Case Study : Engaging Whole Communities

Stanwell Project mural

The Stanwell Project was a successful, inclusive art project that encompassed a whole community through various tailored creative workshops and small stand-alone projects, to culminate in a public mural & documentary that captured the history and essence of the area.

As part of the regeneration of a large part of Stanwell in Surrey, Signal was approached by national regeneration company A2Dominion in 2008 to design, manage and deliver an intergenerational art project in an area where there was a need to bring a community together. We decided that historical story telling was the best method of encouraging locals to bond and appreciate the history of the area.

With a core team of nine professional creatives and youth workers, Signal devised a flexible wide-ranging project that included 10 influential community groups to draw out the stories of Stanwell. We used various creative tools to engage the residents including customising remote control cars, intergenerational story telling, street art workshops, mobile phone/digital film making, painting sessions and creating wooden

cut-out animals. We also held various social events for the wider community to get involved at different stages of the project. See the full mural design here.

Designed as a positive legacy for the community as it went through the uncomfortable process of change, the main outcomes of the project were:

  • a better relationship between the developer and the community
  • a 60 metre mural on hoardings
  • a 40 minute documentary about the project and local residents
  • a potentially award-winning and press-worthy story for A2Dominion

Over 900 of the 2,500 residents of Stanwell took part in the project in some way, making it one of the largest of its kind in the country. As the Signal team were only to be in a Stanwell a relatively short time, we also sought to engage the relevant local agencies to kick-start more sustainable long-term initiatives in the area. As a result over £250,000 has since been allocated to the area, across all age groups.

“I write to say a huge thank you to you and your team for your help in delivering a successful project in Stanwell; we could not have done it without you. Since we started working in Stanwell the area has attracted a great deal of interest from other organisations and agencies, which has triggered a funding programme in excess of £250,000. I have been told that it was the work the Signal Project team did in the community that highlighted the area’s need and many of the issues. I am delighted to report the funding has been directed across all age groups, which is testament to the intergenerational approach of the project.

“The DVD has been much praised and talked about … and captured the soul of Stanwell residents.  Viewers unfamiliar with Stanwell have commented on the sense of community that comes across … and the way that Stanwell is a good example of a sustainable community that evolves to accept the changes imposed upon it. We look forward to working with you in the future.” Mandie Wilde, Project Coordinator Stanwell New Start, A2Dominion Group

“The involvement of Signal in this project has been extremely well received by the community with good positive feed back from the residents of Stanwell and from people living in the surrounding area…The mural provokes comment and stimulates interest …and this will help Stanwell’s history… to be remembered, recorded and passed through the generations.” Cllr. Caroline Spencer, Mayor of Stanwell

“The idea of involving the whole Stanwell community was wonderful… The project involved all the 500 pupils at the school… I cannot fault the professional approach that the team had towards everyone, from the youngest to the oldest participant.  The work is admired by all the residents, and people from the borough and further afield have been to look at the work.” Carol Davies, former Head Administrator Town Farm Primary School

For more information please see www.stanwell.signalproject.com

Download this case study [PDF 500kb]

Click thumbnail to see a full length image of the mural:

Stanwell Project mural - full length

The Stanwell DVD Promo:

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