn. The survey was based around customer satisfaction, knowledge of services and perceptions of Sure Start Hyndburn. The survey aimed to identify needs gaps in their services, the level of public awareness of Sure Start Hyndburn's services: what services are currently being accessed and by whom.
A postal questionnaire was used to survey households. The questionnaire used was based upon one used previously in a similar survey in 2007 and 2005. Following the completion of the questionnaire design, as per Sure Start Hyndburn's requirements, a survey package was put together and forwarded to Sure Start Hyndburn. Each package included a questionnaire with covering letter and a pre-paid return envelope. All survey packages were sent directly from Sure Start Hyndburn's premises. Each questionnaire was given an identification number that was assigned to an individual potential respondent. Identification numbers enabled a second batch of questionnaires to be sent out avoiding delivery to those households that had already completed the questionnaire.
Completed questionnaires were received over a number of weeks. Responses were entered onto a data sheet. Comments and written responses were recorded as they appeared with no changes made to the use of language, grammar or punctuation. Results were analysed and cross-tabulated according to the relevance and significance of information.
A total of 1943 households were targeted and sent a questionnaire. 226 respondents took part. This achieved a confidence level of 95% and a confidence interval of +/- 6%. The survey consisted of 41 closed questions, with an opportunity to comment.
The vast majority of respondents were female. Where feasible, question responses were cross referenced with age group and ethnicity and background. Percentages and figures throughout the survey analysis reflected the ethnicity and nationality of the Sure Start Hyndburn users and there was no indication of any one group being particularly dissatisfied or excluded.
The research has enabled Sure Start to make detailed analysis of their services over a five year period and will help to improve their support services and cafés for the future.
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