USE-IT! Community Research Training at Edgbaston Reservoir

USE-IT! Project news – Community Research begins


The first free OCN (Open College Network) accredited research training took place between 6th and 7th July at the Edgbaston Watersports Centre and kick-started the training of the first cohort of USE-IT! Community Researchers.


The University of Birmingham animated this two-day training session by teaching social research methodology and sharing some action research tips with the new Community Researchers. Following a group reflection on the role of communities and the role of community research specifically, the participants have more deeply explored their research topics in groups (pictured below). They had a chance to test their self-designed interview questions with other participants. The exercise was energetically supervised by Dr Peter Lee, Dr Lisa Goodson, Dr Aleksandra Kazlowska and Dr Sara Hassan from the UoB. All the participants succeeded in obtaining the Unit 1 OCN Accreditation and are now ready to conduct interviews relating to their own topics with residents from the community.




A second level OCN accredited training will be carried out in September to analyse and reflect on the qualitative data collected by the first cohort of Community Researchers.


These interviews will be an opportunity to give a voice to the residents of Ladywood, Summerfield, Spring Hill and Cape Hill (Smetwhick) and to better understand how we can work together to unlock social and economic innovation.


There is still an opportunity to join the cohort and become a Community Researcher for the USE-IT! Project. The next free OCN accredited research training is planned for the 2nd and 3rd of August. If you want to participate or know somebody who may be interested in the programme, please contact Sara Hassan:


Our offer: We are looking for volunteer members from the communities to help identify and unlock the ideas, talents and skills of local people in the Greater Icknield area: Cape Hill (Smethwick), Ladywood, Summerfield, Spring Hill (Birmingham). The future volunteer Community Researchers will benefit from 3-levels of free accredited training in social research, on-going support and mentoring, further learning opportunities with the UoB. There also is an opportunity to earn some income once training is completed. The future volunteer Community Researchers will have a large choice of possible research topics including themes such as transport, Public Health, art and culture.