Community engagement for the Campus for Ageing and Vitality

Communication strategy for global centre of excellence on healthy ageing


The Campus for Ageing and Vitality is aiming to create the world’s premier centre for healthy ageing and living.

The Campus for Ageing and Vitality is a development on the former site of Newcastle General Hospital.

It brings together experts dedicated to improving health care for older people. This includes academics, healthcare professionals, the voluntary sector, business activities, and the public.

The vision for the Campus is become a global centre for excellence in research into healthy ageing and addressing health inequalities in an ageing society. This is shared by the university and its development partners, including Newcastle City Council’s Adult Social Care services, Newcastle Hospitals Trust, and the National Innovation Centre for Ageing (NICA).

Community engagement is key to the successful development and realisation of this vision, and to the future operation of the Campus.

Urban Foresight was awarded a contract to develop a community engagement strategy and action plan for the Campus. This involves developing a detailed blueprint for rich and sustained community engagement and a roadmap for effective communication to promote the Campus’s initiatives.

Our remit was to ensure that the redevelopment is rooted in the needs of the local community. The site is in Newcastle’s West End, an area typified by cultural diversity, economic inequality, and their associated challenges.

We designed a programme for delivering a robust, sustainable strategy for community engagement in four stages:

  1. Discover: Learning about the needs of CAV through a gap analysis of existing feedback and a review of best practice in longitudinal, observational community engagement methods.
  2. Define: Refining the requirements, guiding principles and audience of the CAV’s community engagement by identifying the priorities for engagement through a focus group with stakeholders, which will then be ratified with other focussed community outreach activities, including a community survey.
  3. Develop: Reflect on the Discover and Define outputs to identify a longlist of future methods of engagement that meet the guiding principles, align with best practice, and are practicable.
  4. Deliver: Produce an engaging and accessible community engagement strategy and action plan that is fully costed and accompanied by the results of our community engagement to date.

In designing our approach, we were conscious to incorporate the needs of multiple stakeholders. With a local office in Newcastle, the project provided an opportunity for the Urban Foresight team to work with our local community to ensure that changes to the built environment and services are suitable for their needs.


Image credit: Newcastle University