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Youth Voice, Influence and Power

The College is working to generate insight into existing youth voice activity across the UK to support the development of more equitable practices that allow a greater representation of young people to have power and influence in decision making.  

About the project

This work is part of a collaborative commitment from BBC Children in Need, Paul Hamlyn Foundation and The National Lottery Community Fund to ensure more meaningful youth voice and power work moving forward, both across their collective vision for young people and more widely across society. 

The College have led Year One of the initiative (October 2021 – October 2022) which focussed on four key ambitions: 

  1. Increase understanding: better understand current youth voice activity in the UK in terms of where and how young people have a voice, who accesses these channels and what they are saying. 

  1. Increase reach: ensure more young people, particularly those seldom heard, such as excluded or marginalised groups, or groups that are less well known, are heard and have influence in decision making processes. 

  1. Enhance equity: better understand the barriers to engagement, and evidence priority areas where we need to focus on equitable access for young people to ensure their voices are heard and able to have influence. 

  1. Improve access to information: to ensure practitioners and young people can access information on national youth voice and insight activity. 


What have we done in Year One? 

Between October 2021 - October 2022 we’ve worked on a number of different strands to support the aims of the project: 

  • Supported the British Youth council to increase the reach of their annual youth participation event Make Your Mark (MYM), through the development of an online voting platform that was co-designed with young people. You can read the technical report here, and the MYM 2022 results report here.
  • Collected and collated demographic data from young people voting online in Make Your Mark, to better understand who does, and does not vote.  
  • Mapped current youth voice activity to help us to better understand the methods used to enable young people to have their voices heard, and who is engaged in these practices. Read the full report here
  • Developed a typology of youth voice, to support the sector through creating a shared language for talking about youth voice practices. Check it out here. 
  • Designed and delivered a survey to gather insight into organisational experiences of supporting youth voice. You can explore the data via our online data platform, or read our full survey report here.

The initiative is being supported by a steering group of young people feeding into key elements of the project and ensuring that young people’s voices are central to the insights and outputs generated. 

If you would like more information about this project please get in touch with Eli (