New Youth-Led Peer Research Network to focus on young people’s experiences

Date: 29 September 2021

Up to 60 young people across England are set to lead and conduct research into the experiences and priorities of their peers. 

The new Youth-Led Peer Research Network is now open to applicants across England, and will bring young people with diverse backgrounds and experiences together. The researchers will speak to 300 16- to 20-year-olds, documenting their ideas and experiences, sharing them across the youth sector, and enabling funders to better understand youth priorities.

The Young Foundation will co-ordinate and run the project, training Network members and working will them to co-design research.

CEO, Helen Goulden, says: “The Young Foundation has a long history of working towards building a fairer future for young people, and this is an opportunity to help centre youth voice at the heart of future thinking and strategy. We’re excited to be a part of it and further expand on the work we do with our Peer Research Network.”

The new Youth-Led Network is driven by a £150,000 investment from The National Lottery Community Fund.

Helen Whyman is head of the #iwill Fund – a joint investment between the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and The National Lottery Community Fund’s ‘Young People in the Lead’ work. She says: “We’re really excited to be funding the Youth-Led Peer Researcher Network and particularly pleased that the young people engaged will co-design this network alongside The Young Foundation, placing them at the heart of the research from the very start.”  

Whyman continues: “The aim is that this research will help bring the sector a step closer to better understanding and meeting the needs of young people across England.” 

The Youth-Led Peer Researcher Network will conclude in January 2022, when the researchers present their findings to The National Lottery Community Fund. These will be shared more widely in the spring so that funders, delivery organisations and youth organisations can embed learnings into their work and use them to inform future decisions. 

Goulden concludes: “Peer research is an integral part of understanding lived experience and we can’t wait to see the impact this work will have.”

Applications to become a member of the Youth-Led Peer Research Network are open until 24 October.