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Innovating Islington!

There is something quite magical about the word ‘innovation’

Innovation can evoke the enormous potential of ground-breaking ideas, unlimited creativity, and previously unexplored opportunities. And yet sometimes, the magic lies in its simplicity; merely requiring you to look at a challenge from a different perspective, rather than redesigning the wheel. The Parent House in Islington opens doors to greater opportunities for parents. Their parent mentoring scheme is a valuable resource for parents in Islington, that goes hand in hand with Save the Children’s UK mission.

Save the Children’s UK work champions parents as their child’s first educator and works collaboratively with families through programmes and campaigns, that ensure all parents have access to resources, services and guidance that allow them to support their children’s learning and development.

The Parent House set Save the Children a challenge to help increase the number of parent mentees signing up for their mentoring scheme. This was an exciting opportunity to support the community by exploring how to strengthen engagement with this programme.

The project followed the Double Diamond design process which works through four distinct phases: discover, define, develop, and deliver.

  • Discover: the expertise of The Parent House staff was key to understand the context and to identify and define the different challenges that had arisen within the scheme. Most importantly, hearing from parents about their motivations and experiences as mentees and mentors was critical to grasping the scheme’s impact.
  • Define: all the information was analysed and distilled into four distinct project options, with rough prototypes created for each. A focus group with parent mentees/mentors established which option they felt would have the most impact on increasing the number of mentees; a fresh range of materials to promote the scheme, that could be used as flyers, posters, or online.
  • Develop: the materials were developed iteratively, getting feedback from parents and The Parent House at each stage of the design, including content, layout, and photoshoots for new headshots. Transcripts from the focus group discussions were used so that parents’ voices and quotes were directly incorporated into the messaging.
  • Deliver: At the final stage, the materials were proofed, tweaked, and signed off by parents and The Parent House. The printed copies were delivered just in time for a round of recruitment for the mentoring scheme.

Through shifting the perspective to place the experiences of parents at the heart of the innovation process, their motivations and experiences were embedded into the new marketing materials. This way of approaching the challenge set by The Parent House echoes the organisation’s ethos of empowering parents to be directly involved in initiatives affecting them. It ultimately leads to positive, long-lasting relationships, and sustainable change for those parents and their children.

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