At Active Kent & Medway, we have an unwavering commitment to help young people access positive experiences in sport and physical activity, no matter their age, religion, race, postcode or ability. More specifically, we aim to target the least active young people, and we know one of the most effective ways to engage such individuals is to provide opportunities to voice their opinions on the development, design, and ongoing delivery of sessions.

We’ve brought together the findings, evidence and resources to support schools and activity providers who work with young people to ensure their views and voices are heard.

Local Research and Findings

Over the last few years, Active Kent & Medway has collected and collated the views of over 8,000 young people attending secondary school. We asked them about their experiences of being active.

We strongly recommend anyone developing or delivering sessions for young people to take a few minutes to read our reports below highlighting the responses and findings from the students across Kent and Medway.

Following our youth consultation, we developed activities based on the least active students’ opinions and as a result, we can clearly evidence the impact this ‘youth voice’ approach has had on the young people taking part. Not only on their physical activity levels but also their mental wellbeing, confidence and resilience.

Our Recommendations for Engagement

Following the secondary school consultation and the development of activities based on young people’s views, Active Kent & Medway has created five key recommendations for engagement:

1. Take time to understand young people’s barriers and motivations to taking part and support them to address and overcome these.

2. Always give young people the chance to co-create sessions and programmes.

3. Encourage ‘youth voice’ as an ongoing ethos of the programme.

4. Provide positive experiences in a welcoming, inclusive, and fun environment which is free from judgement.

5. Promote the social and mental wellbeing benefits as much as the physical benefits of physical activity.

National Resources

A number of national organisations have carried out research and created toolkits to support Youth Voice, further strengthening the evidence that listening to young people’s views is imperative to successful engagement.

Dan Bromley profile pic

Daniel Bromley

Children and Young People Development Officer

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