Since 1994, Odyssey has run courses mainly in Kent and, when funding has allowed, in Wales, West Midlands, Scotland and Wiltshire.
In September 2013 Odyssey and Macmillan Learning and Development in Kent, Surrey & Sussex collaborated on a pilot course, using Odyssey’s regular programme, to establish whether the course could be used to enhance people’s capability to self-manage.
To assess the course’s effectiveness, participants were asked to complete a pre-course questionnaire, scoring themselves between 1 and 10. They were asked to re-visit the questions at least eight weeks after completing the course, to give time for a return to ‘normal’ life and after any immediate post-course euphoria had dissipated.
The evaluation programme provided clear evidence that the Odyssey course was a powerful intervention which transformed lives for delegates and the results showed a marked improvement in participants’ well-being over a wide range of measures.
The results of the evaluation encouraged Macmillan in the South East to continue its financial support and, between 2013 and 2015, Macmillan sponsored a total of 72 participants. Out of these, 55 completed the evaluation programme, an impressive response rate of 76%.
*Post-course scores were given at least 8 weeks after completing course. The underlying individual scores data are available on request.
Mark Holmes, the Macmillan Learning and Development Manager for the South and East said:
“It was evident from analysis of results from the pilot course that for attendees this was a worthwhile and, in many cases, life changing experience with the capability to significantly enhance self-confidence, esteem and engender a positive attitude. The strong results have consistently been maintained every year since and evaluation of outcomes and impact continues on an ongoing basis.
We know there are currently 2.5 million people living with cancer and this figure will increase each year. Therefore interventions such as the Odyssey course, that enhance the capability of people living with cancer to live well, are increasingly important.”