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Joining Up Joining In goes to London

19 Dec 2023

In work supported by the Blagrave Trust, Leicestershire Cares have trained up some care experienced young people to do peer research, and the JUJI group went to London to learn more about Comms from partners the Learning and Work Institute. Once in London we soon got to Vauxhall, right next to the river Thames. The MI6 River House was just next door, with lots of security all around.

We got to number 89 and Mags met us in Reception. We got our ID cards then took the lift up to floor three. There we met Helen, Comms manager. She took us through to the meeting room with an awesome view of the Thames, Parliament, Big Ben and the London Eye.

What we learned

The group learned about the five ‘Ws’ of Comms:

  • What is the issue?
  • Who is affected?
  • Why is this a problem?
  • Where is it a problem?
  • When would the Comms achieve its greatest impact?

Helen talked about the way they do Comms.

  • Paid, such as getting an advert or poster.
  • Owned, so using your own organisation’s website or X (twitter) feed.
  • Earned, so sending a press release to media and it gets picked up and published.

The group discussed how they might do a Comms plan with some of their possible projects, like having care experience as a protected characteristic, and campaigning for foster carers to have more delegated authority to give permission for young people in care to do things that parents can do for their children.

We learned about what a Press Release should look like, with its Content, Detail and Why it matters.

Other examples are written in the first person by someone with experience, so writing “When I was in care this happened to me etc”. These could be Op Eds (Opinion Editorials’) or Blogs. These are written in an informal style.

The group then looked to apply these points to their projects on their blank Comms template.

The audience that you influence will change by what you want to achieve.

So, if you want to get across all of government on issues for care leavers the people you need to target are:

  • Dept for Education – lead for looked after children across all departments
  • Dept of Levelling up, Housing – semi-independent accommodation issues
  • Dept of Work and Benefits – finance for care leavers
  • All Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs) for care leavers

For local changes it is people like

  • The Lead councillor for children and families,
  • Local Authority Leaving Care team

What we will do

In the New Year the JUJI group will use this training to

  • Work through a Comms plan for how the research can be made better known
  • Be clear about the changes that they want to see happen
  • Target key people to influence who in turn can influence others

We got the underground back to Kings Cross – St Pancras. At Kings Cross we got to see the Harry Potter train platform, 9 and three quarters, and the Christmas tree illuminations and all the Christmas market stalls outside. .

It was really good finding out more about the comms and how to get out message out. Peer Researcher
The L&W tour was useful to find out about how to create a comms plan which will help us with our peer research. I also enjoyed sightseeing London. Peer Researcher.

We’ve really enjoyed being part of Leicestershire Cares Joining Up, Joining In project, supporting these young people to learn about research methods to become peer researchers. The lessons from the comms session will help them share their research findings as widely as possible. It’s been lovely seeing each young person engage so enthusiastically with the different training sessions. They should all be incredibly proud of their achievements.

Mags Bexon, Research Manager, Learning and Work Institute

“The group were great at catching various trains and tubes and walking to the places we needed to go to. They learned lots of new methods from Helen and Mags on how they can make great Comms plans for their research projects to make a bigger impact. A great day out and no drama!” Krishna and Paul, Leicestershire Cares

For more information about Leicestershire Cares and our work, visit or search @LeicsCares on X or Instagram or contact or or

Should Care Experience be a Protected Characteristic | Leicestershire Cares

Joining Up Joining In | Leicestershire Cares