Speaking Spaces

Young people were trained and supported to deliver peer-led design workshops focusing on the built environment.

Key Project Information

Partners: Supported by a Youth of Today grant, managed via The Young Foundation
Participants: 15 young people aged 15-18
Format: Training workshops, Peer-to-peer design workshops

Project Overview

My City Too’s ‘Speaking Spaces’ competition was an extension of the My City Too Campaign allowing 15 existing young ambassadors (aged 12-19) to develop their leadership, facilitation and presenting skills, through the design and delivery of a peer awareness-raising campaign. The project focused on three workshops teaching facilitation skills and assisting the participants with developing their own workshops and creating a ‘toolkit’ to allow more young people to carry out workshops in the future. The toolkit and leadership skills of the participants were tested through delivery of a series of workshops carried out in locations chosen by the young people and with groups of their peers. The outputs from the workshops were models for pavilions or youth shelters made by young people, which were then entered into an inter-school competition.


The purpose of the project was to develop leadership skills amongst existing My City Too ambassadors allowing them to take increased control of their campaign and bring their message to a wider group of young people through peer-to-peer learning workshops.

Project Detail

Fifteen My City Too ambassadors were trained and supported to deliver a 1-2 hour session for the ‘Speaking Spaces’ competition. Initially focused on understanding leadership and examining the importance of the built environment, the group went on to develop ideas for workshop content and a toolkit. The ambassadors returned for a ‘prototyping’ session, using the toolkit to run a practice workshop on volunteers to help them understand the practicalities and difficulties of running a workshop in a real setting.

A series of capacity building and design work­shops of 1-2 hours each were then carried out by the 15 participants in 9 locations. The workshop audience comprised 230 young Londoners aged 10-17 from the London boroughs of Tower Hamlets, Hackney, Brent, Lewisham, Harrow, Wandsworth and Greenwich and resulted in 109 competition entries. Feedback from participants and staff in the schools was very positive and both would welcome the project again.


  • Increased confidence amongst the young people involved to lead and facilitate workshops
  • Young people feeling an ability to engage their peers around the built environment and translate how spaces have an impact on lives
  • Increased numbers of young people take inspiration to improve their built environment
  • Young people demonstrated a capacity to articulate complex issues, contributing their ideas to the toolkits.
  • Young people have successfully sought speaking roles for 2011, speaking at conferences and training profes­sionals to showcase their approach

Take a look at the image gallery of our competition entries

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