Islington Youth Council

Islington Youth Council

Helping young people find their voice (strategy, creative, engagement)

The brief 

Islington Borough Council recognised the need to involve young people in what they were doing, get their take on what is working and what needs to be improved, ensure that young people know where to go for help, support, advice and services.

They decided to create their first ever Youth Council and turned to us for help to develop the mission, vision, campaign identity and engagement strategy for the group.

The approach

Working with Islington’s first ever Youth Council (IYC) was as much about creating a legacy as it was about helping the young people involved to make an impact. From the outset, we took a co-creation approach, accepting that whilst it would take a little longer, the outcome would be stronger and more meaningful for our young clients.

In a series of workshops, we developed the mission and vision, campaign identity and engagement strategy based on face to face, street campaigning and social media. We integrated skills training and took care to ensure youth councillors had a familiar frame of reference when dealing with subjects outside of their experience.

The biggest challenge these first youth councillors faced was explained the depth and breadth of their role, and being recognised for their work. To increase their visibility, we sourced branded hoodies, did a photo shoot, co-created their own posters and Facebook / Twitter accounts and ran a survey. Now looking much more like one team, we also co-produced a short video compiled entirely of footage of the youth councillors at work and interviews and which conveyed just how busy and responsible these young people are.

The results

Their work has been viewed by hundreds of people within the first few week of launch. We think it best to let young people speak for themselves, so take a look:

Based on our results, we were re-commissioned in 2013/4 to design and lead the induction for the IYC Elect and created a fresh set of communications tools for them.

“I would recommend Natalie Richards and Social & Local to any organisation, which is interested in engaging and empowering young people to develop the skill and qualities required in fulfilling their duties as elected members holding public office. Natalie and Social and Local go the extra mile offering a professional and personal service.”

Raj Jalota, Commissioning and Engagement Officer, Children’s Services, Islington Borough Council. 

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