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Case Study: Local Authority: Derbyshire County Council

Charity Shop DJ Presents House Party

Name of Project: House Party 2012

Client: Derbyshire County Council


Project Summary:

Derbyshire County Council is committed to promoting positive outcomes for children in its care and aims to use Social Pedagogy as a fundamental part of training for all those working in children’s services. Social Pedagogy is all about how people can learn together, work as a team and as a family to provide care for young people.

Charity Shop DJ was commissioned by the Council to create a flagship event to celebrate its vision for children in care in the County and to launch its ‘Uni-Fi’ programme. ‘Uni-Fi’ showcases Derbyshire's commitment to inspire, lead and innovate through creative collaboration with young people and the social care workforce.

House Party was two celebratory events held at the Derbyshire Eco Centre to profile young people’s creative achievement. One of these was a ticketed event, delivered to the public as part of the 2012 Wirksworth Festival.

The programme, environment and ambience for the events was created by young people from Derbyshire Care Homes, enabled through a family learning programme throughout summer 2012.

The event featured music and performance powered by a bicycle generator.

Through the House Party project, Derbyshire County Council demonstrated its commitment to improving social and educational outcomes, as well as raising levels of aspiration of children in care through an increased opportunity to engage in enjoyable and inspiring activity.

The project was funded by Derbyshire County Council and Uni-fi.


Our Project Brief
  • To provide a creative vehicle and showcase for Derbyshire County Council’s Social Pedagogy programme
  • To deliver a high profile, inspirational, professional quality event which would help increase the aspirations of young people
  • To Act as Creative Directors for the events from planning to delivery in liaison with Derbyshire County Council and its delivery partners
  • To increase footfall to Derbyshire Eco Centre and to broaden demographic of visitors


Charity Shop DJ Presents House Party
Our Main Aims
  • To engender a sense of ownership of the event by encouraging young people to take on leadership roles in planning the party
  • To create a tangible focus for learning programme outcomes

Our Process
  • Charity Shop DJ involved on a strategic level from project inception
  • Project concepts devised and communicated by us via a process of consultation with participating young people: they told us what they would like to see at their party and what the idea of ‘Home’ meant to them
  • ‘House Party’ concept created as tangible focus for ideas, workshop content and workshop outcomes – all devised under the direction of the young people
  • Bringing together all outputs to create the structure of a party: programming and delivering the event in partnership with venue staff and production personnel
Charity Shop DJ Presents House Party


Project Results
  • High level of engagement in workshops and party: 75% attendance. This was considered to be good for family learning activity, particularly given that activity was aimed at a most vulnerable group
  • The creation of a transferable methodology and aspirations to stage a Uni-fi Learning Festival
  • Empowerment of young people in the care system through the creation of new opportunities and a sense of ownership of the event: One young person asked "you are coming to my house party tonight aren't you?” showing clear ‘ownership of House Party concept and process
  • One of care homes now has DJ decks and residents are planning to put on their own House Party
  • A sell-out event, which attracted all ages into an immersive party environment. Venue would now like to put on more public commercial events in future, for which there is proven demand
  • Anecdotal evidence shows that people enrolled on courses offered by the venue as a result of attending the events
Charity Shop DJ Presents House Party

How 'House Party' Achieved Derbyshire County Council's Objectives
  • Showcase event for Derby County Council and Uni-fi stakeholders to pave way for future work in this area
  • Increased footfall and broadening of audience demographic for venue
  • The project and event demonstrated the power of creative, inclusive learning as a means to support positive self-image and aspiration of children in care to be the best they can be.



‘I’ve enjoyed everything … I made what I wanted to make’ [Project Participant on making décor for the party]

‘He said we were quite good so we just carried on doing it and he just left us in charge’ [Project Participant on being a DJ]

‘Their self esteem has definitely gone up because they have been able to create something and be part of something and realise something they probably thought they’d never be able to do’ [Christine Hayward, Project Co-ordinator]


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Here are two films about Social Pedagogy and the 'House Party' project, both made by Gavin Repton

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