In most sessions, the young people would go into groups of five in ‘breakout rooms’ to discuss a topic, such as issues affecting people in the UK, or do a creative task, such as create a vision statement. With some young people choosing not to turn their video or microphone on and without an adult to help prompt discussion, it was sometimes challenging to create discussion within the breakout rooms. However, as the young people became more comfortable in the space and felt supported by their peers, breakout rooms became a positive place for connection and discussion. One young person said they’d had a ‘really good discussion’ in their ‘breakout room’. For another, the breakout rooms had been a highlight of the programme!
Through interactive polls, games and encouraging verbal contributions, the young people undoubtedly grew in confidence. They became increasingly comfortable with the digital space and used it to create supportive connections and interesting discussions. It was a unique opportunity for them to connect with peers from across the UK and hear from inspiring speakers immediately, easily and safely and I believe they will have all benefited in some way from it. One girl even asked if the programme would be repeated next summer for her to attend again!