In early 2016 WSA Community worked with Wick Award Partnership, a Big Local area in  Hackney, east London, to undertake a resident led community research project; training residents in research methods and enabling them to gain a recognised accreditation for their work.  This was a great experience both for the researchers who picked up new skills and created some great research and us at WSA Community as we learnt more about delivering training accredited by Highfield Awarding body. This is something we’d like to develop into further so if you have an idea you would like developed or delivered then please get in touch.

Read on more below to see about what was achieved with Wick Award




Our work with Wick Award provided the exciting opportunity for recruitment of volunteer community researchers and a paid opportunity for young peer researchers.

The volunteers shaped the research formulating and testing a survey as well as:

  • Carrying out consultations at the school gateswaws2

  • Visiting pensioner’s clubs and Sheltered Housing

  • Asking parents and childminders for their opinion at stay and play groups

  • Carrying out the survey through door knocking and street interviews across the area and focusing on estates.

The peer researchers designed the research with young people and carried out street surveys, consultation in
schools and young groups to represent the needs of local young people.
An accreditation in Leadership from Highfield awarding body was available for everyone taking part in the project and was delivered as part of the research methods training through workshops, resident presentations and resident decision making. This system allowed for the community researchers to take an active role and gain their accreditation outside of a normal classroom setting in a fun and engaging way.

Both of these pieces of research were analysed to create a report that can help to inform the Wick Award Partnership on where they invest their money and time. This process had already begun at the celebration event where the community researchers were recognised and had the opportunity to present back to the wider community.  Residents and stakeholders were invited to give their opinions on the findings and what should happen next.

The energy of the research team was great and we would like to thanks them for all their involvement. Some have now joined the partnership for Wick Award and as well as the research this project has helped to engage community members further in decision making about their Big Local programme.

Take a look at the community research report here