In August, we ran a series of co-​design workshops with a group of consultation experts from the public sector, referred to within the project as the ‘service deliverers’, who engage with young people in their work to inform things such as the development of public services, spaces and policy. The aim of these workshops was to imagine new ways to engage with young people and improve how ideas are translated between the young people and the public sector.

Many ideas came out of the workshops but three were selected by the service deliverers to be developed further by the Leapfrog project.   The tools that were created are called The Right Ideas, Wordplay and Everybody.

This week, the service deliverers Helen, Jennifer, Juliet and Sue joined us to see and experience the tools for the first time. Following a recap of the process with photographs, the group discussed about what they thought were the best bits, what was most challenging and if anything had surprised them.

Jennifer Milligan, Consultation and Engagement Officer said:

…the process showed us that we do have those ideas, they are in there somewhere. It helped pull them out and gave us that space.”

The group agreed that the opportunity to come together, in a different space and go through a detailed co-​design process had really helped them to pull out their ideas.

The reaction to the three tools was positive and an opportunity to play with the tools and see examples sparked ideas for ways that they could use them with groups of young people and also ways in which they could adapt them to better fit their needs. For example, they talked about how they could pre-​load Wordplay with questions and then give groups a person to consider the needs of, such as an active old person.   They also discussed how the Everybody sheet could be enlarged for a big group to draw on and add their comments in the three shapes and how it would be useful to make a sports version with more active figures.  Seeing the tools gave Jennifer and Sue, who are currently planning a daylong event for 17 to 20 year olds at the end of November, some ideas that they could easily use to engage the young people.

The group were keen on the use of examples and templates to make preparing for events easier and less time consuming; therefore we hope that examples will be created and shared on the Leapfrog Tools Facebook group and believe this will provide motivation for others to try the tools.

We will be in touch with the group again in the New Year to find out what they are inspired to do.