Youth Engagement Services

How we can help

Young minds, fresh perspectives, better business decisions.

Participation People believe businesses and organisations work better when you work creatively with the young people who use them. 

Whether you are experienced in youth participation but need some help getting it to the next level for your organisation, or if you’re completely new to the field, we want to help you:

  • Improve organisational performance, with young people
  • Re-purpose resources to better meet the needs of children, young people, and families
  • Improve organisational reputation
  • Be responsive and agile to the changing needs of children and young people
  • Improve how you capture and engage with youth insight as business intelligence
  • Improve job satisfaction for staff, volunteers, children, young people, and families
  • Prove how youth insight helps to make better business decisions

To accomplish this, we have three distinct approaches to empower your organisation to make better business decisions, with young people. 

Shifting culture and changing mindset

When you’re in need of a gear change, consultation with young people can provide fresh perspective. Discover the ways we can gather insights from young people to inspire the innovation you need.

After 12 years in the field, Participation People know that it takes time, skill, and knowledge to truly embed youth voices into organisations in a meaningful way.

Through our extensive training offer, we provide professionals with the skills to redesign existing systems and deeply integrate youth voices into decision-making processes and policies. How do we ensure professionals meaningfully understand and explore the perspectives of young people?  By making all of our workshops co-facilitated with young people.

After attending one of our training workshops, you will have the tools needed to embed youth engagement, participation, and co-produced programmes into your organisation.  

To help you get started on your youth engagement training pathway, check out our training brochure or book a chat with our Training and Curriculum Officer.

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Youth Voice Audits and Roadmaps explore what is working and what could be improved in existing youth voice, engagement, and participation programmes within your organisation.

These are designed to diagnose the gaps and historical challenges – including how senior leaders listen and are influenced by young people’s voices (or not!). With our young people and your staff team, we work together to strengthen how your organisation or brand listens, values and acts on young people’s voices to solve the toughest of business challenges. 

To help get you started, explore the finer details here or book a meeting with our team to chat through what this Youth Voice solution could look like for you.

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Many organisations will recognise that they need professionals and staff resources on the ground to help them embed youth engagement, participation, and co-production projects.

What can sometimes be challenging, is training and developing these ‘on the ground’ professionals with the latest youth engagement tools, skills, and techniques.

Participation People can help! 

With the help of our partners, we have built a flexible, continued, professional development programme to support youth participation and engagement officers beyond the training room. 

Check out the details in our nifty brochure or book a meeting with our team to explore how we can help you.

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Reverse mentoring flips traditional mentoring on its head. We give your organisation’s senior leadership the opportunity to shift the power paradigm top down, in real-time, led by young people. 

Participation People recruit young people from diverse backgrounds and experiences – as experts by experience at being ‘young people’. These young people are trained and supported to mentor senior leaders and solve business challenges together, utilising young people’s insight, perspective and knowledge of what it’s like growing up in their communities today. In exchange, senior leaders support young people to develop a life skill they have identified, as experts in their professional experience! 

The results are exponential. Business challenges are better informed. Senior leaders have direct access to young people. Leaders are more able to relate to how and why young people access their organisation.  Young people often end up championing the organisation from the front – showcasing the positive impact your organisation / brand has to their peers. 

Explore what your reverse mentoring programme could look like here or get in touch with our team. We’d love to chat with you. 

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Events are brilliant at bringing audiences together who wouldn’t normally collaborate. Introducing Participation People’s BIG TAKEOVER to do exactly that. 

BIG TAKEOVERs are short-term engagement opportunities for busy senior professionals and young people to work collaboratively together. 

Your BIG TAKEOVER event would give young people the chance to work with adults and co-produce solutions to BIG BUSINESS CHALLENGES, together!

Young people benefit from the opportunity to experience how decisions are made. Adults get a real insight into what it’s like accessing their service through a youth lens.

Check out what young people in Royal Greenwich got up to in 2022 here. Or for an example of IMPACT, check out Middlesbrough’s BIG TAKEOVER report 2021, here – a project that was a Children and Young People Now 2022 Award Finalist! 

To find out how Participation People can co-design your BIG Takeover, with you, your team, and young people, get in touch with our team. We’d love to hear from you.

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Strengthening structures and processes

Services and processes work better when you consult the people that use them. We can collaborate with you to build seamless processes that truly respond to youth insight.

Young people share their frustrations with us regularly and the most common one is that professionals speak a different language. Forms, emails and website content are dull, long and difficult to engage with. Copy is full of acronyms, abbreviations and words they don’t understand. 

A Youth Proof to Future Proof project puts you and young people together. Participation People help to demystify and decrypt your organisational messages into youth speak, with young people. 

The result is modern, on-trend, and reliable content; alongside a set of co-produced principles to keep future copy ahead of the curve.

Have a look at a set of youth-proof principles we co-created earlier with Hounslow’s Mental Health Team and young people who use their services. 

To find out how we can youth-proof your organisation and get in touch with our team. We would love to chat!

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Create a trained, supported, and facilitated team of young people to work alongside you. Young Champions can help shape your brand and your offer. They provide real-time insight on youth engagement topics; provide user testing and work alongside senior leaders to help put their story behind the business intelligence. 

Young Champions are a team of young people who you want to access your offer. They work on projects to help you. 

Have a read of a Young Champions success story here

To find out how to set up, support, and facilitate a team of Young Champions, get in touch with our team. We would love to chat!

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Young Journalists are teams of young people trained and supported to write content and copy to promote your organisation and brand.

Trained and supported in journalism skills, they share their perspectives and insight on new projects you are setting up, and topics you want your organisation to explore from a youth perspective. 

Young Journalist Teams are brilliant at engaging with their peer group. They help shift your existing demographic into younger age groups, making your organisation relevant, and on-trend, improving engagement reach.  

Have a read about Dorset’s Wildlife Trust Young Journalist project here

To find out how to set up, facilitate and structure a Young Journalist project, get in touch with our team. We would love to chat!

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Young trustees, scrutineers, and governors when inducted, trained, and supported properly can offer high-level influence and insight to improve your organisation, together. 

These young people are often backed up by a team of other young people they work with alongside e.g.our  Young Champions/ Researchers/ Peer Educators. This helps give them the clout and credence they need to hold their own at high-level decision-making boards and committees. 

Check out how we supported Girlguiding UK to develop their governance procedures, with young people as equal partners. 

To find out how young people can help enhance senior decision-making processes across your organisation, get in touch with our team. We’d love to hear from you.

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Improving feedback and insight

With business intelligence and the right tools, we can help you take action, consulting young people to solve BIG and small business challenges together.

Participation People believe getting brilliant feedback and insight goes beyond a focus group and simple poll.

We believe feedback should be reliable, current, and detailed when exploring topics, challenges and ideas.

Listening Labs recruit diverse groups of young people to take part in co-designed workshops, co-facilitated by our Young Consultants. They are supported by our staff team to provide safe, inclusive, and accessible spaces for young people to share what they really think and feel about topics of interest to them.  

Participants are incentivised to get involved, removing the barriers to volunteering and ensuring the feedback you receive is from the target audience you want to work with.  

Participation People have extensive networks of young people from across the UK – making Listening Labs an agile and fast-paced project when needed. 

Read about our Listening Labs series for ECORYS and DCMS here

To find out how young people can help enhance senior decision-making processes, get in touch with our team. We would love to hear from you.

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Young Inspectors projects are amongst our most effective. They are short, snappy and can support the most vulnerable young people to take part.

 Even better, they can offer valuable insight to help organisations make better decisions at pace, with young people. 

Young Inspectors, sometimes known as Young Reviewers, are teams of trained and supported young people who explore a line of enquiry. They interview staff, take part in site visits, explore policies through a youth lens and investigate what your competitors are doing. 

After 6-8 weeks, they report their findings back to you; co-producing recommendations in partnership to strengthen your structures, systems, and processes – with youth insight at their heart. 

Read about our work with NHS Midlands Young Inspectors Team here – exploring transition through a youth lens. 

To understand how a Young Inspector project can help you, get in touch with our team. We would love to chat. 

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Youth-led, participatory action research projects that put young people’s insight, thoughts, feelings, and perceptions at the heart of transformation and programme design. 

Trained teams of Young Researchers, supported by Huddersfield’s Social Science Team and Professor Barry-Percy Smith, delve into a research brief written by you, co-developed by them. 

Young people design and facilitate a research project, using methods and approaches that are age appropriate. Often accomplishing high return rates that are statistically relevant. 

Data gathered from the Young Researcher project is then used to co-produce findings and recommendations – with your team and young people. The results and impact have helped guide city-wide transformation projects, service design, and programme development. 

Have a read of Middlesbrough’s Young Researcher project here. Both projects were finalists for the Children and Young People Now Awards 2021 and 2022 respectively. 

Speak to our team for a conversation about how a Young Researcher project can help you review, plan and innovate.

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App and new technology development and refinement are better when you involve those who will use the end product. 

Participation People can recruit, support and facilitate User Experience Design and Testing teams of young people and parents; to help software designers get the product right the first time. 

We have loved working with the Acacium Group to support them to design, build, test, and enhance a new mental health platform, for young people and parents. Read this project’s case study here. Or enjoy Jeremy’s Instagram story of his experience as part of this team here

Speak to our team to learn how Participation People can help you recruit, set up, and support young people and parents to be part of user experience teams.

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The best thing about supporting young people to be on recruitment, selection and commissioning panels? Their fresh insight and no-nonsense approach. With the right training, support and incentives, young people can help you find the best people for the job – and find the best providers too. 

Young people are part of Participation People’s recruitment, shortlisting, selection, interview and induction panels; so for us, this is business as usual. Have a look at our handy hints and tips, co-produced by young people on how best to involve them in recruitment and selection. 

If you would like help embedding these practices in your human resources systems and structures, please reach out to our team. 

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Peer Educators are teams of young people who research the real stats and facts on challenging topics. 

Over 6-8 weeks, they use this data to inform and build campaign assets; designing and launching their campaigns to their peers for maximum impact. 

The outcomes of Peer Educator projects are vast and varied. Outcomes include co-designed assets that are youth-proofed, on-trend and on-brand. Young people champion your organisation and messaging, using their learning; reaching groups of young people you may well struggle to reach. 

If you would like help to have young people design and socialise organisational messages with their peers, book a meeting with our team to learn more.

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Want to work with us? 

Get started by talking to us. Whether it’s a problem or an idea, we would love to hear from you. 
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Download Our Brochure

We’ve compiled all of our helpful services into one single brochure to allow you to distribute it to decision makers and within meetings to show what The Participation People and Youth Engagement can do for your organisation.

Find out more about our services by downloading our completely free PDF brochure.