We have explored how to make young people feel able to share. We believe it’s not about young people learning this, but about adults learning how to facilitate meaningful conversations.
Paisley / Online
Training on facilitating safe conversations
What we made
We’ve made a training pack for statutory services, like the Police, Schools and Social Work. We want them to be able to communicate with young people effectively, build relationships and treat them with respect. Young people are having conversations about the issues in our lives months before they’re covered in the media. The only way not to be behind is to have open conversations all of the time. We need safe spaces to talk to people and adults need to learn how to make us feel as though we can open up.
We hope our training pack will lead to young people feeling heard, valued and respected, not misunderstood or dismissed. If this happens young people will feel able to approach adults for any issue.
“I’m always asked how I am? What’s wrong? Are you okay? If I’m emotional, and I don’t know why, then I don’t want to talk about it. Adults always get angry about this, but I’m allowed not to speak if I want.” — Young Person
How we made it
We met weekly online, designing how to work together and reflecting on our own experiences of coercive control. We reviewed the coercive control games that had been made by the adult group at the STAR project, but we decided that these didn’t reflect the experiences of young people now.
Through working together we started to have more meaningful conversations and the youth workers reassured us they’d always include us in conversations about us. This privacy made us feel more comfortable sharing. We developed our own activities to help young people express their feelings to adults.Through this process we realised it was less about coercive control and more about equalising access to safe spaces to talk, and for adults to really listen.
“We’ve done a lot of work on the co-design project for Phase 1 but Phase 2 has really deepened our knowledge. Very empowering for the way that we work and the way that the young people work.” — Youth Work Manager
Produced in partnership with Engage Renfrewshire, Renfrewshire Council, Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership. Funded by National Lottery Community Fund.
2021 Dartington Service Design Lab.