Meet the Impact and Evaluation team

The team has expertise in data analysis, qualitative and quantitative research methods and participatory research with children, young people, parents and professionals.

Dr Sarah Taylor

Group Head of Impact and Evaluation
0207 520 0316

Sarah Taylor leads the impact and evaluation team at Coram. She co-ordinates a programme of research, evaluation, and monitoring across the Coram group, to anticipate and respond to the needs of children. Sarah is interested both in what works, and what could be done better, to prove and improve services and professional practice.

Sarah joined Coram in August 2019 from the National Audit Office. At the NAO she held the government to account, leading mixed-methods studies for parliament on social care, housing, and tax and benefit policies, and delivered training on evidence and evaluation. She has worked as an evaluator in a maternity charity, and was Head of Local Evaluation at the Early Intervention Foundation. Originally from Glasgow, she holds social science degrees from the London School of Economics and a DPhil from the University of Oxford on the topic of child poverty in the UK.

Hannah Lawrence

Research Manager

Hannah has ten years’ experience in evaluation and project management in the children and young people’s sector. Hannah has conducted qualitative and quantitative research with practitioners, parents and carers and children and young people. Topics she has studied include special guardianship orders, siblings waiting for adoption and assessments for disabled children and young people. Hannah is studying a MSc in Social Policy and Social Research at University College London.

Vanessa Patel

Research Manager

Vanessa is an experienced mixed methods researcher, specialising in children’s and youth research. Since joining Coram in 2021 as a Research Manager, working across both Coram Family and Childcare and Impact and Evaluation teams, she has been involved in a number of quantitative and qualitative projects. Vanessa has co-authored the 2021 Holiday Childcare survey, carried out quantitative research to uncover the impact of Covid-19 on care leavers and has led the evaluation of the impact of Coram’s Activity days for Fostering and the use of objects in social work.

Prior to joining Coram, Vanessa worked in children’s and youth market research helping brands, public sector bodies and charities better connect with children and young people. Her clients included YoungMinds, Girlguiding, National Citizen Service, UCAS, a number of universities as well as large media broadcasters such as BBC and ITV. Vanessa has strong commercial awareness and is strategic in her thinking having helped organisations evolve and innovate to keep with younger generations. She holds a Market Research Society Advanced Certificate in Market and Social Research.


Emily Blackshaw

Lead Quantitative Analyst

Emily is an experienced mixed methods researcher, specialising in quantitative methods. In her role at Coram, Emily leads on quantitative data analysis across a portfolio of internal and external projects. Emily has a particular interest in youth mental health and psychosocial models of distress.

Before joining Coram, Emily worked in the Business Development Team at Mind whilst completing her PhD on the psychometric properties of the YP-CORE. Prior to this, Emily worked as a research assistant for three projects at King’s College London - a feasibility randomised controlled trial for an intervention for depression and anxiety in older adolescents, an evaluation of a community-based group intervention supporting parents with young children, and a study exploring the communication of paediatric cardiac surgery survival rates to the public. Emily’s research publications include contributions to Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Health Services and Delivery Research.

Emma Borjes

Research and Evaluation Officer

Emma has experience in both quantitative and qualitative research methods, and was promoted to Research and Evaluation Officer in December 2020. Emma joined Coram in June 2019 as Impact and Evaluation Coordinator. During her time at Coram she has led and contributed to several research and evaluation projects, including managing the collection and analysis of quarterly monitoring data across the Coram group. She has carried out evaluations for various parts of the Coram group such as Coram Life Education, Tomorrow’s Achievers and Coram Voice. 

Emma holds an MSc in International Social Change and Policy from the University of Sheffield. In combination with her master’s dissertation, Emma undertook an internship with an international children’s rights organisation, where she assisted on a research project examining corporal punishment in Nigerian primary schools.

Lizzie Gilbert

Impact & Evaluation Coordinator

Lizzie assists the team with research and administrative support. Lizzie has an MSc in International Development from SOAS University of London. While completing her MSc, she undertook a research internship for a social enterprise. She previously worked with young people and families in a local authority housing department and as a Helpline Advisor for a charity.

Daniel Stern

Impact & Evaluation Coordinator

Daniel provides research and administrative support to the team. He has experience in both qualitative and quantitative research. Daniel has a DPhil in Environmental Justice and Post-Politics from the University of Durham, and an MSc in Social Science Research Methods. Immediately before joining Coram, Daniel taught children to row in East London.

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