Kiltearn Fiddlers perform at Diamond Jubilee Hall in Evanton.

Impact and Evaluation

The work of Fèis Rois often provides an anchor in people’s lives, a sense of belonging and a deep connection to place. It increases confidence, both at a personal level and at a community and cultural level. It has a positive impact on educational, economic, and health and wellbeing outcomes. A number of independent impact reports and evaluation studies into the work of Fèis Rois are published below.

Through its year-round programme, Fèis Rois engages children and young people, adult learners, and many people who otherwise might not have the opportunity to learn skills in traditional music or participate in arts activities, including care experienced young people and people with a disability.

The evidence shows that through the intergenerational work of Fèis Rois, friendships are formed, fun is had, and social isolation is reduced.

The high value that the local community places upon the work of Fèis Rois is evidenced by the many invitations the organisation receives to provide musicians for special events, community gala days, or large sporting events.

In 2021/22, with financial support from Fèisean nan Gàidheal, Fèis Rois commissioned Steve Westbrook and Sandy Anderson to carry out an independent impact study into the work of the organisation. Read their findings here.

The Fèis Rois Lullaby Project, Tàlaidhean Ura, was originally funded by Spirit of 2012, which was established as an independent Trust by the National Lottery Community Fund in 2013 to build on the legacy of the London 2012 Games. Spirit of 2012 believe that happiness is not just a nice-to-have, but essential. They commissioned the What Works Centre for Wellbeing to look at case studies from ten Spirit of 2012 funded projects to find ‘how’ and ‘why’ creative activities can improve wellbeing. The Fèis Rois Lullaby Project, Tàlaidhean Ura was one of these projects. The research found that:

  • All projects reported improvements in wellbeing
  • The projects reported positive mood and emotions, increased confidence and self-esteem, and reduced loneliness among other outcomes.
  • There were eight creative pathways to wellbeing – the combination of contexts and mechanisms that made a difference.

The report showing the ways that creative projects have had an impact on wellbeing can be read here.

Since the inception of the project, Fèis Rois has worked with the Centre for Rural Health at the University of Aberdeen to evaluate the impact of The Lullaby Project, Tàlaidhean Ura. The report below was published in 2023 and is a qualitative exploration of one cohort of mothers’ experiences of the Lullaby Project. It shows at the start of the project, 50% of mothers had a mental wellbeing score above the UK average. At the end of the project, 100% of mothers had a mental wellbeing score above the UK average. Read the report by the University of Aberdeen here.

In 2021, Fèis Rois was awarded a Youth Arts Fund grant from Creative Scotland to deliver a series of residencies for artists to work with children and young people across the Highland Council area. Fèis Rois commissioned Dr Ania Zubala from the Division of Rural Health and Wellbeing at the University of the Highlands and Islands to carry out an independent evaluation of the project. Read her wellbeing-focused evaluation of the project here.

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