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Innovation Projects

The world young people occupy and how it influences their relationships is ever-shifting. Tender are committed to placing young people’s voices at the heart of everything we do and adapting and innovating within our programmes so we can reach and support them in ways they want, need and respond to. 

In recent years, Tender has researched, piloted and developed a number of bespoke projects for groups of young people whose needs have been systemically excluded or uncatered for within traditional Relationships Education: including young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and young people who identify as LGBTQ+.  

These programmes are not just invaluable in reaching those who need our work most, but the practice-based research gained by our staff is a welcome challenge to continually reassess, adapt and improve our core delivery. We ensure each new programme we pilot is carefully evaluated, and that any effective new resources, activities and approaches are folded into our ongoing work, to ensure we leave no young person behind. 

 Check out some of our recent projects below: 

Relationship Goals

Ongoing

We are currently seeking partners from SEND youth settings and service-providers to trial and provide feedback on this programme. Please email sophie@tender.org.uk to express interest. 

In 2018-19, Tender conducted a research programme into improving our work with specialist schools and young people with SEND. We found that teenagers with SEND face numerous challenges in forming relationships, many of which relate to communication skills and a lack of awareness of what constitutes healthy or unhealthy behaviourThis, coupled with a severe lack of accessible resources through which to learn about intimate relationships, places disabled young people at a significant disadvantage. 

In 2019, Tender was awarded a £40,000 grant from Comic Relief to research and develop the concept for an online, game-based resource for young people with SEND. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, we worked with a digital agency, Milo Creative, and two specialist schools to identify key concepts and learning outcomes for the game. Our co-design sessions with young people fed into a full Game Design Document and a prototype of what gameplay could look like. This was tested by young people, parents, teachers and gaming professionals, with positive results.

Thanks to additional support from several funders, we are now bringing the game from a concept to a playable resource that can be used across Tender’s projects and made available for schools and caregivers. The first of its kind, this game has the potential to become a core resource for SEN schools across the UK: enabling hundreds of vulnerable children to be protected from abuse while accessing vital education and social skills. 

For more information about the game’s development, please email cordelia@tender.org.uk.

Arts Innovation Programme (London)

In Development

Tender recently received funding from Children in Need to develop a three-year healthy relationships programme for young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), those with experience of the care system; those who have been excluded from mainstream education and young refugees or asylum seekers. 

This free programme will offer eight youth settings up to 12 hours of workshops per year for up to three years. Each programme will engage young people in a variety of bespoke art- and experiential-based approaches to develop their knowledge and skills in building healthy relationships. 

This programme is funded and available to London-based youth settings for free. We are ideally looking to work with eight settings over the course of three years, but also welcome interest from groups who can commit to 1 or 2 years. 

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