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Community engagement in a diverse inner-city area

Scalable approaches to reaching families with babies and young children.

Welcome

Lambeth Early Action Partnership (LEAP) has delivered a complex programme of community engagement in an inner-London community where 68% of children live in very deprived neighbourhoods.

This guide sets out how we developed and delivered LEAP’s community engagement programme, what we have achieved and what we learned. You’ll find practical examples and key learning points in each section. In this guide we share our learning about what did – and did not – work for LEAP.   

Lambeth Early Action Partnership is one of five local partnerships which make up A Better Start, a national ten-year (2015-2025) programme funded by the National Lottery Community Fund that aims to improve the life chances of babies, very young children, and families.

In 2021 there were approximately 64,800 people living in the LEAP area of Lambeth, of whom around 2,641 were aged under 4-years-old. This area is densely populated, and comprises a diverse, culturally rich community. Economic disadvantage impacts the lives of many. 

In the areas where LEAP works, there are greater inequalities for young children compared with the rest of Lambeth. The LEAP area stretches from Stockwell to Myatt’s Field, and through North Brixton to Tulse Hill, covering about 20% of the borough.

From 2017 to 2023 our Community Engagement team delivered 1,824 events, reaching 3,058 families and 3,437 children.

96% of parents and carers agreed (including 75% strongly agreeing) that their overall experience was positive.

We hope that our learning will be useful to others who want to effectively engage with local communities.

Tanya Spence, People in the Lead Manager, LEAP.