Consulting the public on how to tackle and reduce obesity in Wales

Freshwater was awarded a contract from the Welsh Government to organise a series of public consultation events to gather qualitative feedback on proposals to prevent and reduce obesity in Wales.

Freshwater created a strategic engagement plan, and was responsible for managing all pre-event logisitics for the Healthy Weight: Healthy Wales programme. We also managed activity on the ground at 44 events across the country, helping to communicate vital health information to the general public and harness their feedback, with responsibility for evaluating the results.



engagement events delivered across Wales


impressions from digital advertising


responses collected

Freshwater’s brief was to engage members of the Welsh public and secure feedback on ways to prevent and reduce obesity, tabled by the Welsh Government. The consultation events needed to provide accessible opportunities, across Wales, for the public to learn more, get involved, suggest new ideas and provide feedback. They needed to be engaging, reach a representative cross-section of the Welsh public – including classically ‘hard to reach’ audiences – and be delivered in just 12 weeks.

We developed an engagement plan that identified suitable, accessible locations with high footfall in the North, Mid, South East and South West of Wales. We also produced an integrated communications strategy to raise awareness of the events, and motivate people to take part.

Pre-event marketing tactics included: Facebook advertising and localised media relations to promote each launch; a programme of print advertising placed in regional media titles; and organic social media content for the Welsh Government to share through its own channels.

Case studies were identified and filmed to create a series of videos showcasing examples of successful Welsh Government projects, and bring the issues and ideas being discussed to life. Full length videos were shown at events, with shorter edits adding rich content to the social media campaign. Freshwater also distributed four emailers for key stakeholders within the health and social care sector, across the four regions of Wales.

Forty four events took place across four ‘engagement weeks’ between January and March, with Freshwater responsible for all pre-event and at-event management. We coordinated four official launches – one in each of the target regions – as well as four focus groups, 12 public information sessions, nine high footfall activities and 15 deliberative events.

As part of this, we engaged and partnered with a number of local community groups to join their sessions, and open the floor to discussions about the consultation. We also worked with administrative staff at universities, colleges, shopping centres and town centres to arrange a time for us to visit the high footfall locations and speak with the public.

Evaluation played a core role thorough the programme of work. We provided an analysis of each of the four regional engagement weeks of the consultation, and delivered a comprehensive final report of all findings to the Welsh Government team. Reports included an analysis of common themes and topics of conversation across the different events, as well as any unique or unusual comments that were made by respondents during the engagement period.

Social media advertising generated over 1.14 million impressions. Four emailers were distributed to 1,299 people, achieving an average open rate of 25% and an 11% click through rate. Print advertising generated an additional 203,532 opportunities to see.

Freshwater collated 788 informal consultation responses (including verbal conversations with the public, written comment cards and other written submissions), distributed 250 consultation documents and 473 consultation leaflets to the public, signposting respondents to the full consultation website. The findings informed the development of the Welsh Government’s final strategy and delivery plan.


Welsh Government: Healthy Weight, Healthy Wales

Related services

    • Stakeholder Engagement
    • Engagement & Consultation
    • Social Media Marketing
    • Digital Marketing
    • Advertising
    • Design
    • Content Marketing
    • Video Production
    • Public Relations


    • Public Sector