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.

Your Choice, Or is it?

October 11, 2019 13:35

Being overweight or obese in childhood has profound impacts on the health and life chances of our children.

Yet we live in a democracy where free choice is a democratic right and the consequences of those choices seems to be everyone responsibility!  In my view, Professor Dame Sally Davies makes the right point, we live in a society where we are (as a population) addicted to sugar, high carbohydrate diet. 

Seven months ago, I swapped to a very low sugar and carb lifestyle, (sometimes called KETO, it is similar to the 800 diet from Michael Mosley).  For the first 4-5 days I had the sweats as my body moved off the carbs and started to burn fat instead.  I have to say the change in both my weight, my mental health and general feeling of energy has remained high, I don’t even feel hungry…

I share this personal story as an empathy view. I was addicted to sugar and carbs and I wasn’t eating that much processed food.  

The facts

Consequences of childhood obesity on health

Many children who are obese or overweight suffer physical health issues, including type 2 diabetes, asthma and musculoskeletal pain, and experience mental health problems, such as depression. These affect the quality of our children’s lives, their education and their life chances. In later life, these can reduce their productivity, earnings and shorten their lives. 


The Agenda

The Government is setting out an approach to public service delivery that emphasises the power of civic society to tackle the big social challenges that we face. This approach is placing more emphasis on the need to:

1.           Realign many of the current social programmes so that they reflect the power of a ‘Society’ response to social challenges rather than a State dominated solution.

2.          Develop supportive, not coercive, approaches to better health and well-being and the appropriate use of public services.

3.          Develop approaches that maximise both choices and responsibility.

4.          Develop targeted and segmented interventions aimed at specific groups with a special focus on assisting the poor and young, and in so doing, reduce inequality.

5.          Develop approaches that demonstrate savings and value for money. They should be co-created - designed by and with the involvement of the target audiences.

It seems Dame Sally is offering a different interpretation in public space a little like the smoking ban, using what we would term a “SMACK” ( I explain this below) If you try to eat or drink unhealthy snacks on public transport you will faced some type of yet to be explained punishment,  a fine or something similar …

The Cost/Value Matrix©

The Cost/Value Matrix© is a conceptual device used by to represent four different forms of interventions that can be employed to promote change in individuals and groups:

‘Nudge’, ‘Shove’, ‘Hug’ and ‘Smack’.


Most successful social interventions use a mix of these four. It should also be noted that the four forms of intervention are not absolutely distinct.

The matrix is constructed using two axes, active and passive choosing and positive and negative enforcement. In most circumstances what is required is a mix of interventions that work on both the active system two and passive system one mindsets and encompasses both rewards and penalties. 

For more information. On the cost value matrix please get in touch with and Paula will share our full white paper.

So, what next…

I stand firmly with Dame Sally, we must take positive action in education and behaviour change for ourselves and the future generations, the human body is not designed to consume the level of sugar and carbohydrates that we as a nation consume today. The data is staring us in our faces.

What we have understood in terms of designing for behaviour change is you CANNOT fix people, it doesn’t work, we must ENABLE people, and this needs us to truly understand what is important the people who as a society we need to support to change for not only for their health but for our ability to afford to care for each other.

SO, here is my question for us all...

In terms of your weight and eating, what’s important to you?


I would love to find out

Puffell Update

August 1, 2016 12:07

Here at Puffell, we’ve recently celebrated our third birthday. Our third year began at the Health+Care conference and we were able to have so many fantastic conversations. People are becoming increasingly interested in the outcomes we can show to date, which is always exciting and encouraging.


We have reached some big milestones in the last 12 months. There are now more than 5,500 users active on Puffell, and this is increasing every single day. As the community gets larger, we are seeing more engagement across the groups.

Asthma and Viral Wheeze:

We recently launched a number of new spaces on Puffell for you all to use. The first of these was the launch of the asthma and viral wheeze space for adults and the asthma and viral wheeze space for children. Both of the spaces contain information, advice and tips about asthma and viral wheeze. It is there to help you manage your asthma and viral wheeze, allowing you to do more of what you want, when you want to do it.  


The chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) deck was our second addition in the last 12 months, offering a space for anyone with COPD to manage their long-term condition and to help keep it under control.

Both the asthma and viral wheeze and COPD spaces offer the ability to create a digital diary, as well as along for cross reference with air pollution and humidity levels. This means that you can recognise and keep track of any trends or patterns.


Our pilot for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) is now live in the Slough region. This space has been developed because young people have been waiting for long periods of time to access support. Puffell is designed to support young people whom can self manage and we are working with the CAMHS team to refer any young people who need service-based intervention.

Health Checks:

We have also had a great opportunity through the development of our digital health checks space. We are in the process of launching a dedicated health checks space where you can get your heart age and then see the impact of your day-to-day life on your heart age. We have been involved in helping to map the national strategy for health checks with Public Health England (PHE), which Puffell will support by offering a digital platform for Health Checks.


Our bespoke diabetes space is also in development and will be launched later this year. This is a great place for anyone with diabetes to track their condition, as well as writing down what their personal aspirations and goals to determine how best to achieve them.

We strive to demonstrate positive behaviour change; over the last 12 months we can demonstrate positive behaviour change on Puffell.

The above image demonstrates the behaviour change we are starting to see - over an average of 127 days, an average of 4.3 less units were consumed every day; over an average of 158 days there has been an average reduction in cigarettes smoked per day by 7.4 and over an average of 168 days, an average reduction of 3.1kg (that’s half a stone!) has been made.

As you can see, it’s been a very busy year and we hope, with you, the next 12 months brings just as much excitement!

Why not invite your friends and join in the party.

To find out more about Puffell and how it can support you, contact Stephen Theobald on 0151 647 4700 or at stephen.theobald@icecreates,com

What we're most looking forward to at this year's Health+Care

June 28, 2016 10:41

The ICE team is getting excited about attending this year’s Health+Care conference – attending sessions, meeting and talking to new and existing contacts in and around the show and on our stand F91.

Ahead of the show, here are a few of their reflections about the sessions and experiences they are looking forward to and why. What are you looking forward to? We’d love to hear!

Jane Cryer

Job at ICE: Director (Transformation and OD)

I’m really looking forward to hearing about:

  • Person-centred care because it’s want we all want, we just need to learn how to work together to make it happen


  • Systems leadership - integrating care  because it is THE challenge as health and care leaders we have to address


  • Vanguards and learning from what works in the new models of care, so we can spread and share to accelerate transformation


  • Elephant in the room because we all know it’s there, so what are we going to do? Talking and sharing would be a good start


Richard Forshaw-Smith

Job at ICE: Director (Business Development, Marketing & Engagement)

I’m looking forward to:

  • Mid Nottinghamshire Better Together Vanguard from 11:15 - 11:50 in the Local Systems Transformation stream because I'm interested in examples of best practice in system transformation


  • How the internet of things is revolutionising health and care from 10:30 - 11:00 in the Technology First stream which includes:


  • Introduction to IoTUK
  • Opportunities & challenges facing carers
  • Innovation in the care sector
  • Case studies & research

I'm interested in seeing if there is any genuinely disruptive tech that's adding value.


Carly Farley

Job at ICE: Behavioural Brand Manager

I’m most looking forward to:

Reinvestment opportunities to enhance patient care. We know the NHS has changed, and will continue to change, particularly over the next five years, so the role of pharmas in this is always an interesting view point.

Enabling change for a sustainable NHS - the role of biosimilar medicines. With the NHS being a unique healthcare system, biosimilars offer increased patient and clinician choice, and enhanced value - I’m intrigued by what other perks biosimilars can bring, and how this will affect the market, and the NHS as a whole.


Stuart Jackson - 'Stu'

Job at ICE: People, behaviours and leadership

I’m looking forward to  

I’m really excited to meet like-minded people and to find out more about what matters to you, particularly things like why you do the job you do and what excites you about it? What inspires you? And quirky things like your favourite music or flavour of ice cream. You can learn a lot from the little things :-)


Heidi King

Job at ICE: Director (Marketing and Engagement)

I’m really looking forward to conversations, sharing insights and stories around improving health and wellness outcomes and resilience for our communities. Together, we can learn what matters from each other and change lives for the better.    


Amanda Madden

Job at ICE: People, positive behaviours and living well

I am really looking forward to Health+Care and exploring the latest thinking on behavioural person-centred approaches. I really want to share and explore, especially with pharma companies, about how such approaches can support increased patient outcomes, whilst delivering on the clinical markers such as increased adherence, better condition management and improved health and wellness.


Simon Platt

Job at ICE: Senior Change Practitioner

I'm particularly looking forward to the session on the West Wakefield MCP Vanguard as I have heard they are making good progress with their model and want to see if there are easy tips others could look to adopt and adapt.

Equally, as social prescribing is something I am immensely passionate about, I will be ensuring I attend the Support for Commissioners: How can we embed Social Prescribing across the NHS. Having seen the likes of Halton Wellbeing Enterprise CIC and the VARotherham services making a positive impact on their local citizens and the health and care landscape, I am convinced there is more to be done to encourage further uptake.


Stephen Theobald

Job at ICE: Digital and Behaviour Change Specialist

I am most looking forward to the session around Technology enabled care: the national vision

I think there are endless opportunities for technology to support commissioners across health and social care and we need to start better utilising the technology at our finger tips. On a different note, and more importantly, I am looking forward to meeting all of the wonderful people throughout the show, finding out what interests and excites them.

Come and meet us on our stand with a gardening theme and find out about nurturing integrated care. We’d love to chat about your conference highlights and all things Health+Care.

We’re on stand F91 – see you there!

NHS Health Check Case Study

January 22, 2016 13:13

NHS Health Check Case Study

How to increase NHS Health Check uptake in your area 

Read more... NHS Health Check Case Study

To take advantage of our successful model and the support we can provide please see our case study or contact Graeme Morgan on 0797 357 8337 or at

NHS Vanguard sites – hold co-creative, meaningful engagement events that bring your vision, discussions and ideas to life!

January 20, 2016 09:20


Help your local health population, workforce and partners understand where you’re going – even better, take them with you!

Vanguard sites have already proven themselves by securing the opportunity to boldly implement new models of healthcare.


As the NHS looks to break the mould and deliver new services that build on the foundations laid down in the 5 Year Forward View, they will all need to connect with their local population, workforce and partners in order to secure buy-in and shape their approach. ICE can work with you to host meaningful, collaborative engagement sessions where everyone has an opportunity to share their ideas and, just as importantly, they see those ideas recorded and transformed right before their eyes.

“…I was really impressed with what he was producing…we are looking to organise a patient feedback event involving children and this type of interactive and fun recording would be perfect for it.” – Dr Avril McCarthy, MedTech Lead NIHR Devices for Dignity HTC 

When engagement techniques and their outputs fail to connect with their audience, we tend to see:

  • A lack of opportunity for citizens/staff/partners to have their say or learn from one another’s experiences
  • Alienated individuals that don’t see how they fit into the picture or how the vision will work for them
  • Wordy documents that don’t capture the buy-in or imagination of the audience

What happens if you provide a level arena for conversation and ideas to form together, along with clean questioning and vibrant visuals?

Our change practitioners will help you to tell your story with everyone in the room included, and all of it is captured onto your very own graphic visualisation by our gifted scribes.

What can our co-creative graphic visualisations give you as the hosting organisation?

  • Focused insight to unlock belief systems and create a unified energy amongst individuals

  • A visual set of iconic metaphor-centred reminders, owned by everyone who took part

  • Incredible visuals - readily available to share, promote and revisit the conversation

  • Assurance that the audience understands the purpose of your discussion and that their input feeds it's objectives

What benefits do your audience receive?

  • Captivating facilitation that drives productive conversation, whatever their learning preference or confidence.

  • They won’t feel that they are being influenced into a certain response thanks to our clean questioning approach and open discussion

  • They are more likely to buy into the ideas being discussed as they can see their input is being captured and appreciated/debated by others in the room

For more information see our Graphic Scribes Booklet and call us on 0151 647 4700 or email


Life at ICE

December 16, 2015 11:00

Those of you who are in regular contact with me will know that I have recently taken an exciting opportunity to explore a new chapter in my career. The plot remains similar as I continue with the passion I have for Health & Care, whilst growing the fascination for Organisational Development  - combining creative initiatives and innovation wherever possible.

I now find myself two months in and, at ICE Creates, my early experiences have been incredible! Allow me to shed some light on being the new guy.

First off is the fact I get to see this almost every day!

With my HQ situated on the banks of the River Mersey, I only have to lift my head above my monitor to take in the refreshing sights.

When you start at ICE, if the scenery doesn’t hit you first, the energy in the office definitely will. Like

a surge in a crowd at a rock gig, it will literally lift you and take you with it.

The team have been so welcoming and I have found it humbling to be accepted at pace into the family.

I use the word ‘family’ to its full, too. ICE has an impressive portfolio (Organisational/Leadership Development, Graphic Design, Digital, Marketing, Communications and Insights).

It can dip into craft valuable solutions, yet it does so within a relatively small, tight-knit group of people who take great pride in supporting each other.

Talking of support and family, what do you make of this year’s Christmas adverts? Good old JL set the ball in motion with ‘the man on the moon’, shortly followed by ‘Mog’ and all the others. What certainly seems to be a trend this time around is that most are trying to support a charity of some description. Now that’s very decent of them, but in my opinion, they have been slightly too whimsical in their approach to something that is in fact very real! Fortunately, many of my colleagues felt the same and we wanted to follow our thoughts up with actions.

With a relatively miniscule budget (certainly not £7million) and two mobile phones, we set about trying to show what people can achieve with small acts of kindness, closer to home, where we live. The outcome of this can be seen in the video below:

We loved every minute of making that short video, and hope others will feel compelled to complete similar acts of kindness? One friend told me she had taken a box of non-perishable food to her local sheltered home and they were delighted by such a simple yet thoughtful gesture.

So what of my first two months then? One thing is for sure thus far at ICE, no two days are the same. Opportunity is permanent and inspiration has no boundaries. I can’t sum up the excitement I have right now, but hopefully this blog is a clue. Perhaps I’ll touch base with you all in another two months, perhaps we could talk sooner…

Call me on 0151 647 4700 or Email



Health Smart Programme Case Study

December 10, 2015 16:45

Health Smart Programme Case Study

Rochdale Borough Council commissioned ICE Creates to deliver a borough wide Health Smart programme across Heywood, Middleton, Rochdale and Pennines.

The programme was set to support RMBC’s core priority in the Public Health Outcomes Framework (Domain 4) to reduce premature mortality and encompassed a Health Champions recruitment and training programme, full engagement and communications campaign and in-depth programme evalution.

Read more.... Health Smart Programme Case Study







For more information please call Paul Williams on 0151 647 4700 or email


An Engaging ICE Team Week in Tweets

November 30, 2015 17:45



Amazing feedback from local school children what helps to keep us happy and well?

BRILLIANT :) TODAY Share Your Insights


Showing His Passion for at the BRILLIANT

& at the FANTASTIC :)

Engage with The @ice_creates Team on Twitter :) #LiveWell & #MakeBetterHappen :) Case Study

November 24, 2015 15:20 Case Study




Self Care Week on Social Media

November 21, 2015 11:30

During this ‘Self Care Week’ there has been a lot of engagement on social media. I’ve liked many posts and shared blogs on wellbeing behaviours. Here is our creative motion graphic scribe video to show health insights in an engaging way, which tells the story of the large English town of Rochdale where we supported a ‘Whole Place’ approach to wellbeing and building self care and self management.




On the theme on social media and wellbeing I have been encouraging people to ‘Engage on Puffell’ - the innovative new digital wellness ecosystem at the forefront of supporting people to live well.


Self Care for Life to Live Well & Make Better Happen

To ‘Engage on Puffell’ and for more information on a ‘Whole Place’ approach to wellbeing and building self care and self management contact