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Case study

Pioneering places: Nottingham & EIF


25 Sep 2015

From 2013, EIF worked with a network of 20 Pioneering Places, which provided an opportunity to learn and test how EIF might make the biggest difference to the business of delivering early intervention on the ground in local areas around England.

Nottingham has a long history of commitment to early intervention and in 2008 it launched as an ‘Early Intervention City’ with a 20 year mission to develop services to improve the social and emotional capabilities of children and young people, in order to enhance their well-being and quality of life.

This included innovative plans such as ensuring that social and emotional skills were supported consistently in schools, through programmes such as ‘Life Skills’. In 2014, Nottingham began a large-scale strategic commissioning review of the prevention and early intervention services that the council and key partners deliver. They were keen to access the latest evidence to update their commissioning plans and their Children and Young People’s plan.

EIF support & advice

  • EIF supported Nottingham to use the EIF guidebook and evidence, to look at in detail what programmes are most effective for the outcomes Nottingham wanted to achieve.
  • EIF undertook detailed work to review the strength of evidence for the interventions already delivered in Nottingham.
  • EIF supported Nottingham to develop proposals to decommission some services and to trial some others, which are due to be agreed later this year.
  • Nottingham worked with EIF on developing a theory of change to underpin their new strategy and commissioning approaches, and this will inform how to measure success of their new approach.
  • EIF will continue to support Nottingham to finalise their plans and draft the new commissioning specification to reflect these, which will be issued in early 2016.


“EIF support has been invaluable in developing a new early help offer which is evidence-based…of particular value has been the support and advice on request, relating to our local situation. EIF has been our critical friend, enabling us to progress our work at speed and with confidence, knowing that we are adopting best practice throughout all stages of the process.”
Chris Wallbanks, Commissioning Manager, Nottingham