The Young Coneys are a group of young people who make play to spark change for others, especially grown-ups.

The first episode of the Young Coneys News Network, with their stories of lockdown living.

The current Young Coneys are a crackly and creative group of 44 local young change-makers, aged between 7-13. They’re offered a rolling education in play, giving them the opportunity to nurture their individual superpowers and use their creativity to change the world.

A young change maker is someone who on their own, or as part of a team, tries to inspire others with power, energy, determination and spirit to make the world a better place. 
(p.s. can’t be over 30) 

– The Young Coneys’ definition of a Young Changemaker

Young Coneys contract

Being a member has a different impact on all of them, and when they come together they create something really special. They explore, they support one another and establish a space where they feel comfortable to play and be themselves.

Coney is very special to us… (Our daughter is selective mute due to anxiety issues and doesn’t talk at school). The way the Coney team talk to her is amazing, they’re really kind, genuinely interested and really listen to her ideas and opinions. Coney has given her a chance to do something just for her and given her opportunities she will always remember.

– Ursula, parent of Bo

We meet the Young Coneys regularly in workshops led by expert artists and makers, developing their creative skills and specialisms. The workshops are driven by the Young Coneys’ passions and interests, exploring the change they want to spark in the world through play. Through workshops, trips and one-off projects, they tell us what they think about the world – as the future voices of Coney, heard now.

The Young Coneys are supported by The Backstage Trust, and many generous individual donors.

Projects by the Young Coneys

The Young Coneys make projects for others to play. We’ve already made quite a few things together, and there’s plenty more in the works – keep an eye over on our blog to hear about new projects as they happen. Here are some of the Young Coneys’ past projects:

Endangered Friends

The Young Coneys were invited to create a piece for Smithfield Street Party: A Beastly Adventure, and they chose to create Endangered Friends – talking to attendees about the animals of our world. They created puppets with designer Maia Kirkman Richards, and then paraded them at the festival to spark a conversation about animal extinction.

The Young Coneys Fly The Flag

To mark the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, artist Ai Weiwei created a flag to celebrate universal human rights. And in response to the Fly The Flag initiative, the Young Coneys lent their voices by creating their own unique kites to celebrate this special anniversary.

Codename: Violet

On 27th November the Young Coneys held the car industry to account about diesel, in Codename: Violet, a secret project with Greenpeace. Read the Evening Standard’s article about the project here.

Taking on the role of junior doctors, the Young Coneys created a non-violent action to communicate the impact of diesel on young lungs. They arrived at a car industry gala and offered health checks to the people attending, with lung capacity tests and a giant game of operation.

The Village

The Village is a playable world created by the Young Coneys in workshops, based around the superpowers of each individual. In March 2019, they presented a work-in-progress sharing to the Network of Coney, inviting an audience of adults into a community full of shifting relationships. They were tasked with becoming a police force, preventing an alien invasion – and stopping the moon from crashing into the earth. Read more and see the photos here.

The Droves

The Droves was a Coney project in which a professional immersive theatre show was created by kids, through years of workshops with expert makers. Many of the Droves Young Company continued working with us after the project, forming the very first cohort of Young Coneys.

Find out more in The Story of The Droves, or have a look at the Reviews round-up here. We especially loved the Press responses to The Droves from Exeunt and What’s On Stage because they capture why we wanted to make this show.

Coney Club Night – Designed by Kids

In 2018 the Young Coneys designed a club night for adults, to raise funds for The Droves. It took place at CoLab factory with a lineup of fun curated by kids – including lego, glitter, facepaint, balloons and a bowl of dares by the Young Coneys. See photos from the night here.

Kids Takeover Game

One of the first pieces the Young Coneys made, the Takeover Game challenges you to a quiz, where the correct answers are decided by the young makers… Click the image below to give it a try!

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Through projects and workshops, the Young Coneys also get the chance to attain Arts Award qualifications.

Get involved

If you know a young person who’d love to join the Young Coneys, there are occasional chances to join the programme or get involved with projects. To let us know you’re interested and find out more, give us a knock

Support the Young Coneys

Coney are a registered charity (no. 1156864), and all our workshops, projects and Magic Postal Service deliveries are completely free for the Young Coneys to participate in. 

At the moment, the cost of running the Young Coneys programme is entirely funded by generous donations from individuals and organisations. We are so grateful to everyone who has supported us to create a regular meeting space where the Young Coneys can come together, play and create exceptional new projects for others to enjoy. 

Every donation we receive helps us to sustain this programme, and reach even more brilliant young people. Anything you can give, big or small, helps us in ways beyond imagination.

You can support by becoming a Friend of Coney, or making a one-off donation. If you represent an organisation, or would like to support the Young Coneys in another way, please give us a knock to find out more.  

The Young Coneys programme is supported by

Other work with young people

We make work for and with audiences of all ages – from adventures for families, to workshops for school groups. Here are some of our recent projects for young people and families:

Coney are experts in making work with and for children and young people that has sustained impact, led by experienced artists and makers from our pool of Associates and our Network. If you’re interested in developing a bespoke project with young people, get in touch.