Lambeth Council

A little goes a long way is 5 small fixes that have helped Lambeth Street Champions to empower their communities and increase their impact.

 

 


Working with Ella was a joy from start to finish, and watching her work was a revelation. Her organisation and presentation skills are excellent; she addresses large groups with confident ease, and deals with the more vocal participants sensitively but assertively. Ella is one of those rare things - a confident and highly-skilled person who is also a genuinely nice person, easy to get along with, contagiously enthusiastic and fun to be around.
— Jason Prentis, Community Development Officer, Lambeth Council

 How might we help street champions to empower their communities and increase their impact?
 

The backdrop

As a cooperative Council, Lambeth is working to change the relationship between the Council and its communities with the ultimate aim of providing services with people rather than for them. Because of this, the Council set up the street champions initiative two years ago, which asked residents to volunteer to keep their streets clean and build social capital in their communities. There are 450 street champions who engage in a range of activities from tackling litter to organising street parties.

 

Key insights

We wanted to identify how we might help street champions to empower their communities and increase their impact. Our research involved observation, interviews and workshops with members of the Council, Lambeth residents and street champions. Our discussions with the street champions showed that they really enjoyed their role and the contact they had with residents and the Council officer supporting them. The key needs were to:

  • make their role clearer and present it more positively to other residents
  • provide them with more support to fulfill their leadership role
  • clarify the respective roles and responsibilities of the Council and the street champions
 

The solutions

We created a variety of tools to help street champions feel represented, understand the spectrum of their role, share their experience, and receive greater guidance on different ways of undertaking their role. These were: a more positive brand; a handbook; regular street champion meetings; and a dedicated website. The street champions and Council officers felt that the tools would allow street champions to more fully embrace their roles, giving more opportunities for street champions to work with their residents to improve their communities. 

A positive brand

A

Street champion handbook

Street champion website

Seasonal meetings

Street chat gatherings

 

The outcome

The first seasonal meeting took place in March 2016 using the agenda that we created. 53 street champions, councillors, Lambeth Chief Executive and the Mayor of Lambeth came and contributed. The Council are now working to put the rest of the solutions in place.


 

Client: Lambeth Council
Project date: 2015 October - 2015 December
Project Team: Developed in collaboration with Estefania Trisotti, Kyung Dae Park & Yuwei Zhang