Fearon Hall Social Innovation Project

A project involving Loughborough University students in developing and designing income generation projects for Fearon Hall Community Centre.

Fearon Community Association have developed a productive partnership with the Design School at Loughborough University. Over a period of 5 months, a group of MA Design students have worked together in 6 separate groups, to complete a 'social innovation' design project. The project brief was developed with Fearon Community Association and focussed on how service design for social innovation can be used to generate income for, raise awareness of, and bring visitors to, Fearon Hall, in a financially challenging climate.

In addition to the students' time spent working on the project, 5 monthly stakeholder workshop sessions were held over the duration of the project. These sessions involved the students developing and sharing their initial ideas and receiving feedback from a number of stakeholders, which included trustees of Fearon Community Association, other voluntary/community sector representatives, individuals from local businesses and representatives from Leicestershire County Council and Charnwood Borough Council.

After conducting their own research, market analysis, stakeholder engagement and focus groups, the 6 project teams refined their proposals and developed the following ideas for Fearon Hall:

1. A creative arts Ambassador programme, utilising Loughborough University students as volunteers, to design, plan and deliver creative arts events for the local community, to be held at Fearon Hall. (Project Team - Pixel)

2. A 'Plants & Pooches' activity to reduce social isolation in older people, by providing animal based therapy and opportunities to pot and grow plants. (Project Team - Lemon Tree)

3. A pop-up cinema experience targeting parents and young children, utilising the ground floor of Fearon Hall, including the existing soft play area. (Project Team - Galaxy)

4. Using the ballroom as a place for Loughborough University students to play board games, using an online booking system. (Project Team - IDEAT)

5. Using the garden and green space around Fearon Hall to run treasure hunt and 'Memory Tree' activities for children and families (and possibly schools) based around the history, heritage and nature in the area around Fearon Hall. (Project Team - Lucky Clover)

6. Developing Fearon Hall into a local music hub, utilising the ballroom as a venue for live music from local bands ('The Fearon Sessions'); developing existing rooms into a band jam room and running music lessons from the hall. (Project Team - Pineapple)

These ideas are now in the process of being considered by the management committee of Fearon Community Association, to see if any of the suggested activities are feasible, deliverable and viable.

For more information about the project, contact:

Meg Bezzano-Griffiths, Fearon Community Association

Dr Carolina Escobar-Tello, Loughborough University

Noel Singh, Leicestershire County Council

Thu, 17 May 2018