Bromley by Bow Community Engagement and Citizen Science


Community research for Bromley by Bow means working together with local residents, to design, explore and analyse research questions together. The team investigates questions related to health and happiness that are important for the local community often with a place-based and asset-based lens.

Our experienced social researchers recruit and train local members of the community to conduct primary qualitative research from study design through to sharing findings, with strong support and guidance. The team develops bespoke and creative methods and accessible language to amplify the local voice from multiple angles e.g. photos that represent peer support, art that illustrates important features of ideal local surroundings for children. During the pandemic the team has successfully transitioned into delivering digital research methods.

We work independently and often in partnership e.g. with University College London and City universities. We have been funded by a range of bodies, including Wellcome and the Health Foundation.

Our work

‘What makes the best start in life for Tower Hamlets’ Families?’, 2021

Bromley by Bow’s new research identifies ‘What makes the best start in life for Tower Hamlets’ Families?’ and we have set our commitment in the ‘Bromley by Bow Families Action Plan’. This new report heralds a fresh approach to commissioning, research and action. We urge anyone working in this space to read and formulate a response. We are open to doing this together.

Study the report here

Learn more about our research here.

Spaces for wellbeing The intersection of the home inside and outside, 2021

The Bromley by Bow Centre’s community research with local families in Tower Hamlets shows how families’ space, inside and outside the home, is both enabling and preventing children’s wellbeing, and much needed improvements can and need to be made. Environment and space is a major theme coming out of our research ‘What makes the best start in life for children in Tower Hamlets?’. This is a major step in filling a gap in evidence to enable change.

We urge anyone working in this space to read and formulate a response. We are open to doing this together.

Study the report here

Learn more about our research here.

Rapid Response Social Prescribing service, 2021

Bromley by Bow’s new research measures the change made by our new Rapid Response Social Prescribing service using our new people focused approach to outcome measurement.

Since July 2020, through proactive outreach 435 clients in crisis have been referred for the social, emotional and practical support provided by the service. On average, clients scored their wellbeing at a low 2.7 out of 10. Putting this into context, a mean score of 6.9 was provided by the general population of Great Britain for the same period[1].

One client said:

I feel like Rapid Response Social Prescribing has saved my life – before, I was feeling very low to the point where I wanted to end things’.

Study the report here

Learn more about our research here.

We will be launching a number of studies over the coming months. Please stay in touch with Bromley by Bow Insights.

[1] Office for National Statistics Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (OPN):

ActEarly, 2020

This research, delivered in partnership with UCL, the London team of the ActEarly Prevention Research Partnership, is exploring what makes the best start in life for local children.

Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, we have engaged more than 500 families by integrating online and offline methods within social distancing rules, to reach and support as many families as possible. This includes sharing summer play packs, facilitating art workshops for children to build a “Best Start Village” and online support in our Family Playrooms Facebook group and website. we are now exploring the themes generated through their participation in 20 in-depth online interviews. We are planning a series of sharing workshops in the New Year.

When & where?

Access the online Family Playrooms here and view more resources and our reports here

Who is it for?

Parents with children up to 11 years old

07751 662497

Get involved

Working in partnership with the London team of the ActEarly Prevention Research Partnership and the Bromley by Bow Insights team, we will be working with our community to find out more about:

  • Healthy Places – our physical environment and how our community connects to each other
  • Healthy Livelihoods – employment opportunities for families in Tower Hamlets
  • Healthy Learning – particularly early learning in children’s centres and schools

We will be running creative events throughout the year with the aim to understand the priorities of our local community, particularly families.

Read the interim report here: What Makes the Best Start In Life Interim Report 010121


Unleashing Health Communities, 2016-2018

Unleashing Healthy Communities Summary Report Image Unleashing Healthy Communities cover image

In the summer of 2018, we published the results of our research project, Unleashing Healthy Communities. Two years of embedded research across the Bromley by Bow Centre and Health Partnership has:

  • Worked with staff and community members in creative and participatory ways
  • Investigated the Bromley by Bow model, through building a bank of stories and experience of living and working at Bromley by Bow
  • Explored what our community valued and ways to build health in a community
  • Provided a set of aspirational outcomes to help Bromley by Bow tell its story and measure its impact

Read the summary report here,  full report here and the research methods here.


Community in the Making, 2016-2018

Community in the making flyer image

As part of the Unleashing Healthy Communities study, members of the community were asked in “pop-up stalls” “what makes the ingredients of a good life?” Community in the Making was a six-week collective analysis study including creative workshops with residents to exploring themes arising from the main Unleashing Healthy Communities study: work, environment, home and relationships. Members of the workshops created poetry and sculpted objects whilst considering these themes in their own lives, finally designing an event to share these thoughts and reflections with others and invite the community into this conversation.

Read our Community in the Making booklet here.


Our team

  • Catherine Godward, Research and Evaluation Manager
  • Mandy Harrilal, Community Engagement Lead
  • Naomi Mead, Research and Evaluation Coordinator
  • Sophie Imber, Evaluation Coordinator
  • Kelda Holmes, Community Researcher
  • Pratima Singh, Community Researcher