Say&Play was a partnership between Involve and the Lambeth Council. It engaged with a sizeable number of people, including parents and children, through fun activities.
The Say&Play project ran from September 2007 - September 2008 and was a partnership between Involve and the London Borough of Lambeth.
The Say&Play format simply involves combining a community fun day with appropriate consultation methods. It is designed to attract busy parents and carers who might not normally have the time to come to a more formal consultation event. Say&Play is also a format suitable for consulting with children and young people.
Five primary schools in the borough took part in five different trials, each running their own event. The events ranged from sports activities, bouncy castles, a BBQ and Jazz music. During these events, different methods were employed to consult both children and adults in questions concerning Lambeth Council policy documents, ‘Children and Young People’s Plan’ and ‘Fair Play Strategy’, and specifically whether the council had addressed the issues in these documents, e.g. cutting crime or providing suitable play areas for children.
The project employed six different methods. Two examples of the methods used are as follows:
• ‘Shout Outs’: This was aimed at young people and took the form of video blogging where participants were given two minutes and allowed to speak their mind, asking questions such as, “What do you think Lambeth council could do to improve the lives of children and young people?”
• ’How did we do’: In this example, the purpose was to see how Lambeth council was performing on its priorities. The participants were asked to answer a number of statements posted to a wall, such as, “Lambeth is doing well?” and “Lambeth is not doing well?” by dropping marbles in jars. There was also an option for “Don’t know?”
In terms of numbers, for the first four events there was an average of over 100 attendees per event. For all five events the aggregate participation rate was 669.
Results from the consultation showed a wide perception of high crime rates in the borough. Analysis of comments left at events also highlighted a lack of leisure facilities available. These results fed into the Local Authority’s ‘Children and Young People’s Plan’ and the department was committed to note the data and provide feedback to participants who had completed comment forms. The results from the final consultation were also used to aid a discussion about the department’s priorities for play areas in Lambeth. Results show that having a safe atmosphere for play areas was rated as the most important by both adults and children alike.
Only 20% of participants consulted had ever taken part in a local authority consultation previously. Of these, almost all had completed at least one Say&Play consultation activity, which highlights the effectiveness of the trial in engaging different people.
Feedback from participants showed that they enjoyed the consultation and developed good relationships with the local authority. In turn, the feedback from local authority officers showed they found the events a useful way of engaging with large groups of people.
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Gather individual pre-existing opinions
Number of participants
Self selected participants attending as individuals (open access process)
Level of awareness and interest
participants need information and cannot articulate their interests
participants know about some aspects/can roughly articulate some interest
Crime and justice
Culture and arts
Limit search to...
... face to face processes
Level of involvement
Children and young people