What does successful community engagement look like?

  • Date: 2017 - 2018

  • Community: Poplar, London, UK

  • Clients: Alex Julyan and Wellcome Trust

We were commissioned to evaluate Poplar Pavilion, an architecture and wellbeing pop-up in East London. The report is a collection of thoughts and reflections from the community, local stakeholders, volunteers and the Pavilion design team. It is an assessment of the process and relationships that defined the project and acts as a handbook for future commissioners to lead effective engagements.

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London, UK

London, UK

We discuss the challenges of engaging a range of stakeholders in a community. Read more.

Key insights

An effective engagement is grounded in a process of deep listening and understanding.

There is a positive correlation between positive health and wellbeing outcomes and a sense of belonging, curiosity, wonder, being heard, social cohesion, music and access to greenspace, among other things.

If an engager is interested in buy-in and participation from all stakeholders, including those with power, it is important to include them in the design and creation of the ‘solution’.

For stakeholders to embrace the engagement it is vital that there is a clear vision for people to get behind, participate in and nurture.

For more insights read the complete evaluation.

This engagement has shown that there are no distinct boundaries between what it means to build meaningful relationships, what it means to treat people for illnesses and what it means to create a space that works for people; there are lessons here for most.

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