Project Description

Client Paul Hamlyn Foundation

The brief
In 2012 Bold Creative, the Speakers’ Corner Trust and University of Leeds gained funding from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation to run a co-creation project ‘Expressing Citizenship’. The objectives for this project were to increase core skills and employability amongst disadvantaged young people through a community action project focused on speaking and listening.

Our brief was to develop and distribute an innovative digital educational tool to help young people improve their speaking and listening skills, and in doing so, to overcome their lack of experience and confidence that prevents them from fully engaging with community life.

What we did
The first stage in the process was to define the core speaking skills we wanted the young to master, these were projection, persuasion, listening, confidence, argumentation and negotiation. Secondly we needed to create a brand that would appeal to young people and move public speaking away from a high brow pastime to something that was relevant and appealing to our young audience. Thirdly we devised a workshop programme that would develop these key skills amongst the participants. This stage of the project was done in consultation with University of Leeds, bringing together academic knowledge, audience insight and creative ideas.

We knew that in order to engage young people in this subject we needed to allow them to talk about something they were passionate about whist still keeping the issues relevant to their local community. So participants put their skills into practice by fighting for something they wanted to change in their local community via video messages to their local MP. We also created short animations from participants’ sound bites describing the progress they’d made and we captured young people’s experiences on film, all of which formed part of the website. This approach allowed for peer to peer communications about the project making it much more powerful in attracting other young people to the project broadening its appeal and boosting its impact.