Below are a few recent client case studies, to give you a flavour of our work.
Community Research completed an assignment for Vivacity (the social enterprise that runs Peterborough City Council’s leisure facilities) to capture the views of the people of Peterborough at a local arts festival. The approach applied was simple but effective - an area in the park where the festival was taking place was set up as an outdoor 'living room', with a sofa, lamp and plants to offer a slightly quirky setting and to help people feel comfortable giving their views. Passers-by were asked to sit down and have a chat, in return for tea and biscuits. Over 100 people had tea and a chat in one afternoon.
Budget Consultation and Appreciative Inquiry
Brent Council needed to make some challenging decisions about how it spent its budget in the future. The Council was keen to adopt a participative approach to making these decisions, one that identified local spending priorities with input from a range of stakeholders, including the public, allowing them to deliberate and to weigh up the issues. Community Research was commissioned to conduct a series of workshops with residents and stakeholders to ensure that the community was consulted on the challenges ahead. The project sought to deliver insight, and gather the views and feelings of the general public about the Council's future strategy and priorities, ensuring that those taking part were enabled to move from an individual to a citizen’s perspective. Community Research designed and delivered seven workshops with mixed audiences and provided a full written report as well as a short video of the workshops.
Following the consultation work Community Research was commissioned to help input into the development of its five-year Borough Plan. This key document sets out the strategic objectives for the next four years and key priorities for improvement. The Council had a commitment to engaging local residents on this to ensure that future planning reflects their views and opinions. They commissioned Community Research to facilitate at a number of sessions. The sessions were all designed to take a positive approach (based on Appreciative Inquiry techniques.) This method involves looking at what is already good / highly valued and seeking ways to build upon this. This approach was chosen for the following reasons a) the above budget consultation work had gathered a good deal of evidence which it was important to build on rather than duplicate b) taking a positive approach can generate new ways of thinking and c) it creates an enjoyable experience for participants.
Other smaller research projects for Brent Council have used qualitative research and ethnography to explore residents' attitudes to cycling and electoral registration.
NHS Greater East Midlands Commissioning Support Unit
Community Research was commissioned by NHS Greater East Midlands Commissioning Support Unit (GEMCSU) to help analyse and report on responses to the following two consultations. Both projects involved analysing and reporting on the responses to an online and offline questionnaire, notes from public meetings and a range of community meetings, listening booth activity and stakeholder meetings.
To support a planned campaign aimed at increasing take up of pharmacy services amongst its key target audience of 16-24 year olds, NHS Dudley commissioned Community Research to deliver a project to explore key issues and attitudes and to help develop initial campaign thinking. Two group discussions were conducted. In addition a half-day session of one to one interviews was undertaken with young people recruited and arranged with the help of The Zone (a service for young people, families and carers who are effected by drug and alcohol use within Dudley Borough). The output from this exercise was a full, detailed written report.