For a 5 week period over the summer of 2017, from week 6 to 11 of the Scheme, I was very fortunate to go to work on part of a project with the Communications and Engagement Team.
The team is responsible for ensuring that important messages from the Council are shared with Gwynedd residents and staff through a variety of different ways – social media accounts, website, videos, newsletters, just to name some. They’re also responsible for public engagement – running different consultations on behalf of the Council’s departments and services.
The project, that I was responsible for partly leading was beginning the work of improving the way the Council engages with children and young people. Elan, Lois (from the team) and I decided to trial the idea of going out to different areas across Gwynedd over the summer holidays to start the initial conversation. In order to target as much of the county as possible and to get an overall consensus we chose the following areas to visit:- Bangor, Pwllheli, Porthmadog, Caernarfon, Meirionnydd County Show, Dolgellau and Blaenau Ffestiniog.
For all 7 areas we set up a “street stall” (as above) and had three activities. The activities enabled the children and young people to get involved and feel their voice is important and heard rather than others making decisions for them. An example of an activity is shown in the above pictures – voting with coloured pom-poms for their preferred social media!
The main purpose of the activities was to answer the following questions –
1: do the young people of the county really want to know what’s going on in the Council?
2: what methods are the best to hold these conversations with the young people?
3: what main messages do they have, whether positive or concerns about the Council?
The answers for these questions and general findings of The Big Discussion can be found in the video below. Have a look!