Oldham Council – Engaging Communities

“Put simply, Street Wisdom is a bit of a game-changer. We have used Street Wisdom to help people connect with their local area in new ways, discovering the hidden stories that exist in every street. Over 70 people have wandered the borough, sharing their experiences and finding solutions to the challenges facing them in their daily lives. Would I recommend Street Wisdom? Absolutely!”

Jonathan Downs, Principal Policy Officer, Oldham Council

What our client needed

Oldham is a Co-operative Council six years into their journey. A key part of the co-operative approach is working with residents to build a new relationship by tapping into community spirit and inspiring residents to get involved in local decision-making. They were looking for an innovative tool to encourage residents, councillors and staff to see Oldham differently and connect with it in a new way.

How we responded

The Street Wisdom team, led by locally-based Street Wizard Kev Wyke, ran a number of events for local councillors, council staff and most importantly, local residents. Over 70 people have attended events so far. We also participated in the Oldham Festival EPIC talks – a series of TED-like talks aiming to inform, engage and inspire residents around Oldham’s co-operative approach.

And the results were…

Street Wisdom is now being regularly used in Oldham, helping residents and staff to think differently about the place they live and work. In Oldham, Street Wisdom is not just about helping people think differently for a few hours, it’s about helping people shift their thinking, so they can start to engage with where they live in a whole new way. We continue to work with them to find new ways to engage their local communities and embed Street Wisdom into the local area.

“I found the activity a very personal experience with a touch of emotion. The activity was a unique opportunity to reflect on the work life balance as a full-time working parent.“ Participant

“The activity provided the space for reflection and a tool to manage head space in the future. In a period of uncertainty for many council workers, the activity offered an opportunity to reflect on options that are open to us as individuals.” Participant

“The activity enables Oldham to be seen in a positive way and be proud of the town where we live and work.” Participant

“Mindblowing experience. Thoroughly enjoyed. Apprehensive at first. Opened my eyes and ears to things around me. It was great to focus on the world around me and take in some of the inspirational signs to assist with my thoughts for the future. Would love to have a staff day or undertake this again myself. Fantastic opportunity – highly recommended.” Participant