Shadsworth View – Using photography and community engagement to explore barriers to services
Blackburn with Darwen Council and NHS Blackburn with Darwen commissioned us to carry out a socio-demographic analysis of a local area to identify the main influences on sexual health choices and barriers to services.
We devised a creative approach which would involve local people without stigmatising young parents and which would be inclusive and participatory. The project, Shadsworth View, used mediums that would provide opportunities for involvement, as well as identifying areas where improvements could be made.
The aim was to allow people to have a real voice and to celebrate their community; elements included a Community Gallery and the use of Community Researchers.
The Community Gallery was created in partnership with a local Children’s Centre and Neighbourhood Centre. People were recruited from across community and service networks, and were given mini video cameras and disposable cameras to capture ideas and record interviews. A number of photographs were then selected by those involved and, together with notes explaining the background to the image, were displayed in a virtual community gallery.
In another part of the work, a group of local women were recruited to act as Community Researchers. They were trained in community research methods and took part in confidence building exercises before carrying out research amongst their peers.
This was a limited time project. However, as part of our commitment to working towards lasting improvements, we not only considered how the findings could be used in future services planning, but also how the work could be developed further and continued.