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:
Download this case study [PDF 500kb]
Click thumbnail to see a full length image of the mural:
The Tongham Underpass Mural was a project that allowed students to gain GCSE level accreditation in addition to their existing school curriculum. This was delivered as part of a public art project.
For the first time in UK, artists at Signal collaborated with curriculum development consultants Beyond Knowledge to develop accreditation through the medium of Street Art. Signal and Beyond Knowledge created education innovation by combining a professional public art project with the school curriculum to enable students from two secondary schools to gain GCSE equivalent accreditation.
The result: a community-driven street art project in a pedestrian subway that helped 16 participants achieve a BTEC Level 2 in Visual Arts in just 10 weeks with a 100% pass rate! And the subway, used by pupils from both schools, is now a graffiti-free space with a vastly improved look and feel.
Our tailored BTEC project is now used as an attractive and practical way for students to achieve accreditation through the medium of street art.
Artists from Signal and Beyond Knowledge staff supervised and taught 16 talented year 10 and 11 art students from two schools. The material satisfied Level 2 qualification requirements, and covered a range of street art techniques, application and history, plus general art and design.
The Level 2 BTEC was delivered over 40 contact hours, after school and during the half-term break.
The learning activities included:
- sketchbook development
- producing written materials
- a 60m public mural, delivered as a group project
While the BTEC could be delivered on its own without a mural project attached, the experience for the participating students was greatly enhanced by providing creative input to a real street art project within their community.
With certain adjustments to the delivery plan, this approach is suited to:
- young people 14-19 of all levels
- students in pupil referral units
- students at risk of being excluded
If within a pupil referral unit, it is recommended the course be delivered over an academic year. Media and ICT components can also be added.
Designed and managed by Signal, this project forged a successful partnership between Beyond Knowledge, Guildford Borough and Surrey County Councils, Surrey Youth Development Service, and Ash Manor and Connaught Secondary Schools.
“The Signal team were excellent to work with. The students were so motivated with the project it was fantastic to see! Working on such a large scale has taught the students not only about this type of artwork, but about their own strengths and capabilities. It has been a great experience for all involved.” Clare Maddision, Head of Art, Ash Manor
“I have now worked with Signal Project on four separate murals… In my experience, the artists from Signal Project have been fantastic at engaging the young people in the whole process of creating these stunning pieces of public art… I would rate Signal Project as one of the best and most professional organisations offering this service.” Gareth Palmer, Youth Development Worker (Arts), Surrey Youth Service
“Thank you for such an awesome experience! I would love to do it again!” Kira, participating student
“I have learnt lots about ‘Street Art’. I gained a lot by seeing this type of art through different eyes. It was great to work with different people, knowing we would all produce one large mural at the end.” Hannah, participating student
Through workshops, small and large public murals, and an unprecedented intergenerational regeneration scheme, Signal has contributed to delivering tangible local authority outcomes, including substantial funding uplift, across a whole county.
Signal has built up a broad portfolio of over 26 projects delivered across Surrey County Council since 2004 working with diverse groups across the community. The projects include numerous one-off graffiti workshops at youth clubs, large public murals and longer term activities that gain participants GCSE equivalent qualifications.
“I am writing to say how wonderful it is to work with Signal Project Limited. The work that you carried out with the council on the Sunbury Cross project as part of the Cultural Pathfinder was excellent. The Council received national recognition for this work and it also helped support young people. I do know that one or two people went on to college to study Graphic Design. The project attracted nearly £500,000 in external funds and has certainly improved this area.
I must also say how wonderful the project in Stanwell has been. It has brought communities together and the art work is outstanding. Spelthorne Borough Council looks forward to working with you in the future.” Liz Borthwick, Assistant Chief Executive Spelthorne Borough Council
Commissioned through various council departments, our work is designed to integrate and meet the Local Area Agreement objectives of multiple agencies working in partnership across the borough.
As a result, our larger projects have been instrumental in securing investment for the area significantly above the Council’s initial outlay. Our work has proved particularly relevant in these areas: Children and Young People, Safer and Stronger Communities, and Housing, Infrastructure and Environment.
We have worked with and/or been funded by:
- Multi Agency Partnerships
- Highway and Street Maintenance
- Fear of Crime Initiatives
- Initiatives to Engage Disaffected and Vulnerable Young People
- Local Regeneration Schemes
- Secondary Education Accreditation
- Local Education Authority Initiatives
- Youth Development Services
- Environmental Planning Services
- Arts and Cultural Events
- Youth Justice Services
- Intergenerational Engagement
- Engagement Initiatives for People with Learning Difficulties
Signal’s working relationship across Surrey has continued to improve and develop over the years, with projects becoming more ambitious and more expansive. The Stanwell Project involved 900 members of the local community, and the Tongham Subway Mural was an opportunity for 16 young people to fast track through a BTEC Visual Arts equivalent to one GCSE, with a 100% pass rate!
“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. …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.” Mandie Wilde, Project Coordinator A2Dominion Group
“I have worked with Signal Project on four separate murals… the artists from Signal Project have been fantastic at engaging the young people in the whole process… The young people come away feeling excited about the new skills they have learnt.” Gareth Palmer, Youth Development Worker (Arts) Surrey Youth Service
Download this case study [PDF 480kb]
Click thumbnail to see map of Signal’s projects in Surrey:
Workshops for all ages and abilities, delivered inside or outside using a wide range of materials and techniques.
We have delivered tailored workshops for nearly everyone. For corporate away days to cub scouts to the Over 50’s Club. At prisons, schools, village halls, 5 star hotels and retirement homes. On the street, in club houses and in school playgrounds.
There is an increasing awareness that street art projects are an effective method of reaching and engaging people. They are also great community building exercises, and linked into larger projects we have involved all abilities and all ages from 5 to 95.
Our workshops include CRB checked artists and all materials required, but our services can also incorporate the following:
- Consultancy & project management
- CRB checked youth and support workers
- Spray paint free workshops
- Safety masks and protective gear
- Reference and art materials
- Fume extractor fans and outdoor shelters
- Workshops with artists in different mediums
- BTEC qualifications
- Environmentally friendly alternatives
- Documentation – film, online and stills
Workshops can be one-off, a series, or form part of a larger project, from a small mural to communitywide engagement.
Meaningful and successful inclusion is our primary concern so we create tailored workshop to suit the interests of each group. Often we are asked to think of different ways to engage people, from graffiti cake decorating to large murals. That’s fine by us, we like different.
Workshops we have run include:
- Individual name boards
- Take-home art pieces (good for everyone)
- Small murals (good for team building)
- Visual brainstorming (good for corporate away days)
- Story exchange (good for intergenerational groups)
- Wooden cut-out animals (good for primary schools)
- Customised fashion: T-shirts, baby-grows & trainers
- Customising remote control cars
- Christmas decorations – street art style
- Short film production using mobile phones
Our experience delivering series of workshops over along time scale has found that many participants put in a huge amount of work but do not receive accreditation.
To address this Signal is now working in close partnership with Education consultants Beyond Knowledge to develop tailored accredited curriculum projects around Street Art and other creative disciplines, including digital media.
Working either inside or outside school hours, we can deliver additional accreditation to the existing school curriculum, which benefits both the students and the participating schools.
Our most recent tailored accreditation was the BTEC Level 2 Visual Arts Award (equivalent to one GCSE), which was delivered to 16 art students over 40 contact hours with a 100% pass rate.
Download this information sheet [PDF 420kb]
Download our workshops FAQ [PDF 516kb]
For details of more workshops and artists we work with, see our archived website