Magdalen Street EATS
Research & co-design | programme design | evaluation
Co-creating a community led social learning programme to improve community cohesion and wellbeing
Magdalen Street is a particularly diverse commercial and residential area in Norwich with a wealth of community assets. However it also shows up in data as one of the most deprived local wards in the UK for education, employment and health outcomes.

Magdalen Street Celebration who run the annual street festival were awarded a grant to build community cohesion and wellbeing through organising activities that connect people with each other and the area throughout the year.
The Celebration had limited capacity in the bid writing stage to consult with the local community, and therefore research and relationship building were needed to shape the project activities and their approach to delivery. Given the brief to build community cohesion the key challenge was to build trust and proactively reach into the community to involve people in the project.
To co-design a food and cooking activity, build participation with a variety of local stakeholders, and enable local people to develop an ongoing relationship with the annual Celebration and each other. To evidence impact and ensure that activities were as far as possible sustained after project funding ended.
My role
I managed this project as a Community Development practitioner over the period of 18 months. I drew on the principles of co-design to involve local people in the shaping of the project. I also involved a social learning approach to encourage local people to share their skills, gifts and passions and take ownership of the group.
Work undertaken
Research & Co-design
  • Community research holding a 'pop-up' shop at the street festival
  • Mapping local stakeholders
  • Holding a kick-off community meal to gather idea
Programme Design
  • Research and connecting with inspirational community led projects
  • Design with workshop lead of cooking sessions
  • Building in an assets based approach to encourage people to lead
  • Design of evaluation framework to measure impact particularly focused on wellbeing
  • Design and testing engaging means to gather feedback from groups
  • Writing report for funder drawing together quantitative and qualitative data
Content Design
  • Design of leaflets and communication assets
  • Content design for a community cookery book
    Case study
    For more information and an illustrated narrative of the project research, development and delivery.
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