Making our streets better for those aged 50+

Campaign message testing for Living Streets

Living Streets is a national charity that stands up for pedestrians by creating safe and attractive streets where it’s great to walk. They are involved in a two year mission to tackle barriers to walking and to deliver improvements to the walking environment. They also aim to recruit an extra 100,000 supporters aged 50+ over the next four years using high impact campaign messages. The charity commissioned Qa to help them test proposed campaign messages, images and materials with this target audience.

In particular they wanted to explore:

  • Which campaign areas mattered most to participants, from campaigns including crossings; icy pavements; and personal safety;
  • What materials and imagery would most appeal;
  • Which campaign areas would inspire participants to take action;
  • Which mechanisms for taking action would appeal;
  • Which messages and mechanisms would inspire the participants to build more walking into their day.

How we did the research

Qa moderated two focus groups held in South Yorkshire whose purpose was to identify which of the Living Streets messages and images resonated with the participants, to test the appeal of printed resources and ‘freebie’ promotional items and explore what messaging would inspire older people to become a Living Streets supporter. Researchers used particular interactive techniques such as ‘time-lines’ and asking participants to draw maps of their own area that really encouraged them to open up.

The results of the research

The results of the findings gave Livings Streets more insight into the concerns of older people and helped them to break down some of the perceived barriers to walking. They found the personal stories of some of the participants, included in the report, particularly revealing. These findings will also help Living Streets to target future campaigns of this sort, particularly with older people.

What the researcher said

Kay Silversides, Research Manager at Qa said ‘Living Streets asked Qa to carry out this research because we have lots of experience of working with older people and therefore know the most effective research methods to use to encourage participation’
For more information e-mail kay.silversides@qaresearch.co.uk or call 01904 632039