Nudges for Social Good – our behavioural insights podcast

Our Nudges for Social Good podcast explores how councils across the country are using behavioural insights to nudge their residents into different ways of living.

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Are you curious about behavioural insights? Listen and subscribe to our Nudges for Social Good podcast to hear from council officers about their pointers and practical examples on using behavioural insights techniques in various council services and pick up ideas to start your own project.

Episode 18: Merton Council – reducing vehicle idling


Miar Crutchley and Jason Andrews of Merton Council join Rhian Gladman to share the work they have been doing to improve air quality for Merton residents. They discuss how they managed to reduce vehicle idling at level crossings and how using the correct message can make all the difference. Full transcript of episode 18

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Episode 17: Newham Council – encouraging debt arrears payment and supporting residents


Katie Brunger of Newham Council joins Rhian Gladman to discuss how targeted support was used to encourage Newham residents to make payments to tackle their debt arrears and how behavioural insights trials can have sometimes have unintended consequences. Full transcript of episode 17

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Episode 16: Wirral Council – working with community champions during the COVID-19 pandemic


Nicola Jones and Rory McGill from Wirral Council join Rhian to talk about how their 'Community Champions' programme was used to encourage adherence to restrictions during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. They discuss how they organised the programme and how they engaged hard-to-reach groups – and give an overview of their findings and where the programme is headed next. Full transcript of episode 16

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Episode 15: Cheshire East Council – improving men's mental health

[Content warning: this episode contains content that some people may find upsetting; in particular, references to mental health and suicide.]

Katy Ellison and Carys Ward of Cheshire East Council discuss their behavioural insights trial addressing men’s mental health during the COVID-19 lockdowns. Katy and Carys speak about how they decided to tackle this issue and what effects the trial has had on men’s mental health in their local area, sharing advice for other councils who may be interested in starting a behavioural insights trial. Full transcript of episode 15

Cheshire East Council's visual assets (posters) discussed in this episode: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12

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Episode 14: North east London council consortium

(including the London Boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Hackney, Havering, Newham, Redbridge, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest, and the City of London)

Rhian Gladman is joined by Vickie Rowland, former public health practitioner at the London Borough of Havering, and Stéphanie Renucci, managing director and founder of insight and innovation agency UNPITCHD, to discuss how a group of councils in north east London used behavioural insights to address local health inequalities – by increasing the uptake of health checks offered by the NHS. Full transcript of episode 14

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Episode 13: Yorkshire and Humber council consortium

(including City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council, Doncaster Council, North East Lincolnshire Council, North Yorkshire County Council, Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council and Sheffield City Council with Sheffield Hallam University)

Rhian Gladman is joined by the Public Health Lead at Doncaster Council, Caroline Temperton, and Professor of Health Psychology and Director of the Centre for Behavioural Science and Applied Psychology at Sheffield Hallam University, Maddy Arden. In this episode Rhian, Caroline and Maddy discuss how they pulled together a consortium of different councils in the Yorkshire and Humber area and how this consortium worked to increase active travel in the region. Full transcript of episode 13

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Episode 12: Rossendale Leisure Trust


Systems and lives meet often but what more can councils and public sector bodies do to provide a holistic support to help people through these moments? Ken Masser discusses the work carried out by Rossendale Leisure Trust to apply behavioural insights to systems, drawing on examples of supporting long term unemployed, embedding physical activity across the school curriculum and supporting wellbeing for new parents. He shares how bringing different voices into the room, and facilitating time for public sector officers to carry out reviews can create change in systems and improve wellbeing at key life stages and in moments of change. Read the full transcript of the Rossendale Leisure Trust episode.

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Episode 11: Wolverhampton Council


Shanara Abdin, Behavioural Science Specialist in the Public Health department at Wolverhampton Council and Michael Salmon, Head of Insight Health and Wellbeing at Active Black Country, join Rhian Gladman to discuss their behavioural insights trial, WV Gets Active. This trial was delivered in partnership to increase physical activity levels amongst low socioeconomic and inactive residents in Wolverhampton. They discuss the impact of delivering this trial during the COVID-19 pandemic and how the insights from this trial will be expanded upon to continue to deliver targeted interventions to increase physical activity levels in the area. Read the full transcript of the Wolverhampton Council episode.

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Episode 10: Sandwell Council


Chitra Roberts, Behavioural Insight and Marketing Project Manager at Sandwell Council joins Rhian Gladman for this Nudges for Social Good episode to discuss her work in the public health team to increase the uptake of the COVID-19 vaccination in the working age population in Sandwell, using behavioural science techniques. Chitra shares insights into how they have used an online survey platform to share behaviourally framed messages to allay some of the main concerns around vaccine hesitancy and encourage those who have taken the vaccine to become vaccine advocates. Read the full transcript of the Sandwell Council episode.

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Episode 9: Barking and Dagenham Council


In this episode of the Nudges for Social Good podcast series Rhian Gladman is joined by Tim Pearse, Behavioural Science and Service Design Lead at London Borough of Barking and Dagenham. Building on the insights shared in the first episode of the podcast series, Tim shares updates on how the council is using behavioural insights to deliver debt support to local residents to encourage payment of council tax through the council’s community solutions service. Read the full transcript of the Barking and Dagenham Council episode.

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Episode 8: New Forest District Council


Nicola Plummer, Performance and Projects Officer in the Operations team at New Forest District Council joins Rhian Gladman in this episode of the Nudges for Social Good Podcast to discuss the delivery of their LGA Behavioural Insights project. Building on initial research that they had done before the Pandemic to clear verge side waste from vehicles, the team used the adaptable framework from this research to target a new form of coastal littering that had emerged as a key challenge during the Pandemic. Nicola shares insights about the interventions that were put into place including the provision of disposable bags to encourage polite litterers to take their waste home and their comms campaign, ‘crabby crab’ to spread the message as well as key takeaways from the project. Read the full transcript of the New Forest District Council episode.

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Episode 7: North Yorkshire County Council


In this episode, Ruth Little, School Readiness Coordinator at North Yorkshire County Council, speaks to Rhian Gladman about the delivery of their LGA Behavioural Insights project. The team originally focused on school readiness and due to the pandemic pivoted to encourage community activity to support neighbours and residents along with helping staff with wellbeing and agile working in the pandemic. Ruth shares her experience from the start of the pandemic and how working with community groups and staff needed robust information and engagement practices to continue the delivery of the pilot under a dynamic and pressured environment. Due to sound quality issues please feel free to use the full transcript of the North Yorkshire podcast.

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Episode 6: Knowsley Council


Dave Tyrrell from Knowsley Council joins us for this episode to discuss his work with the LGA to deliver a twelve week free trial to improve understanding of assistive technology solutions and encourage increased take up. Dave provides insights into how behaviour change techniques helped residents build understanding and confidence to engage with this service area that ultimately led to a staggering 27 per cent rise in installation figures. Read the full transcript of the Knowsley Council podcast.

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Episode 5: Behavioural Insights Team


Hazel Wright from the Behavioural Insights Team joins us for this episode of Nudges for Social Good. Hazel and her team work extensively with councils across the UK to embed the use of behavioural science. This episode explores how a busy councillor or local government officer could initiate a project with guidance on the key stages of delivering a behavioural change project. Read the full transcript of the Behavioural Insights Team podcast.

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Episode 4: North East Lincolnshire Council


In this episode, Claire Thompson, Community Insights and Marketing Manager at North East Lincolnshire Council, discusses the process of delivering their LGA project aimed at improving cancer screening rates to prevent late diagnosis in residents. Claire also shares insight into how covid-19 has impacted the public health sector in Lincolnshire and how they responded to the challenges of covid through partnership working and establishing extensive communication networks across public sector health bodies. Read the full transcript of the North East Lincolnshire podcast.

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Episode 3: Hertfordshire County Council


Jim McManus, Director of Public Health and Michelle Constable, Head of the Behaviour Change Unit, talk about a project aimed at getting council staff moving - quite literally. Calorie labelling the stairs and footprints on the floor leading to the stairs resulted in nudging 20 per cent of council staff out of using lifts. The pair also speak about their programme called “It is never too late to be active” which is aimed at older adults. Read the full transcript of the Hertfordshire podcast.

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Episode 2: Liverpool City Council


Liverpool City Council was one of the first councils to trial an innovation project under the LGA Behavioural Insights Programme. In the podcast, Sue Cummings, Head of Behavioural Insights and Change, explains Liverpool’s approach to tackling childhood obesity through a successful project to reduce sales of high sugar fizzy drinks using a different type of signage. Read the full transcript of the Liverpool City Council podcast.

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Episode 1: London Borough of Barking and Dagenham


In the inaugural episode, Tim Pearse, Behavioural Science Lead at Barking and Dagenham, shares his insights about an LGA project aimed at helping more domestic abuse victims access support in Kent, and a successful project in Barking and Dagenham which prevents residents from falling into rent arrears by using text messages to outline available council support. Read the full transcript of the Barking and Dagenham podcast.

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Do you have a story you would like to share? Please email [email protected]

We look forward to hearing and sharing more behaviour change success stories with local government, by local government.