£1million was awarded by UK Department of Transport for a community design and safety scheme on Cowley Road, Oxford UK.
The project involved some 40 volunteers. InsightShare worked as part of wider programme team. Our focus was managing the targeting of so-called “hard to reach” groups through Participatory Video processes.
Twelve so-called “hard to reach” groups were brought on board, otherwise their participation in the community design process would have been questionable. Their voices were made accessible and visual through local video screenings and uploading the video messages onto the web. Free access to video footage was available through local internet hubs.
Five local adults representing some of the groups targeted (mental health service user, wheelchair user, ethnic minorities, single parents, homeless person) were trained and accredited in PV facilitation.
Careful recruitment of a local consultation team from target groups was followed by a 3-month training period, which included accreditation. The trainees then started to facilitate the PV consultation of 12 target groups (identified by East Oxford Action regeneration centre) under Insight’s guidance. Each group was visited twice within a 2-month period. PV workshops took place in spaces that were frequented by these target groups in order to make them more accessible and make people feel at ease. Some of the work focussed around a transportable 3D model of the area under development. This helped elicit viewpoints and helped participants visualise existing problems and propose their ideas for change.
We think it made a big difference - widening involvement and ensuring the voices of marginalised sections of the community were heard. For example, at the Community Design Day no minority groups were present; no elderly people, and no youth! It was only through their video screenings that such people were made “visible”.
Consensus-building was achieved through the group screenings which helped people understand each other’s views. An iterative process of sharing footage and feeding back reactions meant that the project and resulting footage evolved over time.
“It changed the way I listened to people”
Planning officer, Oxfordshire County Council, UK