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Participation through the Pandemic

May 2021 - June 2022

We were awarded funding from the Young Start programme to create a new peer research project to gain greater understanding of participation and engagement with children and young people through the pandemic. 

Click here to read the final report (published 6 June 2022)
Click here to read the final case studies 

The Participation through the Pandemic project explored how coronavirus changed the ways in which children and young people can get involved in projects or access services.

Within it, a group of four young researchers aged 14-18 years worked together to examine how engaging online rather than face-to-face has changed the way children and young people share their views.

The researchers on the project learned about different approaches and methodologies before designing their own project. They decided how they wanted to gather information and who they needed to speak to. As a group, they worked with Children in Scotland staff to explore their findings.

The peer researchers examined what worked well and what didn’t, the challenges to engagement and participation in projects online, the ways it was made fun, the ways that organisations adapted and did things differently and recommendations from young people’s experiences during the pandemic to make sure that the adults who work with children and young people to gather their views do it well in the future.

What good participation looks like

This project was led by four peer researchers; Ellie, Emma, Katie and Ishan. As a group they explored what good participation means to them and how to work together to learn about research.

The group ran a survey to gather examples of participation projects from across the pandemic. This survey received 30 responses.

The researchers chose six projects from the survey to do further research on. You can find out more about the chosen projects below.

The group ran creative engagement sessions with the six projects and have met to discuss their findings and recommendations.

Their report was published in June 2022 and the group held a  learning event on Wednesday 8 June to share and discuss their findings.

Case Studies 

We chose six projects to study in more detail. You can find out a bit about each project below:

  • Young Carers and Young Adult Carers Project from Carers Trust in Scotland

Carers Trust in Scotland and Media Education worked with young carers to develop a film about the experiences of young carers over the pandemic. The film explored how young carers roles have changed across the pandemic and the support they feel they need.

  • St Columba's Hospice Care

St Columba's Hospice deliver a child and young person focussed service for when they have lost an adult to an incurable illness. The project has both individual and group elements and provides an opportunity for children and young people to explore the impact of bereavement on their lives. The project has been delivered online since March 2020.

  • Earn Your Stripes delivered by Scottish Badgers and Scottish Wildlife Trust

Scottish Badgers and Scottish Wildlife Trust worked with young people with additional support needs so that they can develop skills and become wildlife champions. The project had previously been delivered in person and outside, but has had to change because of the pandemic.

  • Continuing Care Postcards delivered by CELCIS

CELCIS has worked with the Care Inspectorate, Clan Childlaw and Liminal Studios to co-produce a series of 3D postcards with young people with experience of care. The postcards will share information about young peoples rights in an engaging and accessible fashion.

  • The Place

The Place is located in the Highlands and provides play and learning opportunities to children and young people. During the COVID-19 pandemic they lost access to their usual home and had to change how they work with children and young people. Based on engagement with the children and young people they work with they have moved to an outdoor field and changed the services and support they offer.

  • CAMHS Participation Project delivered NHS Dumfries and Galloway

NHS Dumfries and Galloway have worked with SAMH to provide a creative art project to those who access CAMHS in the area. Children and young people have had a chance to work with a visual artist to explore their mental health. They are also now preparing a booklet to provide support to other young people.

For more information about this project, please contact Parisa Shirazi: 

Participation through the Pandemic

Find out more about the project in the information sheet with full details on how to get involved

Click here for more

Young Start

Helping young people to become more confident and to play an active part in realising their potential

Click here for more

Youth participation and policymaking

Explore our report on the impact young people’s participation has had on policymaking in Scotland

Click here to read

Health Inequalities

Our most recent participative research project with children and young people

Click here for more

Participation Guidelines

We developed guidelines for achieving meaningful participation with young people

Click here to access

Nurturing Talent Fund

We are working in partnership with Creative Scotland on the Nurturing Talent Fund: New Routes

Click here for more

Meet the team

Learn more about our Participation & Engagement team, areas of expertise, and how to get in touch

Click here for more