Childrens Services in Letchworth - Our survey says...

Over the past couple of weeks I have been reviewing the results of the service user survey and have written a report on the outcomes. For easier viewing I have created an infographic at the bottom of this blog to demonstrate the responses to some of the survey questions, which can be seen below.

One of the interesting things about the responses is that only 38% of respondents accessed services at one of Letchworth’s three Children’s Centres. Perhaps many parents and carers aren’t aware that Children’s Centres run groups and activities which are usually accessed on a donation based system (usually around £1 per session). When 45% of respondents said they felt prevented from accessing services because they were too expensive - and a similar percentage of people saying that lower costs would encourage them to access more services - this figure is even more noticeably low.

Across the responses another key trend was that Letchworth residents love to use the free recreational facilities across the town – 82% said they used these facilities at least once a week. Given that this survey was conducted during June and July, this is hardly a surprise, but does show the desire amongst parents and carers to get their young children making the most of the outside provision in the town. The splash park in Howard Park certainly seemed a popular destination with respondents!

One thing that became apparent from the survey was that a lot of parents and carers found it difficult to access up-to-date information on clubs and services. Over a quarter of respondents said they didn’t think clubs and/or services were advertised well in Letchworth. The most popular source for finding information was online. From doing my own research it became apparent that information online was not always the most accurate, with clubs still being advertised even when they no longer run. The next two most popular were through word of mouth and social media. These methods do seem to offer parents/carers much more up-to-date information on what’s on offer, however they are not without their own disadvantages. This is one area where the Foundation can work with partners who provide services to improve the listings of clubs and activities – we have already fed my research back to the FamiliesFirst team at Herts County Council. There is also a round up of weekly activities produced by Letchworth’s Tourist Information Centre, which is available on our website and is published in the Comet.

In September, we’re aiming to bring back together the group of service providers who helped us with the initial stages of this project. At this meeting we will aim to review the findings of the survey and what this demonstrates about the services currently provided for in Letchworth. But we will also be looking at how the group, alongside the Foundation, can help to improve what’s on offer for parents and carers in Letchworth.

You can view the below infographic in your web browser by clicking here

Street Dance in action