collective voice

Thanks for dropping by our blog page. Our team of over 60 full-time experts use the latest thinking in behavioural design and enablement via our people-shaped methodology to Make Better Happen for individuals, organisations and communities. Our specialisms of applied behavioural insights, design through co-creation and leading-edge social marketing and engagement are at the core of all that we do. Our mission is to be part of a society that is well, confident and resilient. If we can help you take a journey to be your best self, please call us on 0845 5193 423 - our promise to you is that we never settle for second best.

How can you create a social movement of self care?

October 27, 2017 14:24

Significantly improving health outcomes and reducing premature mortality rates requires a joined up approach. Health professionals, stakeholders and citizens must work together to engage communities and make sure nobody is left behind.

According to a report by the King's Fund, individuals from lower socio-economic and educational groups are five times more likely to engage in a number of unhealthy behaviours at once such as smoking, eating takeaways, drinking alcohol and consuming ready meals.

Co-created with Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council, the borough wide ‘Health Smart’ programme focused on smoking, obesity/diet, cancer screening and improving faster access to care for people who have had a stroke in the community.

Combined with trying to manage money on a low-level fixed income, these behaviours mean making ends meet can be very challenging. We’ve found that by working together, we can help to improve the health, wellbeing and welfare of your customers whilst protecting your income.

To combat early cancer deaths, the programme aimed to increase symptom awareness, early diagnosis and screening uptake. By increasing understanding of food portioning as a tool to manage weight, the programme also aimed to reduce the increasing risk of obesity.

The development, management and execution of the Health Smart programme were based upon ICE’s people-shaped philosophy. Using insight, co-creation and engagement, we used baseline surveys to establish current levels of awareness from representatives across the borough in relation to food portions/healthy eating, signs and symptoms of cancer and signs of and response to stroke.

To increase engagement and the impact of messaging, the creative for Health Smart was co-designed with RMBC and community representatives to agree campaign identity and logo, key messages, tone of voice and design style.

Finally, the campaign embraced an asset-based community development approach – empowering and up-skilling stakeholders and ‘Champions’ to deliver face-to-face engagements, create connections using social media and traditional styles of communication, and to bring together stakeholders and support services to deliver informative and engaging interventions.

The programme covered three work streams:

  • ‘Champions’ recruitment, training and support
  • Marketing and engagement campaign
  • Full programme evaluation.

The role of the ‘Champions’ was to raise awareness of the Health Smart programme, to encourage dialogue about health topics and general wellbeing, to activate and empower the community to make positive lifestyle choices and to encourage the community to take positive action relating to their own lifestyle and health behaviours.

Health Smart Champions:

  • 71% of Champions felt either fairly or very confident to talk to people about portion size and healthy eating
  • 94% of Champions recognised the ‘ideal’ food plate unprompted
  • 70% said they felt either fairly or very confident to talk to people about the signs and symptoms of cancer
  • Majority of Champions understood and recognised the different signs and symptoms of cancer
  • 84% said they would see a GP within a week if they had concerns about a cancer sign/symptom
  • Majority of Champions understood the signs of a stroke.

The Champions reported over 2,000 local engagements at a grass root level through conversations and dialogue with people locally. In total, 17 community events were funded across the borough, resulting in a further 600 community level engagements.


At the end of the Health Smart programme, outcomes included:

  • An increase to 92% in intention to act and call 999/ambulance immediately when presented with signs and symptoms of a stroke
  • An increase to 87% in identification of the recommended healthy food plate
  • An increase of 92% in awareness of screening programmes.

To request a full case study, talk to Chris Lunn on 0845 5193 423 or at

Using storytelling to define your STP's 'why'

February 28, 2017 11:08

With STPs under increasing pressure and expectations so high, how can you capture your STP's 'why' and achieve community engagement?

As Simon Sinek says, "very few organisations know why they do what they do." When it comes to your STP, people will invest in 'why' you do what you do, not your 'how' or 'what'.

So, how do you secure the meaningful engagement that is so essential to the viability and success of your STP?

Storytelling is a proven method of achieving buy-in and ownership of an organisation's purpose and vision.

A joined up approach to engagement puts an end to silo thinking and encourages an STP that is owned by everyone at every touchpoint. By visually co-creating and defining your STP's 'why', you will create a physical visualisation that can be carried forward.

With storytelling, you can expect:

  • increased engagement and attention from audiences
  • improved memory and ownership of key concepts
  • the ability to create an instant record
  • communicate the essence of your strategy and plan to those in your network and community
  • an opportunity to communicate with attendees immediately following your co-creation event
  • freedom from taking detailed notes and reading endless documents.

A by-product of using storytelling as an involvement approach is that you can save precious resources such as time and money. Storytelling is a simple and effective way to work together to understand the needs of your communities. 

"We have worked with ICE to build a systems approach to leaders and new ways of working via a strengths-based programme for leaders, health care professionals and patients. We were attracted to ICE’s open, inclusive and co-designed approach. The work has made us take a really hard look at our espoused values and culture, and built it in a new way using metaphor and storytelling. It has been a tremendous success; work started in one trust and we are now beginning a wider rollout. We aim to maximise the effectiveness and efficiency that can come as we integrate this approach across the accountable care system." - Val McGee, Director, Wirral Community Trust

With STPs still being fairly new, the cultural shift towards making change happen can feel overwhelming. Through storytelling engagement, you will gain a true insight into what the bespoke needs are of your citizens.

Using the latest behavioural science, storytelling will:

  • Define the culture and values you will be working with as a system
  • Define the role of each player in your system
  • Realise and value the differences of all your players
  • Define what is important to your system and the people in it
  • Ensure all activity is aligned
  • Decide what to do more of and what you can gain by giving some things up.

To find out more about how to realise the full potential of your STP, talk to the ICE team today on 0845 5193 423