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Evaluation: the spectre hanging over many projects. How do you know what to count? How do you pick the right questions for the forms?

Arts at the Old Fire Station runs projects with people facing tough times. We need to evaluate our work without the evaluation process undermining or distracting from the experience that the participants were having. To move away from questionnaires and statistics, we developed a new way to measure the impact of our work: storytelling.

The Storytelling Evaluation Methodology is based on the Most Significant Change Technique (MSC), which is often used in international development circles. It involves the collection of stories of significant change from participants, and the participatory interpretation of these stories.

Unlike conventional approaches to monitoring, Storytelling does not employ quantitative indicators developed in advance – the storytellers decide on what is the most significant impact for them. It’s great for measuring change that is intangible or fuzzy – unexpected, emergent, personalised or diverse – and understanding how change happens.

Join Inclusion Manager Sarah Cassidy for this webinar on the Storytelling Evaluation Methodology. Find out why we use it, what benefits it holds, and how to run the process from start to finish.

Book your place for free. Please make sure you include your e-mail address, so that we can send you the webinar link.

Click here to see storytelling evaluation of our ICON project.

The Storytelling Evaluation Methodology was developed by Arts at the Old Fire Station in partnership with evaluators Liz Firth and Anne Pirie.

Parking & Access


There are a number of Blue Badge parking spaces nearby on Beaumont Street, and more on New Inn Hall Street and St Giles.

The closest car park is Gloucester Green Car Park, accessed via Gloucester Street.

If you have any questions or concerns, the City Council’s Access Officer can be reached at 01865 249811.

Car parks in Oxford Blue Badge information Public transport in Oxford


Patrons with a disability are eligible for one free companion ticket with their booking. To book this, contact the ticket office: tickets@oldfirestation.org.uk or 01865 263990.

We hope everyone feels welcome at the Old Fire Station. We are always working to make our venue more accessible – please do let us know if we can help.

There are two entrances to the Old Fire Station: 40 George Street via the foyer, and on Gloucester Green via the shop. Both are step-free. If you are coming to a show, we ask that you use the George Street entrance, as the Gloucester Green entrance is not always open.

There is level entry to the foyer of the Old Fire Station, and step-free access to the main Theatre (where most shows take place) and Studio space via lift. All spaces in the building are wheelchair-accessible via lift apart from the Theatre balcony and the Loft. If an event is in the Loft, this will be clearly stated on the event’s web page.

If you are a wheelchair user attending a sit-down show, space will be reserved for you. If you are attending a standing gig, please contact us (call the ticket office on 01865 263990 or e-mail tickets@oldfirestation.org.uk) and we will talk with you about your needs.

There are six steps leading up to the Loft space. If you would like to discuss hire of the space, or any of the events taking place in the Loft, please get in touch.


Accessible toilet
There is an accessible toilet on the ground floor, accessible via platform lift. Other toilets are in the basement (accessible via lift).

Hearing assistance system
The Theatre is equipped with a hearing assistance system. If you have any questions about using it, please e-mail us at tickets@oldfirestation.org.uk or phone 01865 263980.

Assistance dogs
All types of assistance and guide dogs are welcome at the Old Fire Station. It would be great if you could let us know in advance if you will be bringing a working dog to any performances – just e-mail tickets@oldfirestation.org.uk.

Strobe lighting
We will warn visitors on the website and in the foyer of the venue if a performance is going to contain strobe lighting. If lighting affects you, and you have any concerns, please call Alex on 01865 263980 or e-mail tickets@oldfirestation.org.uk.