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The Mix
Welcome to The Mix Life's tough, we know that. It can throw a lot your way and make it hard to know what to do with it all. So, welcome to The Mix. Whether you're 13, 25, or any age in between, we're here to take on the embarrassing problems, weird questions, and please-don't-make-me-say-it-out-loud thoughts you have. We give you the information and support you need to deal with it all. Because…
Idea for research
Idea for research
We are interested in evaluating our participation structure against best practice outcomes for participation practice - that is, the ways we try to bring in young people's voices to our organisation and what it does. This is done via our Youth Voice Framework, which is set up in a way to achieve two things:
• To ensure that young people have meaningful opportunities to shape our work across every area of the organization and every level of the organisation
• To provide young people with options and choices of ways to engage that best suit their needs, time, skills, and confidence levels. Young people can move through the different opportunities as their schedules, needs, skills and confidence allows.

The Framework of activities and opportunities is as follows:
1. Young Trustees: Two Young Trustees sit on our board of trustees as full voting members.
2. Youth Advisory Board: Works closely with our Board of Trustees and Senior Management Team to shape the overall governance, strategy, and direction of the charity. We are in the process of setting up a co-mentoring systems to ensure that both our Board of Trustees have the opportunity to learn about what is important to this generation, and our youth advisory board members have the support they need to develop.

Operational Youth Voice Groups meet once per month and work on longer term projects that shape a specific area of work. They include the below groups:
1. Services Innovator Committee: Made up of young people with experience of using our digital services, this group meet regularly with our Senior Services Coordinator to shape our helpline and counselling services.
2. Young Ambassadors: Made up of young people who are passionate about raising awareness of any and every issue that impacts young people. They work closely with our marketing and communications team to shape the direction of all of The Mix’s campaigning work.
3. Community Champions: Young people who actively use our online community (chat and boards) they help shape everything to do with our community, from running Christmas activities, to shaping our guidelines and terms of engagement.
4. Safeguarding Steering Group: Made up of young people, frontline service volunteers, and frontline staff this group shapes our values and approach to building a safeguarding culture at The Mix.

Routes to participation/the framework
- One off opportunities:
These are all accessed through the opportunities network, where young people sign up and receive information through a weekly email and Trello board. Young people can sign up for a range of opportunities which are a one-time commitment or hear about more long-term opportunities like our youth voice groups. These can include anything from public speaking, creating content (social media and article) co-designing a specific project, digital product or campaign through our workshops. They can engage with as much or as little as they like and build skills and confidence as they go. They can go through a period of not engaging and come back depending on their schedules. They can be asked to be removed from the mailing list at any time.
Participants in the one-off opportunities do not participate in the running of the organisation but they still often contribute to shaping our services, campaign ideas and content as they are a way for us to gather insight and use co-design methods.

- Training:
Ad-hoc training opportunities open to everyone to ensure that we are skill building and giving back to the young people who are shaping our work.

Our ideas for research
We don’t expect any one student or research project to be able to answer all of these questions, we can narrow the focus down. Probably the most important question for us is the question number 1 - whether the programme is meaningful. Our full "wish list" of the questions we'd like to have answered are below:
1. Is the way we involve young people meaningful?
a. Do young people feel listened to
b. Do they feel as though they have a say/ power to create change within the organisation
c. Are young people actually shaping and having a say in the direction of the organisation

2. Does our participation programme foster healthy youth development?
a. Are young people learning new and relevant skills
b. Are young people achieving a greater sense of confidence and independence through taking part
c. Is it helping improve young people’s outcomes (e.g, vocation, mental health, overall wellbeing etc).

3. Is the organisation benefiting from our participation programme
a. Are our service’s as a result of the co-design work we do with YP meeting young peoples needs
b. Are our messaging and campaigns focused on what young people feel is truly relevant to them
c. What are our staff attitudes towards working with young people, where are the strengths and where are the barriers? What can we do to shift any barriers e.g. More training needed or is it working to help understand the benefits of working with young people.

4. Is our programme fair and equitable, and are we engaging a truly diverse group of young people?
a. Who are the young people engaging with our participation programme?
b. What are the barriers for people from underserved communities to volunteering with us?
c. As a charity who is meant to be for all young people in the UK are there any groups we are missing or should be putting more resource into engaging?
Impact of idea
It can identify how we can further improve our participation structure to ensure we follow best practice and maximise positive impact for young people.

If you have any existing data or information you would like included in a project, please tell us what kind of data these are

Application process
Application criteria
Knowledge of research methods
DBS needed
No