Collaborating with The People Speak to connect people to discuss health and community issues in Southwark

  • Chris Hayes

The People Speak (TPS) is a group of international artists based in London. TPS has 25 years of expertise in helping people understand each other and collectively process the world’s complexity. The team creates fun, interactive, participatory formats and interventions in the UK and abroad, articulating collective imagination, informing public decision-making and deepening connections between diverse groups of people. (Picture Credit: The People Speak)

The team regularly facilitate community conversations using their flagship format Talkaoke – the interactive talk show to gather insights about the topics and issues that matter to people.
We are really pleased to continue our collaboration with The People Speak, providing research and solutions journalism, building on recent project work.

This summer, Southwark Creative Health & Wellbeing Partnership (SCHWeP) funded TPS’s proposal to deliver two successful public Talkaoke sessions in Southwark to facilitate community conversations and hear people’s thoughts and reflections about healthy lives, community, the pandemic and vaccine hesitancy. These were delivered in partnership with Peckham Platform, a local creative and educational charity, and Walworth Living Room, a multi-use community space and café, to help the organisations bring people together in their local communities.

We provided an additional layer of research support by:

  • Designing and delivering wrap-around research and evaluation activity
  • Facilitating short vox-pop conversations with people after they participated in Talkaoke for deeper insight into the funder’s questions and topics
  • 1:1 conversations with project partners to understand learning and impact
  • Evaluating the impact of the events and pulling together findings

We are grateful to Huda Awan for providing additional research support to this project.
Talkaoke: ‘What’s Up Peckham?’ was held on Saturday, 17 June, from 1 to 5 pm in Peckham Square. See here for the video and here for the photos.

A Healthy Exchange x Talkaoke was held on Friday, 21 June, from 1 to 5pm at Walworth Living Room as part of their ‘A Healthy Exchange’ event, an afternoon for people to exchange ideas on health, wellbeing and how to support one another to heal as a community.

Through the sessions, people connected with others they might not normally meet, discussing issues and building friendships. The People Speak has built close and collaborative working relationships with their community partners, helping them to better understand the issues that matter to their local communities and building their interest in Talkaoke facilitation skills.