A programme of support and training to help community businesses to develop digital products and services using user-centred design processes.

Community Explore is a structured programme to support community businesses to use trusted tools and processes like user research, stakeholder engagement, idea generation and prototyping to test solution ideas.

Most recently, Community Explore was made available for all community businesses funded through Power to Change’s Discovery programme, which wrapped up in April 2024. The below feedback was received from programme participants:

“The team at CAST have been really supportive throughout this really energising and insightful project. It is so unusual for a charity like ours to have the space to think about technology and move out of our comfort zone. We have learned so much from taking time out to talk to our users, involving them in the development of a project for their benefit and understanding their needs. It’s also been great for us to go through the process of articulating the problems and challenges faced, exploring solutions and having the opportunity to test and learn, unafraid to change course where necessary. We would recommend the programme to any charity looking to develop some new tech, particularly anyone wanting to feel greater ‘ownership’ of what they are developing. We now have a clear route forward and are excited about seeing what technologies we can ‘bring to life’ for the benefit of our users. And we couldn’t have done that without this programme and the team at CAST with their invaluable resources, support, suggestions and insight. Thank you.”

“We are a grassroots community company serving Black & Minoritised Ethnic women in Lancashire. We were excited to be awarded the Discovery Fund but also apprehensive to make the most of the opportunity as we are new to community tech and digital design thinking. Working with CAST simplified everything for us making it easy to understand and encouraging us to be curious, learn, and explore if a digital solution could help our beneficiaries. It has been a fantastic learning experience for Women Rise Up and our team.” - Penelope, Director (participant)

How does it work?

The design of Community Explore evolved as we learned more about the needs and interests of those on the Discovery programme, but the initial broad overview is below.

An overview of the Community Explore programme

For more information about Community Explore, please contact [email protected].