'1000 conversations' listening campaign in St Peter’s and the Moors
Community Organising and one-to-one interaction
Don't be discouraged if it doesn’t feel like your consultation efforts have yielded big results yet. St Peter's and the Moors Big Local have found that investing in renewed efforts to engage can work even when previous attempts have been less successful.
The partnership has set up a listening campaign called 1000 Conversations with the aim of penetrating further into their community. It means walking the area, knocking on doors and letting people know about Big Local activities. Key to success is finding 'connectors' - individuals who know and talk to others, to spread the word.
What people say
'I think there is something about proving your legitimacy as a local partnership through local people. The 1000 Conversations gave us legitimacy because we said we were doing things because of what people told us.'
'It is about capacity. Engagement takes a lot of time. To do it well takes a number of years really, to get to a point where you've got lots of people engaged.'
Top tips from St Peter’s and the Moors Big Local
- Be proactive in finding people to engage, including leaders and connectors, and develop and nurture them. Don’t just rely on who comes forward first.
- Capitalise on people showing an interest – act on it quickly. If you let them go, they may not come back.
- Act on all types of feedback. ‘Big’ data through surveys can give an overall picture, but don’t ignore the individual feedback – by acting on it quickly, it gets people involved.
NCVO research which took place in this and other Big Local areas identified a number of drivers or reasons Big Local areas might seek to engage their wider community. Areas may define community engagement in several different ways and see it as having a number of purposes. The two factors that initially emerged as perhaps most common in Big Local were: keeping people informed as a way of legitimising decisions and protecting against detractors; and tapping into a wider set of skills and resources to deliver Big Local.
Find out more
For more information, download the case study PDF below. This case study was prepared as part of NCVO’s research Community engagement within Big Local.Download case study