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Young Champions welcome raw recruits

This Autumn we welcomed seven new Young Champions to the Centre. In October, they received their Induction training at Jordan House. Participation Officer Nick Morgan tells us how it went…

A few weeks planning, several emails, a chunk of co-development, an early October Saturday and voilà!  We had our 2nd Champions training day!!!

Two Participation Officers and a handful of amazing Young Champions came together to meet with seven excitable young people from across London and beyond on a gorgeous sunny morning.  The coffee was hot, the croissants were out and as they came through the door, two of our current Champions, Madi and Molly were on hand to help inform them of the first icebreaker of the day. 

As an introduction, we thought we’d start with a bit of deceit.  By asking them and staff to write two truths and one lie about themselves and stick it to a perfectly scaled drawing of South East England, where they were from (my artistic career was always overshadowed by my youth work ☹ ).  They then had to introduce themselves to each other with these facts and guess on a people bingo sheet, which one was the lie (I still think Salma used to be a Blue Peter presenter).


After a bit of getting to know each other, working agreement and house rules, we explained the rest of the day and our ‘Allergy wall’.  The allergy wall was a great idea from another one of our Young Champions, that although these spaces are ‘open and safe’ that it is important to think about who is in the room when being so ‘open’.  If people had topics they found difficult to discuss they would put it on Mentimeter and then we would write it on our giant Allergy nose in the breaks.


As the day moved on it was clear that these, former strangers, were starting to warm up to each other and get motivated about the organisation (with a brilliant activity from Karima – CYPIAPT Young Advisor and our infamous Organisation Structure puzzle).

After lunch we learned more about each other’s strengths and how we can work together to complement each other in the work we deliver.

Finally, we shared our 9 work streams from our Participation yearlong action plan, from which the new Young Champions, expressed where they would like their fantastic skills to be utilised.  This was followed by some one-to-one interviews with each other, where they planned what they want to achieve in their first year of work in the organisation, which ranged from ‘more confident speaker’ to ‘bringing more young people to the Centres work’ and more.

As we came to an end, everyone clearly tired but excited to get started, it dawned on me how quickly this group had started to knit together. We can't wait to start working with our Young Champions who are now over 20 strong!