On Saturday 13th January, we held our inaugural PL Kicks Youth Voice session by inviting participants from several of our PL Kicks sessions to Bloomfield Road stadium. The purpose of the new Youth Voice provision is to provide young people with the opportunity to have their voices heard, influence change and help shape our delivery and provision. By listening to the experiences and voices of young people, we aim to work alongside them to further strengthen our impact within the PL Kicks programme and across the town.
At the first session, young people came together and took part in an icebreaker activity to better get to know each other. Following on from this, the group took part in activities to discuss what young people think the main issues are in Blackpool and how they can be part of the solutions. The group also discussed the things they enjoyed the most about Kicks and what their priorities were to continue to improve and develop the programme. Girls engagement came out on top as being a priority to focus on more, as the group felt there should be even more girls only sessions delivered across different locations in the town. The group all agreed that the best things about Kicks was the friendships they make and the staff that they engage with at sessions.
The group also began to co-design new Kicks leaflets that they felt would better appeal to young people from all backgrounds and further promote the programme. Young people felt that the current leaflets didn’t represent older young people and only appealed to a younger demographic. All participants who took part in the session were rewarded with free match tickets and were able to watch the Blackpool vs Exeter game together as a group. The Seasiders 2-0 victory topped off a successful day which all of the young people thoroughly enjoyed.
Ryan Searle, Community Youth Sports Team Leader:
“Saturday was a real success as we held our first youth voice session with our newly formed group. There was plenty of discussions held regarding Kicks and the positives and negatives of living in Blackpool. All participants were selected due to their regular attendance across our community sessions, which allowed us to have a wide range of opinions on the day. The next steps are to keep these conversations going and embed this type of work within our weekly sessions to encourage more young people to share their experiences. The group were really excited to be part of the group and have the opportunity to make a difference based on their thoughts and opinions”.
Brett Whitehead, Community Cohesion & Youth Sports Manager:
“I’m delighted we have launched our brand new Youth Voice provision. This is something we have been wanting to do for a while so it was great to have such a wonderful group of young people come together to take part in the first session. We want this provision to be a platform for our particpants to actively contribute with their insight and feedback on how we can continue to make our PL Kicks sessions the best they can be to meet the needs of young people in our town. We really value the experiences of our particpants and it is important that they have their say in relation to the issues and challenges within their local community and how PL Kicks can play a role in addressing some of these.”
Along with staff, two members of the group will also be attending the upcoming Premier League Youth Summit on Tuesday 30th January, held at Burton Albion’s Pirelli Stadium. This will provide our young people with an excellent opportunity to meet and network with fellow young people from across the country to share their experiences with other CCOs and the Premier League.
Leia Goodman, Participant:
“I really enjoyed the youth voice meeting because I got to experience new things. For example, giving my honest opinion on what could be improved at Kicks like different activities such as multi-sport girl sessions. We also spoke about living in Blackpool and how to get various targeted groups involved in sport, it was also a really fun experience to go to the Blackpool game which they won 2-0, I can’t wait for the next time we meet”