During the Leapfrog Major Project, ‘Working with Young People’ we have worked with engagement experts at Lancaster City Council and young people in care to co-design eight tools; Word Play, Right Ideas, Everybody, BADGE, Target Control, Topic Tally, Storyboard Contract and Sound Advice. All of these tools can help translate information and ideas between young people and adults in different ways.
We held a large, interactive tool sharing event at Lancaster University to close the project and share the tools that have been co-designed since we started in August 2015. It was fantastic to share ideas with over 50 engagement professionals from various organisations and councils, which included Lancashire City Council, Blackburn with Darwen Council, Trafford Council, Barnados, Fylde Coast YMCA, The Arts Council, The V&A, Young Scot and Lancashire Boys and Girls Clubs. It was also great to see some of our partners who helped to scope and co-design the tools, including Helen Ryan and Charlie Bealey from Lancaster City Council, Gavin Redhead from Blackburn with Darwen Council, Dee Hennessy who facilitated the workshops with the young people and Jo Bambrough from Lancashire County Council Youth Services who attended with two young people from Carnforth High School and Lancaster Girls Grammar School.
Leapfrog shared some insights from the project co-design experience and we introduced three categories for the tools –
Authentic Voices – BADGE, Sound Advice, Right Ideas
Sharing Ideas – Slide Together, Everybody, Word Play
Control in Meetings – Storyboard Contract, Target Control, Topic Tally
We then launched into three rounds of tool exploration and adaption in groups, following by quick feedback on the emerging ideas. We used the Slide Together digital tool on iPads to ask everyone how they would creatively use one of the tools and then vote on which they thought were the best ideas. The two more popular ideas were the use of Slide Together to help non-verbal children communicate how they feel and using Target Control to help young people who chair their review meetings have more control.
To conclude the event, we gave a quick explanation of our evaluation process, the Facebook community and we revealed The Inspirer tool newspaper to everyone and presented everyone with a copy to take away. The Inspirer is a newspaper Leapfrog has produced that contains all of the tools co-designed by the young people, which are ready to use, pull out and share.
The team are currently looking through the vast amount of ideas for use and adaptation produced by the group in the event, which will be shared within the network and on our Facebook community. In a couple of weeks we will be presenting the young co-designers with the Inspirer newspaper and we will be disseminating the newspaper more widely.
All of the tools, with the exception of Slide Together are available on the Leapfrog website to explore or download.
Leapfrog would like to thank everyone who came to the event and engaged so enthusiastically with the tools, as well as everyone who helped run it.