Year | 2021
Location | Kelham & Neepsend, Sheffield
Clients | KINCA (Kelham Island & Neepsend Community Alliance)

The client for this Live Project was the Heeley Trust, a community anchor organisation in Sheffield, who are developing a programme of ‘social prescribing’ activities. Social prescribing is a holistic approach to health, whereby people are referred by health professionals to non-clinical activities (like nature walks or volunteering) to support their wellbeing. We were tasked with developing a vision for a network of wellbeing-supporting spaces. We examined this at both a neighbourhood scale and a close study of Heeley People’s Park, which the trust manages. 

To develop our ideas at a neighbourhood scale, we used our mapping skills to examine the spatial atmosphere of different local spaces. We then used quick collaging techniques to illustrate how both light-touch and more substantial interventions could enliven these areas. The Trust had seen similar potential in some of the spaces we highlighted; now they have the images to describe the opportunities to those less acquainted with the area. 

We focused our community engagement at the park scale, using a range of in-person and online tactics to understand what people like and don’t like about the park, as well as more generally what brought them happiness. We reported back to the trust which of the techniques were the most successful; we found that the trust’s current method of engagement using their ‘wellbeing cart’ and short questionnaires encouraged people to engage more than any digital methods.

The findings of our community engagement gave the trust confidence that their ideas for dementia-friendly sensory garden and a performance space would be welcome additions to the park. We visualised these ideas, but also used our fresh eyes to suggest how other light-touch ideas, like a single bench under a willow tree, could be equally enriching.

To present our ideas, we created an online, interactive map which located all the proposals. Unlike a conventional report document, this can be easily digested by funders, the council and other collaborators. We were encouraged by our client to explore non-report formats, and this pushed our team to adopt digital techniques from the UI industry. On this map, the ideas at neighbourhood scale were located along a series of walking routes. Whilst the proposals along these routes are speculative, the routes themselves were chosen because they currently offer some sensory experiences. This is a particular idea we brought to the client, and can immediately begin to inform their community offering.

Credits:

Mentor: Fionn Stevenson
Client: Heeley Trust
Location: Heeley, Sheffield
Students: Alan Jinwen Lu, Andrei Ion, Anna Rennison, Christopher
Darby, Eleanor Derbyshire, Hao Zhang, Holly Baines, Jamil Dossa,
Jana Dardouk, Kanai Shah, Kelly Zifei Xie, Megan Thacker-Brooks,
Wei Xiao, Wendou Jin, Yingxi Cao

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