Sheffield First Partnership

Winter 2010

The challenge

The Sheffield First Partnership was the local strategic partnership for the city. They were helping map a five-year strategy for Sheffield. As part of this, we were asked to deliver a consultation with discrete, hard-to-reach communities. This involved engaging with groups across the city, LGBT, Muslim women, SME business, disabilities, learning disabilities, newly arrived BME and young women. The partnership wanted to know what they most valued about Sheffield and what they would most like to see change.

How we approached it

Through discussions with Sheffield First Partnership, we identified and segmented the priority groups, and designed a set of workshops and interviews based on key questions from the ‘Wish We Were Here’ City Strategy. For each of the identified groups, we worked with community leaders and chose familiar settings. To help Sheffield First Partnership to integrate findings into the wider City Strategy, we developed a headline grid using the key themes.

What happened

Overall, we engaged with 104 people from the hardest-to-reach groups, ensuring those who too often go unheard in consultations were listened to.

One key learning was that these groups felt they weren’t kept abreast of changes, or given feedback after consultations. So, a major learning, moving forward, was the need to embed feedback and create continuous integrated engagement structures.