Leapfrog project manager Debbie Stubbs joined Gavin Redhead, Children & Young People’s Participation Officer for Blackburn with Darwen Council, and Christy Walsh, Resource Development Manager for Child Action North West for an interactive session to share a range of different tools, with twenty people from the area participation champions group.

Christy Walsh outlined some of her organisations successful approaches in engaging with young people, stressing the importance of active engagement. She highlighted the use of an interactive tree as an example, where many people were able to contribute to the growth of CANW participation strategy & guidance document. This involved gaining feedback from young people and service users, who added their own thoughts to a huge picture of a tree displayed prominently within the foyer of different premises. Leapfrog featured as ‘resources for participation’ within the publication.

Gavin Redhead then outlined four different Leapfrog tools called ‘Connect up’ supported by Debbie. The group had so many excellent case studies that they shared using snapshot and story and then feedback cycle request. The groups then prepared an engagement map, which gave further insights and generated discussion as to how case studies were required and used across the county in a formal reporting process.

After lunch the team had some further collective activities where they used the Ketso engagement tool kit, developed by Manchester University.

We hope that the participation champions find the ‘connect up’ toolbox useful.