Meet the Startup: League Leaders - Experience Haus

Meet the Startup: League Leaders

Prototypes by UX & UI Career Development Bootcamp Students

In this series of startup profiles, we speak to the people behind the startups that provide real-life design challenges to our students. Today, we speak to Paul Jenkins, Founder and CEO of League Leaders.

Paul, can you tell us a little about your company and your current team?

League Leaders is a charity that supports young people who are disengaged with physical activity – using the power of creativity and youth co-creation. Developing active citizens and leaders who have 360° opportunities to be, and to stay active. 

Through our work young people engage in sport, build life and employability skills, develop and deliver real-world projects and create career opportunities.

We help 11-25 year olds across the UK, especially those from lower socio-economic backgrounds, to realise their potential, power and influence – using creativity and physical activity as catalysts.

Founded by Paul Jenkins, who is the charity’s CEO, his lived experience and personal journey from age 13 represents the same young people we aim to engage. Using his own barriers to launch the charity and give young people the support he didn’t have – having worked with young people across community and education settings for 15+ years.

The charity’s 8 Trustees provide expertise, passion, professional skills and personal experiences that are instrumental in making sure, under the leadership of Paul, young people are supported in effective ways. The expertise includes: Food & Nutrition, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Sports for Development, Youth Work, Creative Direction, Media, Fashion, Technology, Programming & Governance.

Jade Harris (Chair) has supported young people for 12+ years across the UK, creating meaningful sport, community and food programmes and campaigns that have engaged 1,000,000+ young people.

John Jones has 17+ years experience of sport and youth work, creating and championing opportunities for young people from undeserved communities, so they have the safety net, support structure and springboards to fulfil potential.

The team work with specialist staff to support delivery and have a growing volunteer base. If you’re interested in volunteering for League Leaders, you can register here.

Alongside the Trustees’ leadership, we also have an Advisory Board that provides League Leaders strategic advice and promotes our charitable aims. Advisors come from organisations including Google, London Sport and Wembley Stadium.

What design challenges have you supplied to Experience Haus? 

We are uniquely set up and positioned as a charity that first delivers on the ground, but we also have the ability to educate and advocate about putting young people first, being equal partners across society.

This means we deliver and develop our own programmes, whilst also being commissioned and funded by others to support young people. Experience Haus students worked on one of our own programmes: virtual activity resources we are developing and currently piloting. This is about creating fit for purpose exercise and movement short-form videos, made by young people, for young people.

Their brief was to identify different users that would make use of such a resource, from young people, to parents and influential people across sectors and develop a concept for a future-facing version of the programme, contained with a native mobile app.

What did the individual student/teams of students manage to produce for you?

Given the complexity, which is why it’s critical work, of young people’s needs when it comes to physical activity, the EH students completely blew us away with what was produced in a short amount of time.

Firstly, and rightly so, they immersed themselves in the world that is a young person’s mind and gathered insightful research and user insights about the real challenges and barriers of being active as a young person. It’s not always what you think.

We see this day-to-day as a charity, but I was very impressed with what was presented back, with a few of the students noting this was their favourite part of the process.

These insights led to focused core user journeys for the platform idea, brought to life in high fidelity user interface designs and animated prototypes – did I say how much was produced in a short amount of time?!

Ultimately what the students have supported us with is a future-facing vision of what our programme could look like, but with immediate ideas we’ve taken away and started working on. Underpinned by sound research and understanding of young people: the most important thing.

How have you been able to implement the outputs?

We’re currently busy behind the scene working on the virtual activity resources programme’s pilots and the students’ work is helping us as a collective team to make sure we’re thinking about the future, not just the here and now.

Where do you see the company in 5 years?

This is a tough question!! But the world we’re creating is for every young person to have the right to design how they are physically active – so we’ll be on that journey.

Find out more about Paul:

LinkedIn: Connect with Paul

Submit a Design Challenge for an Experience Haus student:

Thursday 7th December, 2023

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