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Essential YV Large

The Essential Youth Voice Training Series

October - November 2020

Online via Zoom

In this year of profound change, what do young people want and need from arts providers? How can we better understand their hopes and ambitions? And how can we work with young people to shape the future of the arts and culture together?

Youth voice is about consulting and listening to young people about their needs and experiences – and using what they tell us to shape the creative opportunities they access. Youth voice is now recognised as an essential component of representation, diversity and inclusion: it’s how we make our work more relevant and real for the young people we work with. This is why we’re delighted to present the Essential Youth Voice Training Series, refreshed and rebooted for 2020.

This training series is for you if:

  • You or your team are working with young people to support their creative and cultural engagement;
  • You want to find out how you can best consult and listen to participants in a genuine and meaningful way;
  • You want to involve young people in shaping programmes and opportunities;
  • You want to create positive change in your organisation.

You could be working in arts, culture, heritage, youth work, schools, health and wellbeing, or any other setting that supports young people. You might be a project or programme manager, producer, comms manager, practitioner, educator or youth worker. Our newly refreshed training offer is open to professionals of all ages and levels or experience. You may be new to youth voice or looking to develop your understanding of this approach further. Whatever stage you are at, this dynamic training series will adapt and respond to your learning needs.

Through interactive activities, group work and knowledge-sharing, you will discover the importance and benefits of consulting young people and including them in shared decision-making. You will explore how this approach can be implemented, how it can transform your understanding of representation, diversity and inclusion, and how you can successfully embed this within your own practice, your team culture or your organisation.


The Series

The course will take place across three online and fully interactive training sessions during a six week period in October-November 2020:

  • Session 1: An introduction to youth voice (21 October, 14:00-16:00) – the essential theory and context of youth voice and participation
  • Session 2: Applying youth voice (4 November, 14:00-16:00) – developing and applying the principles of youth voice in your organisation, programmes or creative practice
  • Session 3: Embedding youth voice (18 November, 14:00-16:00) – strategic approaches to youth voice and leading change in your own work and beyond.

The training series will be facilitated by youth voice expert, Lawrence Becko, and Jennifer Raven, Sound Connections’ Deputy Director, with contributions from guest facilitators and young leaders themselves.


Course essentials

  • You will work with the same cohort across the three sessions, allowing time and space for networking, relationship-building and growth.
  • We will be drawing drawing on the latest development in both digital and non-digital practice.
  • You will receive a 30-minute after-care surgery to plan your next steps, as well as exclusive resources designed by the expert training team.


By the end of this training series you will:

  • Understand the theory and principles of youth voice in creative contexts;
  • Understand the key practice areas of youth voice, including youth consultation, co-production and youth governance;
  • Have identified your youth voice aims and mapped out a roadmap for achieving them;
  • Feel more confident about consulting and listening to young people during online and in person;
  • Have received practical tips and advice to use in your own work and share with your colleagues and teams;
  • Have heard examples and perspectives from youth voice experts, practitioners and young people themselves;
  • Have received six hours and three levels of essential training in youth voice and inclusion;
  • Join a community of professionals looking to incorporate youth voice into their work with young people.


Essential advice online and offline – For this training course to be as useful as possible for you, we will incorporate time to talk about how the COVID-19 crisis is impacting on your work with young people and what this means for your plans for youth voice and inclusion.



Please note we require you to commit to all three sessions.


If you would like to discuss your development needs or suitability of the training further, please contact Lawrence (


We are keen that financial barriers do not prevent practitioners from attending Sound Connections events. We have a number of bursaries available for individuals, freelancers or students who are currently not in employment. If you would like to take advantage of this for this event, please email briefly outlining your employment status, and we will send you a discount code – no questions asked.

If you would prefer to pay via invoice, please contact Emily (

Lawrence Becko

lawrence becko

Lawrence is a facilitator, consultant and ILM Level 7 Accredited Coach with a specialism in youth voice, participation and leadership. He has worked in arts and culture for over ten years and has also had a successful career in the commercial music industry. As a strategic consultant he has advised on organisational change for a diverse range of organisations working across music, theatre, dance, poetry, carnival, film and television. He has previously worked for Sound Connections, developing youth voice programmes, training and consultancy. He is currently the lead facilitator of A New Direction’s Connected Lab, a peer learning programme for cultural managers, and advisor to the Kinetika Bloco Leadership Programme for young jazz talent. He mentors and coaches emerging artists and mid-career professionals in the cultural sector and creative industries, and is the Chair of Fairbeats Music, a charity working with young refugees in south London.

Jennifer Raven


Jennifer Raven is Deputy Director of Sound Connections. Jenn’s role includes strategy, partnerships, and leading the Sound Connections consultancy service. Her specialisms are in evaluation, youth voice, social justice and organisational change.

Her evaluation work has taken her around the world with Action for Hope and British Council World Voice. Here in the UK her evaluations include National Open Youth Orchestra and Live Music Now’s Inspire programme.

Jenn has overseen the development of youth voice at Sound Connections since 2014, which included establishing our young trustees programme in 2017. As a consultant she is leading youth voice for English Heritage, and the ‘Music Lab’ a new project with Dr Anna Bull about youth voice within classical music education.

Before joining Sound Connections, Jenn worked within the music team at schools network Ark. In 2009 she co-founded Fairbeats – a charity with a focus on music-making for young refugees and new migrants – where she is now a Director. Jennifer is also a flute player and a Trustee of the South East London Orchestra where her role focuses on Community Development.




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