This week has been full of children and parents, questions and insight, soaking up information and observing behaviours.

The rapid prototyping stage of the Knee High Challenge has definitely kicked off; we’ve had the pleasure of joining 5 teams testing their ideas so far. We have travelled to Brixton, Streatham, Clapham, Walworth and Southbank watching excitedly as teams build knowledge and networks around their projects.

Catherine mentioned this morning that being out of the office has let her reflect and again come to a realisation that some things aren’t as urgent as once thought, and that interacting with people, and seeing others about their day-to-day business helps reconnect and re-asses what is super important.

However we have been doing some exciting things in the office too. As well as creating a giant map of testing sessions across Southwark and Lambeth, we’re connecting and introducing teams to people that have got in touch and are more than willing to play a part. We have witnessed game-changing conversations between Jennie from Cook Collective, and a local Children’s Centre with experience of working with food in their community. Additionally design agency The House has joined Sally Walker on her mission to build networks of support around expectant parents and their families through an app. Collaboration is such an interesting and important element to developing new ideas, we can all to easily rely on what we already know, but bring in a new person and we are immediately challenged – which we think, is extremely valuable.

We also hosted a workshop, ran by Jake from the innovation Unit came in to share the Ethnographic research; you can read more about that here.

Ella is working with Rosie and Abdu, (members of our selection panel from the Southwark and Lambeth Public Health Directorate) to plan drop in sessions in Lambeth and Southwark Council buildings. We aim to encourage those that work within the local authorities to be excited about this work that aims to improve the health and wellbeing of under 5s and their families in the boroughs. It has always been a key aim for us to continually share our learning, and be as open about the process of this ‘Challenge’ as we can.

We would like to thank our teams for sharing this culture with us, on Monday after the workshop, many teams stuck around to share thoughts, contacts and insights. Plus, later on in the week, one team notified me of a space they had booked but could no longer use and asked me to advertise it to the other teams, the opportunity was snapped up by Ben at Pan Studio working on the Play Agency.

In other news, Ella and I met Billy McGranaghan from the charity Dads House – who could turn down the offer of Parisian frothy coffee in a café in Kensington? Billy told us more about the work Dads House do with single dads of all backgrounds, shapes and sizes in London.

The first team update blog was posted from Kids Connect, 24 more of those to come – we’re looking forward to that.

We rounded off the week by sending a visual update of all 25 teams to our selection panel.
We have lots planned next week, but let’s not wish time away, the teams now only have less than three weeks to get their next stage proposals to us.

PS: to keep even more up-to-date with Knee High happenings, follow @DCchallenges on Twitter.