“I’m really proud of the programme we made because at first it was nothing and now hopefully it will make a difference in children’s lives” – Mia, 13

With the launch of our new Power2 Energise programme, Christina Cain, Programme Development Manager at Power2, blogs about creating the programme with children and young people.

Power2 Energise is a 16-week programme that supports children and young people to get active, learn leadership skills and inspire a love of physical activity in primary-school-aged children whom the young people are paired with and mentor.

Some children and young people find 1:1 interaction difficult and are more comfortable working in groups. Power2 Energise meets young people where they are and helps them build on the skills they already have. They lead and mentor groups of primary school children as opposed to a 1:1 mentoring relationship.

“I know the change I went through when I did Teens and Toddlers and how that benefitted me. And knowing I could be part of the process that could help tons of other people in the future is mentally rewarding.” – Rahul, 22

Co-creation is based on the idea that many heads are better than one, and that lived experience is vital in planning, designing, delivering and reviewing high-quality services.

At Power2, we believe it is the only way we can be confident that our programmes will continue to be relevant for children and young people and will support them to build happy and fulfilling lives.

Our programmes would not be as impactful without input from our participants. They don’t just tell us what they need from a programme, they collaboratively design what the programme looks like, how it works logistically and even create activities for future participants to complete.

Children and young people have been involved in the design of our other programmes Teens and Toddlers, Power2 Thrive, Power2 Rediscover – and now Power2 Energise!

“I’ve been with Power2 for 5 years and [creating Power2 Energise] just sounded interesting. And you got paid for it as well.” – Carly, 16

Co-creation not only gives young people the opportunity to have their voices heard but it also enables them to gain valuable work experience to show future employers. Effectively, they become apprentice Service Designers.

We structured the sessions like a workday. Young people told us that they wanted to use different rooms for different parts of the day. For example, when they were creating games and testing them out for the programme, they wanted to be in our informal workshop room. When they were doing more written work, they wanted to be in our more formal office room.

“The group was small and you knew you could trust the people that were there.” – Isabella, 15

Just like we do at the start of our programmes, we worked with the group to create ground rules. Having the autonomy to create their own guidelines meant they felt they had more ownership of the sessions. “Whatever is said here stays here”, “Try to avoid swearing” and “Listen to everyone's ideas even if you don’t agree with them” are just a few of the rules they created.

“I like that we can see how what we’re suggesting is changing and how it’s being improved.” – Rahul, 22

From the colours of the workbook to the programme name, young people had a say in all aspects of the programme. We recorded their feedback and each week told them what we’d implemented and asked for their thoughts.

And it was a good job we did. It turns out no one uses hashtags anymore!

“Being able to design something that I knew was going to be helping other people. But honestly, I did just do it because it was something fun to do.”– Isabella, 15

“I felt really proud when I saw the final workbook. It’s nice to see the difference us younger kids have on helping be part of creating something in Power2” – Teagan, 15

Power2 Energise would have been a completely different programme without our Youth Network. Thank you to all of the children and young people who shared their ideas.

If you’d like to hear more about Power2 Energise or deliver the programme at your school, get in touch [email protected].