New report shows LEAP's Community Engagement programme has reached 3,058 families and 3,437 children

Community Engagement programme has reached 31% of all children living in the area of Lambeth where LEAP works.

LEAP's new learning report 'Community Engagement in a diverse inner city area' published today shows that between 2017 and 2023 LEAP’s community engagement programme delivered 1,824 events which reached 3,058 families and 3,437 children.

The main aim of LEAP’s Community Engagement programme is to connect families to the broad range of more than 20 LEAP services as well as to each other. In 2021 LEAP’s Community Engagement programme reached 31% of all children living in the LEAP area.

LEAP's data shows that one in five families whose initial contact with LEAP is through community engagement activities, then go on to use other LEAP services. Furthermore, these families engage with more LEAP services on average than families who first enter LEAP’s programme through other routes.

The learning from LEAP's work to build trust and to support local families was today shared in a webinar attended by over 100 professionals working in a wide range of roles supporting children and families.  

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.

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 (Census 2021). This area is densely populated, and comprises a diverse, culturally rich community. According to the 2021 schools census, nearly 150 different languages are spoken by Lambeth school children. 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. 

 In the area where LEAP works, in 2021: 

 41% of residents were not born in the UK. 

  • 70% of residents did not identify as white British. 
  • 88% of 5-year-olds were not identified as white British. 
  • 19% of residents had English as an additional language.  
  • 49% of 5-year-olds had English as an additional language.  
  • 47% of residents were living in social rented housing.  
  • 68% of children were living in very deprived neighbourhoods.  

From 2017 to 2023 LEAP’s community engagement programme delivered:

  • 1,824 events which reached 3,058 families and 3,437 children.
  • 29 early years forums (designated spaces for parent engagement)
  • 1,483 keeping-in-touch sessions in the community 
  • 299 one-off events – including 10 themed festivals.

In total this resulted in 36,000 attendances (this includes individuals attending multiple events) with 5.41 times being the average number of times an individual engaged with LEAP. Furthermore, 96% of parents and carers agreed (21%) or strongly agreed (75%) that their overall experience with LEAP community engagements activities was positive.

The core values which drive our community engagement work include:

- Maintaining a physical and digital presence

- Recognising parents as experts

- Investing in activities and opportunities which help to connect and build trust

- Placing partnerships at the heart

 LEAP works with and is led by families.

LEAP’s parent volunteers are known as Parent Champions.  They have supported other parents and carers, introducing them to children’s centres, LEAP services and broader early year offers. LEAP recognises parents and carers as experts, and encourages families to share their opinions, experiences, and ideas.

Collaborative partnership working with local organisations.

LEAP has partnership at the very heart of its working model. Collaborative working is particularly important in our work, including LEAP's CoCreate scheme.

Read more in LEAP’s guide Community Engagement in a diverse inner city area which includes practical examples of what has worked for LEAP.  

LEAP 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.


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