The Young Coneys Training Programme

A Coney facilitator and a group of Young Coneys are standing in a group, with big smiles towards the camera.

Playful Activism for Year 5s

The Young Coneys Training Programme (YCTP) is our local programme for Year 5 pupils, focusing on youth empowerment and social change through play. This free, multi-level workshop series is delivered in partnership with six primary schools across Tower Hamlets.

Connecting with creativity

Introducing how creativity can be used to influence our world, the programme features introductory in-class workshops and an afterschool club that equips young people with a playful toolkit to explore their passions and connect to their creative superpowers. Students then become official Young Coneys and have the opportunity to participate in Graduate projects.

During the programme, students work with two Coney artists to create a ‘Gift’ to spark change in their school. A Gift encourages young people to think about how their creativity can connect with someone, or a group of people, to make an impact in creating the change they want to see.

In 2022-23, The Young Coneys Training Programme engaged 270 young people across six schools and 801 people overall via the Gifts.

In 2023-24, the programme engaged 270 young people across six schools and over 1,000 people overall via the Gifts!

The Gifts

In 2023, our Young Coneys Training Programme produced six Gifts (all named after ‘likes’ that the young people have in common!).

  • At Kobi Nazrul Primary, Young Coneys wrote a storybook about a teacher and DJ named Trinity. This was used to ask their actual teacher to set up a reading club for students on a bus in the playground that was waiting to be put to good use!

  • At Osami Primary, Young Coneys created a manifesto for playing together, and a Play Box was given to the playground team for break times.

  • At William Davis Primary, Young Coneys will become Play Ambassadors, and have been trained up to teach new games to other children in the playground, along with some illustrations to put on the floor and show where to stand. This was in response to the group feeling that the playground wasn’t exciting enough.

  • At Hague/Stewart Headlam primary, Young Coneys created flower chains to decorate the school gates and make the playground more colourful and joyful – and also to thank the school caretakers for their work. An audio message was shared in a school assembly!

  • At Canon Barnett primary, Young Coneys created a game for the class to play, in which everyone made origami cats to thank the school office team for their support over the year. This resulted in 30 origami cats being delivered to the office!

  • At Thomas Buxton school, Young Coneys created a games book for all KS2 classes filled with games the group liked or had created – all based around Article 31 of the UN Convention on Human Rights. It also contained a poem written with the group. 

Graduate projects

Projects from our Young Coneys Graduate Programmes, which take place during school holidays.

Codename: Violet

A special project in collaboration with Greenpeace. Young Coneys created a playful intervention at a car industry gala to spark conversation on air pollution.

Codename: Pancake

A phone adventure for families to play on their walk home from school, exploring what the neighbourhood looks like to 10-year-olds.

Codename: Paddington

An adventure map where families head out to explore the green space of Weavers Fields to find mysterious signals from the future.

Codename: Chocolate Ice Cream

A new game exploring trees, community, and the Mycorrhizal Network.⁠

‘Now I’m more confident with a lot more activities, like going outside and being confident to observe stuff. And I’m feeling more confident about me and new people.’

YCTP participant

‘I had a fun time with discovering things. And I had a fun time learning new words. And happy and making new friends.’

YCTP participant

‘The YCTP allows young people to see other possible future aspirations.’

Teacher at Canon Barnett Primary School

‘Young Coneys Training Programme gives the children a very positive experience. Being free means more children (…) can participate in the programme over the years and it will have a lasting legacy.’

Teacher at Hague/Stewart Headlam Primary School

‘YCTP allowed different year groups to communicate with one another [and work] together to make a positive change.’

Teacher at William Davis Primary School


The Young Coneys Training Programme is delivered by a team of Coney artists & facilitators. Currently, the team is: Maryam Shaharuddin, Zoe Callow, Germma Orleans-Thompson, Lexine Lee, Olivia Catchpole, Janisé Sadik, Omar Bynon and Brent Grihalva.

The programme has been developed thanks to funding from The Backstage Trust and Canary Wharf Contractors.