What we can do for you

Services work better with young people. We make this happen by being playful in practice; serious about solutions. We facilitate award-winning youth engagement projects that help decision makers deliver better services.

Inspire Change

We can transform the culture of your organisation by changing your approach to working with young people. We address common business challenges including staff skill and motivation, keeping up with current trends AND marketing your services to young people.

Gain Data

We help you understand the lived experience of young people by using proven, youth-led, award-winning programs. Our insight and feedback projects are bespoke to fit your needs. They will give you fantastic data to help you make better decisions. They also offer young people fantastic experiences to develop personal and employability skills.

Take Action

We keep young people engaged from the start of the program until we find the solution together. We work with them to find out what they think and what needs changing. Then we work with both young people and decision-makers to deliver some serious solutions.


Our vision is of a world where every child and young person has the knowledge, skills and belief to have a positive impact in their community.


Meet the team

We are made up of the most passionate, charismatic and friendly people from across the world! Including young people in leadership!

Antonia Dixey

Chief Executive (CEO)

Antonia is our Founder and CEO. Her vision is for every single child and young person to have a voice, and for them to be listened to and have their views acted upon. She has facilitated, managed and engaged with young people on many youth engagement projects in the UK, Armenia, Canada, South Africa and South America.

Ann Haigh

Youth Voice and Influence Officer

Ann is excited about getting the young people of Dorset involved in their services, hearing what they have to say and being part of their journeys into adulthood. Originally from the West Midlands, Ann now well and truly feels as though Dorset is her home. Having worked in the charity sector for 12 years in admin roles for a Children’s Centre and The Children’s Rights Service.

Camilla Gordon

Youth Voice And Influence Contractor

Camilla is a facilitator who specialises in creative and playful interventions. She has worked with young people from a range of diverse backgrounds, using a playful approach to deal with some of the more challenging issues facing young people today. Camilla also works with charities and companies that work with young people to ensure their voices are heard at every level.

Collette Debono

Project Admin & Support

Collette is passionate about working with young children & people, and has worked for 10 years with young children. She believes that all children are entitled to have a voice, and is committed to help them flourish into confident young people. Collette has gained her NVQ’s in Child & Young Persons Development, and has recently extended her skills into a research admin role.

Melissa McCormick

Communications Adviser

Melissa has supported various organisations and upper schools in promoting initiatives and organising events for young people. Melissa has a real understanding of the importance and significance of ensuring organisations communicate effectively with young people and that the voices of young people are heard and valued.

Ed Cooney

Youth Voice and Influence Officer

Ed has worked with young people in various environments ranging from English language summer schools, the Cub Scouts and supporting young people through their Duke of Edinburgh Awards. Ed is passionate about encouraging young people into social action and equipping them with the skills to get their voices heard in a fun environment!

Nikki Connelly

Youth Voice and Influence Officer

Nikki has worked with young people for most of her professional life, initially on summer camps leading drama groups and outdoor education activities, then as a teacher for many years, before becoming a deputy head teacher of a London school. She believes that young people deserve the right to represent their own interests and is passionate about helping young people to turn their ideas into action and influence change, as well as finding the best platforms to present these ideas in order to improve opportunities, services and support networks for young people.

Leanne Boult

Youth Voice and Influence Officer

Leanne has worked with young people in various roles for 14 years in Norfolk which include working with young parents, families fleeing Domestic violence, LGBTQI+, homelessness and working with young people involved in the CJS. Leanne has supported young people to have their voices heard through setting up campaign groups, creating community activities and creating change in other organisations. Leanne is passionate about providing a platform for young people to have their voices heard and to make positive and important changes in their community.

Jack Stowell

Youth Voice and Influence Officer

Jack has worked in multiple roles within the education sector; from Primary School to University, keeping young people’s voices, ambitions and concerns at the heart of his work.

Nothing excites Jack more than getting to see a young person’s journey to becoming a socially aware person who understands the immense power of their voice.

Cynthia Akinsanya

Cynthia Akinsanya

Youth Voice Admin Officer

Cynthia has over 10 years’ experience working in the not for profit sector, working for local, regional, national and international charities; and volunteering for a youth charity. She is passionate about giving young people a voice and is continually inspired and by Gen Z’s outlook and approach to life.


Youth Voice and Influence Contractors

Conor has worked with Participation People for 6 years in a variety of roles including: Wandsworth Youth Council Chair, Young Ambassador and supporting politicians to scrutinise their work. Conor is passionate about supporting professionals to inspire young people from low socio-economic backgrounds and with speech and language impediments to achieve. He is a fantastic facilitator with an infectious sense of fun in his delivery style!



Youth Voice and Influence Contractors

Farhana has worked with Participation People for 5 years. In her words, “I went to one Youth Council session and never looked back!” She is working her way through university to be a teacher, inspiring 11-18 year olds learn, develop and thrive through play! Farhana is passionate about supporting young people who’s voices often get overlooked speak up loud and proud.


Youth Voice and Influence Contractors

Hanna has worked with Participation People for the last 4 years in her role as Chair of Dorset's Care Leaver Forum. Supporting vulnerable young people to gain meaningful employment and in her words, "escape the system" is a particular passion of hers. She is an brilliant facilitator with both young people and professionals; helping them have the “tough” conversations in a safe and inclusive space.

Final The Cockapoo - Youth Engagement Cockapoo


Youth Engagement Cockapoo

I’m Finlay the cockapoo. I’m a member of the Participation People team too! I like lots of cuddles and to help young people when they are stressed and upset. I live in Dorset but do lots of travelling across the UK to help the team empower young people to have their voice & engage in conversation. I think I have the best job of all!

Iftekhar Gafar

Programme Manager, Universal

Ifty has had 15 years of experience in youth work and media, working with various charities, local authorities, and directed and produced films with Channel 4 and the BBC. Ifty loves bringing his experience as a filmmaker to his work with young people, always thinking of creative ways to amplify their stories. Ifty has used a lot of his own lived experiences of being a refugee to influence the work he’s done, including more recently his degree in Criminology and Sociology. Ifty feels especially passionate about ensuring young people from disadvantaged, minority communities have a voice.

Hannah Wiseman

Programme Manager, Specialist and Targeted

Hannah has been enthusiastic and passionate about working with young people since she was a student in Nottingham. Hannah has experience working with a variety of young people from different backgrounds, including care leavers, university students and groups of young women in Senegal (West Africa.) Nothing gives her greater satisfaction than seeing young people develop and grow with confidence over time!

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What our Clients say

We've worked with some truly amazing people and organisations, across the youth and engagement sectors, here are some kind words from just a few!
Sam Ponniah

Sam Ponniah

Chair - Wandsworth Youth Council

"The Participation people are absolutely fantastic at engaging young people. The enthusiasm and passion they have for engaging young people is only surpassed by their fantastic planning and efficiency. They greatly inspired me as a young person to make loads of changes in my local community, while developing my skills all on a tiny budget!"

Joanne Rich

Joanne Rich

Youth Engagement Manager - Affinity Sutton

"Antonia and her team have been a delight to work with over the past couple of years. They have delivered training to different groups of our young people and always provide informative, but most importantly creative sessions. The creativity they utilise within sessions is so unique that I have asked them to train our team in the skills they use, as they are relevant to any area of community engagement."

Nisha Plaha

Nisha Plaha

Senior Representation Officer - London Borough of Newham Council

“The Participation People contributed to achieving our highest election turnout in our seven year history of the Young Mayor scheme, standing at 73% of young people voting in the borough. I would recommend Antonia and her team to others looking to deliver similar objectives, particular when considering delivering youth engagement activities.”

Lily Macbeth

Lily Macbeth

Youth Researcher - 16

"With Young Researchers I have learnt how to consider a target group in order to make a survey accessible. In the future I will have a better understanding of target audiences and this will help with public speaking and interview situations."

Umar Kankiya

Umar Kankiya

Youth Voice Coordinator - London Borough of Newham

"If you are working in Youth Participation and don’t know The Participation People, you need to know them! They are going places. Fun, fantastic, passionate, enthusiastic. That’s them!"

Paul Armitage

Paul Armitage

Youth Marketing Lead - Manchester Commissioning Unit

"I’m always in awe of Participation People’s creativity, and their ability to inspire people to get on board with ideas and buy-in to the importance of engaging with stakeholders; even people who were initially on completely different pages."

Helen Killingley

Helen Killingley

Grant and Learning Manager - Spirit of 2012

"Participation People have embodied their motto “playful in practice, serious about solutions” to the full. They challenge and support Spirit of 2012 at every turn to maximise the work we do with our Youth Advisory Panel and empower the members individually and collectively to identify and achieve goals for themselves and for the organisation. An inspiration and pleasure to work with."

Clare Thomas

Clare Thomas

CEO - Hope Support

"They have been invaluable in adding focus and very user friendly tools to further our work of listening to and capturing our young people’s voice. They have delivered training to our young people as well as our staff and have included our young people’s thoughts and ideas in all the work that they have done across the County. "


Hanna Baxter, 18

Youth Researcher - Care Leaver

"Working with Participation People has opened so many doors for me, whilst simultaneously making me aware of issues within my own community. Participation People have opened my eyes to new jobs and opportunities that I wouldn't have considered before. They have helped me grow! I am now far more confident, have better self esteem and know how to influence decision makers. They are brilliant!"


Louise Clapton

Community Partnerships Coordinator

"Having attended and been motivated by a Participation People workshop at the Hospice UK conference in November 2018. We at Dorothy House Hospice Care have found working with the Participation People on our Youth Climate Report has been a really engaging and fun experience! A wide range of internal and external stakeholders had the opportunity to express their ideas and thoughts on how the hospice engages with young people and moving forward, develop this area of work through interviews and an interactive and lively workshop. We look forward to putting ideas into practice."



Care Experienced Young Person - Aged 14

Participation People are great, because they come to you. They speak your language. They will do everything they can to make sure you can get to a session or have a voice on stuff that matters. Not only that, but they help other people do that too. There were years when no one listened to me or what I wanted. Participation People changed my views and expectations of professionals. I now know that I can ask for what I want and have the tools to do just that. My future looks much brighter and that is thanks to Participation People.

Kieran Coleman

Kieran Coleman

Care Leaver

When Working on Projects with Participation People you gain lots of new experience and knowledge of the social care system but also you get to have you voice heard by many different professionals that are willing to listen and help make a difference for all young people. By working on a project with PP you don’t just get the experience and knowledge but also you gain a lot of new confidence along with making new friendships groups that you are able to share experiences with along with having the ability to say what you feel needs to be changed or how things should be done”.

Theresa Leavy

Theresa Leavy

Dorset's Director of Children's Services

"Participation People approaches are refreshing, creative and inspiring and have enabled us to grow a culture of participation and we will strive to embed these principles throughout our services."

  • London Borough Of Hounslow Logo

#YouthVoice Pioneers

Participation People’s #YouthVoice Pioneers are a group of young people from across the UK with different experiences of: Health care, Social care, Police & youth justice, Children’s services, Voluntary sector, Education, Asylum seeking services. Their aim – to help professionals listen to, value and work with young people to improve services, together! July 2020, they are launching a series of factsheets, #YouthVoice toolkits and accompanying podcasts to do just that. #WatchThisSpace

Get in Touch

Get started by talking to us! We would love to hear from you. Whether it’s a problem, an idea…or some underspend!

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03333 556 438 Mon - Fri: 9:00 - 17:00

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