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Voices of The Future: Peer research into widening access into youth services

Updated: May 9

The Young Londoners Research Programme (YLRP) is a peer research project, focused on training and supporting groups of young people to design their own research projects, conduct fieldwork, and analyse their findings.

Young people did not have existing research skills as we wanted to enable a range of diverse groups to take part in the programme.

Our peer research approach had four key principles:

1. Equal participation by the young peer researchers with the professional researchers - Young people were given the power to make key decisions about the research process, such as the research question, what research methods to use, and what the key findings were.

2. Mutual respect for experience/expertise – Young people were empowered to design and conduct research projects about their communities, respecting that their lived experience makes them best placed to do so. They were also paid for their work as peer researchers.

3. Informed decision making – Young people took part in over 9 training days, with over 45 hours of classroom-based training. Each decision that young people were expected to make was accompanied with training on that subject. Additionally, they were supported through monthly catch ups, and online training sessions where needed for individual groups.

4. Maximum involvement – As far as possible, young people were involved in all elements of the process, from the very start.

The programme funded 9 groups of young researchers with supporting organisations:

1. The Avenues Youth Project

2. Chickenshed Theatre

3. Haringey Youth Advisory Board

4. Highbury Roundhouse Youth and Community Centre

5. Merton Young Inspectors

6. Resources for Autism

7. Soapbox Youth Centre

8. Sounds Like Chaos – The Albany Theatre

9. Young Hammersmith and Fulham Foundation


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