October 25, 2018

Communities in Control: a 3D flippable graphic narrative on health inequalities and community action

Art by Joe Decie 2018

Introducing ReOPeN, CiC’s (Communites in Control project) and Joe Decie’s collaborative work: a graphic narrative “Communites in Control” about health inequalities in England.

This graphic narrative booklet builds on communities’ stories, wonderfully drawn by Joe Decie, with scenarios and design solutions developed by Lancaster University’s academic team Emma Halliday (Health and Medicine) and Natasa Lackovic (ReOPeN, Educational Research).
The booklet contains illustrations inspired by reflections from residents and community workers attending a workshop on health inequalities held in London in March 2018. Those attending discussed the issues their communities faced such as poor access to transport or lack of community spaces, and how collective action is being taken to improve neighbourhoods through influencing change, and by creating neighbourhood spaces that promote health and wellbeing.  The event was held as part of engagement activities for the Communities in Control study (, which is led by Professor Jennie Popay, Lancaster University. 
It is being currently used by Lancaster’s PhD student Victoria Reay in a workshop with students as a part of the Open Innovation Partnership, a Cabinet Office project including Lancaster, Bath, Southampton and Warwick universities. Victoria is working with UG students to develop and propose a new policy suggestions on health inequalities to the Cabinet Office. For that, she is using different methods to help communicate this topic, including our Communities in Control booklet. We are excited that the booklet will form part of these important discussions about health inequalities at the national level, potentially even influencing policy!   
We wish to acknowledge everyone who contributed their ideas to the booklet.  The booklet has received funding from: The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care, North West Coast (NIHR CLAHRC NWC) and the NIHR School for Public Health Research (SPHR).