Assessing community needs to design local interventions.

Marks & Spencer was looking to launch a pioneering community transformation project in partnership with local authorities and charities across key areas in the UK.

The goal was to use their trusted position to make real progress on the issues that matter most to local communities, such as access to workplace skills training, education and mental health support.

We were brought in to investigate and report back on the needs of ten pilot communities, working to assess existing services and gaps in provision.

Using our networks, alongside community building, we hosted discussions with a representative range of community members, using their insights to help assess local need, design the programme and develop meaningful solutions to the problems they faced.

We held workshops with around 300 people across the UK a month, collated and analysed their views and presented them in a series of reports.

This has allowed Marks & Spencer to move on to the next phase of the programme, and start plotting out interventions which will effectively target the issues raised in the pilot communities, and ultimately countrywide.

“I just wanted to say a huge thank you from Jo and myself for the job you and The Social Change Agency have done over the past few weeks pulling together our community conversations. Going through the content now the findings that we are able to draw on to shape the programme are invaluable and they give us an insight into the thoughts and concerns of the residents in our 10 communities.”

Sarah Ford, Plan A, Marks & Spencer.