ECVYS Youth Voices

We are really excited to let you know about our youth voice projects across Essex: A unique & innovative way to engage young people in research & listen to their views 

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Young people have lots of valid opinions & views to share and it is vital that we listen. Not only because we should(!) But because they can give us valuable insight into how things really are for young people living in Essex today. Young people are change makers,  we just need to give them a better chance to participate. It is our belief that this project allows young people to have their say and contribute in an accessible, inclusive and creative way.

Through our network we have amazing links with youth clubs across Essex. Our youth voices projects come in the shape of a flexible session plan that can be run within any shape /style of youth group. This means that young people can share their views about issues in their own safe environment, with their own trusted youth leaders and eat *pizza at the same time…What more could you want?!

Our commitment to empower the voluntary youth sector means that we build into all our projects a chance to ‘give back’. As a result, every youth group that takes part and returns the feedback may also claim a donation towards costs for taking part – BONUS! 

Projects OPEN NOW

2021 Violence & Vulnerability listening projects 

In 2020 youth leaders across Essex, Southend and Thurrock engaged with over 600 young people on the violence and vulnerability themes for 2020. The feedback from young people was exceptional and helped the violence and vulnerability team to prioritise issues that young people felt were important. It even helped us to put detached youth workers in 5 local districts.

This year we would like to continue our youth voices work and reach out even further to even more young people and the wider community.

We are launching two listening projects that we would love you to get involved with-

  • Young people’s listening project: If you are a youth group/ club in Essex, Southend or Thurrock and have previously received funding from the VVU, Active Essex, the PFCC, ECC or district councils, or are affiliated to a local or national umbrella organisation/ governing body, OR you are a school in Essex, Southend or Thurrock then you can take part.

We have a session plan for you to run with your young people with an icebreaker game and nine questions that we would like you to engage your young people in. This can be through your virtual sessions, detached work, in a covid-19 support bubble or school setting, but all young people must be between the ages of 10-18 (up to 25 with SEN).

It would be great if you could engage as many of your young people as possible, but if you are able to feed back to us at least 20 young people’s answers by the closing date of 18th March, then your group/ club/ school will receive £200 as a donation towards taking part.

The funding is limited, so all groups will need to have confirmed their place by emailing Rachel Brett on and then Rachel will email you the session plan so you can take part.

  • Community listening project: ‘If you live in Essex, Southend or Thurrock then we invite you to take part in the violence and vulnerability units new listening project around youth violence & vulnerability in your community. All views are so important and will help us to prioritise work and funding for the violence and vulnerability teams work for 2021-2022.

Any local resident can take part, and you will even get the chance to nominate a local registered community group/youth club/ school to receive £500 ‘to spend making their group/ community safer for young people’.

Take part here Open for views NOW, until March 18th 2021

Thank you so much, please spread the word to get as many people involved as possible.

Past projects


NEW DIGITAL YOUTH VOICES- Young people in lockdown

Due to the Covid-19 virus we are all currently in lockdown and many young people are left feeling isolated, alone and unable to enjoy the freedoms that they usually experienced. We have just finished our digital youth voices session about how young people in Essex are coping with the lockdown, and if there is anything that can be done to help support them more.

There are some great insights from young people, so please click on the link to read  ‘Young people in Lockdown’ ECVYS youth voices report


We have recently finished work on two Essex Wide projects-

1.) A ‘Curriculum for life’ iwilllogo  yea

Funded by the Essex Community Foundation and the #Iwillfund in partnership with  the  Young Essex Assembly who wanted to find out young peoples views on having a ‘Curriculum for life’. This project heard how young people in Essex felt they were being educated for ‘life’ and how they thought it could be improved.

You can download our report and findings here

2.) Youth violence & vulnerability in Essex   pfcc

Our second project was funded by the PFCC’s Violence & Vulnerability unit and focused on Youth violence & vulnerability in Essex. This project heard young peoples views about how they felt about their communities. The unit will use this report to help highlight future spending priorities for the team.

You can download our report and findings here

How did we start our youth voice projects?


An idea about more inclusive listening and youth engagement led to a meeting with the National Institute for Health research in the East of England, who believed in our idea too! As a result, In April-July 2019 we ran a ‘micro’ project in the North East of Essex funded by the National Institute of Health research around how young people are consulted in the creation of mental health services.

In June-September 2019 we can a ‘micro’ project funded by the Community Safety partnerships in West Essex (Harlow, Epping & Uttlesford) around young people’s involvement in gangs & knife crime.