Can empowering volunteers make their community more breast aware?
Uscreates worked with NHS Gloucestershire, the University of the West of England and local women to increase awareness and checking in Stroud district, Gloucestershire. ‘Painting Stroud Pink’ made the most of local networks and organisations, mobilising over 30 volunteers in a co-created campaign that was owned by the community.
“From day one, the Uscreates team picked up the project and ran with it. We particularly appreciated their proactivity, creativity and skill in engaging local volunteers. They invested time in getting to know the local community and this contributed greatly to the success of the project. "
Social Marketing Manager, NHS Gloucestershire
Volunteers formed teams and co-created local action plans with Uscreates and the NHS. Local charity Cobalt trained them in breast cancer awareness and built confidence to approach people about it.
‘Painting Stroud Pink’ hit the streets in May and June, driven by an exciting variety of volunteer-led events. These ranged from informal chats with friends to large community gatherings with music, to a tea event with the local Women’s Institute. Volunteers were always on-hand to offer support and information. Collectively, they spoke to at least 800 people face-to-face, distributed well over 3,000 leaflets and got over 150 local businesses involved in the campaign.
The campaign demonstrated that talking to people can have an immediate impact on their confidence and intentions. One woman told volunteers, ’You’ve made me want to go home and check tonight!’.
Results included a 20% increase in women reporting exposure to breast awareness messages at community events, and a 10% increase in the number of women able to name three symptoms. The campaign was also picked up by the national media when the Guardian covered it.
Crucially, the volunteers are continuing the good work in Stroud. A recent meeting confirmed that they are already gearing up for this year’s events. One said that she and a group of others will continue to support the campaign: “We made a timeline for next year, we know when we’re doing it, we know what we’re doing, we know what we need.”
See a summary film featuring the volunteers here
Read a case study by the University of the West of England here
Read about the project in the Gloucestershire Gazette
Read about the project in Stroud News & Journal
Read about the Stonehouse Women’s Institute event here
Check out some more photos here