Six young people from armed forces and veteran families completed their second residential weekend with the charity last month as part of the working group driving the co-production process forward.
Why we are co-producing an influencing strategy
The charity has launched the project having listened to young people, who feel seldom heard and that their unique experiences, and how this can impact on their ability to realise potential and thrive, are not on the radar of decision makers.
The strategy is about amplifying the lived experience of young people from armed forces and veteran families louder than ever before and to encourage decision makers to listen to their voice when it comes to future policy making.
Coproduction at the heart of everything we do
You might already know that Forces Children Scotland is committed to embedding lived experience of young people at the heart of developing its projects, services and campaigns, via a process of co-production, called Combined Force.
No matter what we do, young people are encouraged to join our team, trustees and creative partners to make amazing things happen.
The co-production journey so far
Activities began back in November when the working group met for the first time to get the discussion started. Since then, the group has continued to work together online, and through two residential weekends in Aviemore.
The group worked together to creatively explore several challenges faced by young people from armed forces and veteran families, when it comes to topics like mental health and wellbeing, education and learning, and much more.
Having done so, the group suggested lots of potential ways to help peers overcome these challenges, and to encourage those supporting them or making important decisions about their future to take notice and listen up.
Building on all of this great work, the working group progressed to pinpoint strategic stakeholders, campaign communications and appropriate channels to grab their attention and compel them towards taking positive action.
It hasn’t proved all work and no fun – young people have participated in digital treasure hunts, orienteering activities, mock TV interviews and much to bring the subject and task to life, which has served to develop new skills and confidence too.
Better still, the residential activities have provided an opportunity for young people across Scotland to forge new friendships through shared experience, sports and activities, films and lots of hot chocolate, pizza and Haribo.
The next steps
The working group will come back together to co-develop aims and specific calls-to-action to feature in the strategy for mental health and wellbeing, education and learning, and making the transition to becoming veteran family.
Our gifted, creative bunch of young people have also started to work together to develop creative concepts for our strategy publication, website, social media channels, and much more.
Once we have completed our process of co-production, we expect to publish our influencing strategy early summer 2023.
Want to know more about our influencing strategy? contact our team!contact us
Our thanks to the Veterans Foundation for their generous support in making this project happen, who have funded a significant portion of our staff commitment.