User Research with Keep Tidy Volunteers Part 3 - The Results


The Service Design team have spent the last few weeks collaborating with colleagues in Environment and Volunteers from across the borough. After many hours of research and feedback 2 forms have been designed and built on our Digital Customer Portal.

Both forms have been trialled and tested by the volunteers we have been engaging with and iterations have been made based on the feedback they have given us.

Reporting bags for removal

Volunteers can now report both red and clear bags that they have collected and left out for Street Cleansing operatives to pick up. These are currently reported in various ways such as emails and on Facebook however as this isn’t the official way to report sometimes these reports can get missed and the bags may remain there for a few days.

Volunteers now have an official route to report these in to the Council and can do this while they are out and about.

Community Clean Ups

Dirty back alley
Back alley after community clean up

BwD are extremely grateful for the work our volunteers do to keep our streets tidy and a community clean up massively helps with this. The amount of waste that can get collected at these events can on occasion mean that we have to put a stop to some services in order to collect and clear these areas. It is always better that our Environment department know in advance of a community clear up so we can plan ahead from this.

Volunteers can now tell us in advance when they are planning events and we can provide equipment on loan and leaflets to distribute in the area. Working together with our Volunteers on community clear ups will ensure we can make these events as successful as possible.

Interactive web pages

It was clear from initial conversations that the Keep Tidy web pages on the BwD website weren’t engaging and required more guidance and educational detail to assist our volunteers in the do’s and don’ts of volunteer litter picking.  The Service Designers worked with our Educational Environment Officer, BwD’s Content Designer and of course our volunteers, to design and create a more interactive set of webpages that gives relevant information and show cases the work that goes on by the approximately 2000 volunteers we now have.

The new online forms and links to various Facebook group pages can also be found here.

Keep It Tidy volunteers | Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council

What’s next

The journey doesn’t end there though … we will be engaging with volunteers next month to find out how the new forms are working for them, iterating as required, and reporting the value that this user research approach has brought to both volunteers and us as a Council. The team can’t wait to roll out this approach to more services in the forthcoming months.


User research

By Joanne on 12th Jul 2021
Lead Service Designer in Digital & Business Change