The Leapfrog Team attended the Sincerely You exhibition to see how co-designed tools can support this community of young adults.
Young voices exhibited in the form of sixty letters on display in the Harris Museum 25/10/2017 and then tours across Lancashire Libraries until end Dec 2017.
The letters provided an extraordinary insight into the lives of care experienced young people. It was so moving to read these personal letters that I would think it could bring a tear to anyones eyes, it did mine.
Young adults once in care, seize upon different opportunities to take control of their lives; from turbulent and emotional beginnings, they set out personal stories of guidance and encouragement as they write personal letters to their younger self.
What would you write, one young adult wrote:
In life you will face many barriers but look at these as life lessons and also blessings, for these are what will drive you onto the right path. Don’t get me wrong it will be hard, there will be times where you feel unloved, unwanted and like a burdon. You’ll feel as though the whole world is against you and you can’t trust anyone, even the people who are supposed to care for you and keep you safe.
People will walk in and out of your life as though it’s a revolving door, after a while it doesn’t faze you, it becomes the norm. You will lose people you thought would be around forever, and at first you will be angry at the world and also them for choosing drugs over you. But then you’ll realise it wasn’t really a choice, it was their it was their escape from reality and the pain inside their heart. And now they’re finally at peace, and in a place they can finally be happy.
(letter exhibited does continue)
I recommend going to see it.
On the 4 November 2017 young people from across the Northwest came together to hold a conference in Blackpool. the event was hosted by JustUZ
The conference is an annual event where young people in care or care leavers are able to come together and discuss issues that affect them and with the aim to improve services for young people in care and leaving care. We were delighted that Gavin Redhead, Children & Young People’s Participation Officer from Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, was able to share the leapfrog tools, hand out the Inspirer Newspaper, and give examples of how the tools have helped in supporting their Council engagement activity.
Debbie Stubbs — Leapfrog Design Project Manager
Invited by Julie Bell, Head of Libraries, Museums, Culture and Registrars, Leapfrog attended an Extended Leadership Team meeting at the Lancashire Archives in Preston on 10 May 2017. The event was an opportunity for Roger Whitham (Leapfrog Co-investigator) to share early outcomes of the Leapfrog Neighbourhood Centres project . The project produced a range of concrete outcomes, including 7 tools and the New Team Tools toolbox, co-designed by Lancashire County Council staff, and ready for use by staff across a range of services within the council.
The sharing event gave an opportunity to present the process of work to team leaders and managers across the information and cultural services within Lancashire County Council, prompt discussion, and signpost staff towards the tools. The event also gave Leapfrog an opportunity to outline ongoing work to embed the tools within the supply infrastructure within the county council. Through internal print and administrative teams, all of the tools created for the project would be made available to new and existing staff. This approach lowers practical and financial barriers to staff obtaining the tools and putting them to use.
The event saw broad interest in the tools from the managers present, and underlined the appetite for the tools and new innovative practices from management within the council.
On 21 & 21 September, I joined the Leapfrog GSA team in the beautiful ski-side holiday town of Aviemore, for the Strengthening Communities Conference Scotland 2017 (SCCS2017) organised by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).
Having secured a prominent ‘market-place’ location, our team had the opportunity to share the newly produced ‘Make it happen toolbox’ with over two hundred people from trusts and foundations, government and voluntary organisations, SME’s and community development professionals, who work across Scotland and beyond.
All Leapfrog co-designed tools intend to encourage ‘doing’ and are best used as a means for encouraging communication and interaction for better engagement activity. There are over 30 freely available for you to try out by downloading from the leapfrog website. The tools are self-explanatory and flexible to use, and can be readily adapted to suit different needs. For the conference the team curated the paper-based tools into a toolbox. Individual toolboxes were given a unique reference number, to help trace effectiveness and capture noteworthy stories that may emerge from their use.
The tools have all been co-designed through working with communities of Mull and Iona, and the Kyles of Bute. Community members all wanted to address challenges of organising events in remote locations. They were particularly aiming to collaborate in new ways; making sure responsibilities were shared, and that they increased awareness, and widened participation. At SCCS2017 the toolboxes were well received, with 55 boxes being whisked away, and a ‘waiting list’ established for us to meet popular demand for more. Aside from Leapfrog toolboxes I thought the Scotland’s land futures wooden giveaway was an amusing technology item.
In addition to learning about different communities across Scotland, I was pleasantly surprised by some Lancaster connections; meeting with Clair Malpas, Regeneration Manager of Cassiltoun Housing Association (Lancaster alumni) who is looking for ways to engage better with elderly housebound residents, and Val Emmett Association of Cairngorm Communities (former resident of Caton village) who was interested in the arts and activities to benefit remote areas in Scotland.
For Leapfrog the marketplace provided an informal way to meet, have interesting conversations, and was helpful in meeting new people to exchange ideas and networks. We hope to extend our research in forming new partnerships with some of these organisations. It would be interesting to see if tools from Leapfrog research could be disseminated further with the Co-production Network both in Scotland and England seeing as they openly share tools. We’d of course be delighted to hear from any organisations wishing to work with us.
Please feel free to contact Debbie Stubbs, Design Project Manager, for further information.