"Not the Usual Suspects" Deryn & Boys and Girls Clubs of Wales Best Campaign in Wales - Public Affairs Awards 2016

We were delighted to win the Best Campaign in Wales at Public Affairs Awards 2016 for our work with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Wales' "Not the Usual Suspects" project.

The Boys and Girls Clubs of Wales worked with Deryn to run a campaign to engage and involve the young people who are underepresented in traditional forums in the run up to the May 2016 Assembly Election. The young people were from areas with high youth unemployment, social deprivation and financial constraints.

The ‘Not The Usual Suspects’ campaign, funded by Erasmus featured a ‘Not the Usual Hustings event’, the launch of a ‘Politically Correct’ App and a market place event for 100 young people between 16 – 25 to engage with politics.
"Not the Usual Hustings” was held at Infinity Trampoline Park, Cardiff and hosted by BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat’s Steffan Powell. More than 100 young people participated in the event and 6 candidates came to represent their parties at the debate. Delegates presented questions on issues of importance to them personally: including educational outcomes for care leavers, support for foster children and wider national and global issues. Feedback from politicians highlighted the unique nature of the event and policy discussions held were detailed, authoritative, and attention was given to policy areas frequently overlooked.
A new ‘Politically Correct’ App, developed by Candlhat Studios and designed by young people specifically to support the project, was launched at the event. The app, specifically aimed at young voters, serves as an engagement tool and includes information about what level of government makes the decisions that affect young people. The launch of the app included a supportive video message from actor Michael Sheen. It has been downloaded more than a 1,000 times to date.
The event provided the young people with an opportunity to visit a market place, with various stalls from the political parties and organisations including NUS Wales and National Assembly for Wales. It was a great way of encouraging them to gather information about different party policies ahead of the event.
Supporting Boys and Girls Clubs of Wales, we managed key aspects of the event, including sourcing the political candidates, the host, the market place stalls and securing media attendance.
We secured BBC Radio 1’s Newsbeat Steffan Powell to host the event, and key candidates for the 2016 Assembly election from all major political parties.
We worked with the BGCW to ensure a challenging and robust political debate, choosing varied topics from the range of questions submitted. Many of the young people changed their attitudes about politics following the event, with one young person saying that the project had “changed the way I see politics and politicians.”
Boys and Girls Clubs Wales was awarded a 2016 Youth Work Excellence Award for its “Not the Usual Suspects” project, that involved the hustings event in particular.
As a result of being involved in the project, 70% of the young people said that they would vote if able to. 55% of the young people rated their knowledge of politics as being “good” following their involvement in the project.
Grant Poiner, Boys and Girls Clubs of Wales said: “We were delighted to work with Deryn on this project as they ensured that it was as success. As a result of Deryn’s support we were awarded a Youth work Excellence award for outstanding rights project. We cannot thank the Deryn team enough for their support.”
Plaid Cymru Assembly Member Bethan Jenkins, who participated in the event said: “This was an unique event and a pleasure to have played a part – engaging with young people who are normally disengaged and traditionally underrepresented in traditional forums. I’m a great champion of getting more young people involved in politics, and this was a great example of introducing new forms of political participation.”
Ieuan Davies, 18 and took part in the project said: “I have learnt so much about myself, others and politics and conquered many fears along the way. This has been the best experience ever.”

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