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Young Londoners Research ProgrammeLaunch of the final reports funded by the Mayor of London

Blog by Theresa Okolo, Housing Association Youth Network (HAYN) Peer Researcher

Young Londoners Research Programme

Partnership for Young London worked with 9 funded organisations that were set up in rounds (round 1 had 3 groups and round 2 contained the remaining 6) These were peer research projects all run by young people and supported by an organisation.

and also a video which shows the journey for the groups with YouMeUs.TV is available Young Londoners Research Programme (

The groups:

  1. The Avenues, a youth club researching how to improve engagement with young women across youth clubs in their surroundings

  2. Haringey Youth Advisory Board, trying to make more young people aware of services to support with stress and anxiety

  3. Soapbox Youth Centre, working to include socially excluded young people in STEM with a focus on neuro diverse young people, and young women.

  4. Highbury Roundhouse, working on breaking barriers for 13–18-year-olds for accessing mental health support

  5. Resources for Autism, a charity and researching the impact of being autistic in mainstream education and society

  6. Chicken Shed Theatre, researching barriers for 11–16-year-olds accessing SEMH schools in Enfield & Barnet

  7. Sounds like Chaos, set up a project called ‘people, places & poetry’ which looked into where young people go when they are not at home or in school and whether this is linked to their mental health

  8. Young Hammersmith and Fulham Foundation, looking into what barriers 14–18-year-olds with poor mental health face accessing youth services

  9. London Borough of Merton, researching changes that need to be made to youth services to make them more engaging and accessible for 11-16 year old care experienced young people

Also, each group went through their findings and recommendations for next steps for their research, yet something that stuck quite a bit throughout the groups was “nothing about us, without us”. After listening to all the talks about the projects and some speeches from other higher ups, we were split into three workshop groups. My group explored “Influencing policy change with peer research” and something that came up that I think could be really relevant to us and our research project is the concept of accountability.

HAYN Peer research project

Voices of the Future was about profiling peer research as a method to inform and influence policy and practice. The HAYN peer research project is building on the abovementioned ‘accountability’ and how housing associations have the duty to listen to their young residents. Theresa – together with Ruman, Tri, Cindy, Malaka and Kara – is part of PYL’s peer research project looking at young residents’ experiences with housing and youth participation in housing associations’ decision-making. The project’s overarching aims are to build capacity for integrated youth voice at all levels of housing associations’ policy, practice and strategy, using peer led processes to gather insight.

Working in partnership with three major housing associations: MTVH, Clarion Housing and Hyde Housing, we will look into the current mechanisms of youth engagement as well as what can be implemented to support young residents to assume leadership roles within these associations.

“Growing up in a housing association in London and experiencing the difficulties in getting on the housing ladder made me curious as to what I could do to improve the conditions and the housing crisis. The opportunity to conduct peer research on housing associations provides an exciting and important platform to inform better housing options, especially for other young people.”

(Cindy Boa, Peer Researcher)

For any inquiries or involvement in the project, please contact Iris Bos (

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