Young people & families in Doncaster | community



How might Doncaster Council & its partners better support young people and their families in the area?


The challenge

Doncaster Council and its partners commissioned Eclipse to illustrate the day-to-day lived experiences of a range of families and young people in Doncaster. This work is part of a broader strategy to help the Council better address the needs and priorities of the local community. 

The approach

We partnered with Renaisi to deliver user-centred, ethnographic research. We visited families in their homes to observe and explore the different spaces, people and things related to growing up and raising children in the area. Young people also used dscout, a mobile ethnography app, to upload photos and videos about the things that matter to them and the things they want in the future.

The outcome

Our research illustrated the personal experiences and priorities of a range of families. We delivered an insight report with an overview of these experiences — focusing on the strengths and challenges of existing support and services — a snapshot of individual family life, and a discussion on what this means for the Council and its partners.

Over eight weeks in March and April 2017 Eclipse conducted ethnographic, user-centred research with five families in Doncaster. The research set out to illustrate the day-to-day experiences of young people and families and to identify their priorities.

We combined both face-to-face and mobile qualitative methods to gather insights from eight young people aged 12 to 17 and their parents and carers. During two home ethnographies, we explored family environments, daily routines, experiences with local support mechanisms, and personal aspirations. 

Young people also shared photos, videos and responses through dscout, a mobile ethnography app, about the things that matter to them and about the things they want in their future. 

We found out that there is a broad range of experiences in terms of family lives, strengths, challenges and aspirations across these families—each family relying on different mechanisms to fulfil their potential and to support them toward their goals. We also discovered indications of shared strengths and challenges faced, and areas where the Council and its partners might better support local families.

The output of this work will inform the Council’s longer term plan to ‘get local’, helping the Council to identify how it can better support different families towards their goals and how it can help to enable social growth and self-determination.