Young people share their experiences on Coram’s Young Citizens programme

  • 21 November 2022

Lizzie Gilbert, Research and Evaluation Officer at Coram, describes what young people told us about their experiences of Coram’s Young Citizens programme.

Coram’s Young Citizens Programme aims to make a positive impact on the lives of young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds. Through surveys and interviews, young people and professionals told us about the programme’s impact.

‘‘I have used my story to demonstrate to other young people that there’s always light at the end of the tunnel” – Young Citizens Trainer

Between July 2019 and September 2022, approximately 950 Young Citizens Participants attended 114 workshops which 63 Young Citizens Trainers, other young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds, helped to create and deliver.

What young people told us

“I enjoyed that everyone talked and everyone heard each other.” – Young Citizens Participant

Young people were very positive about the programme. Trainers (93%) felt that having the perspective of a young person from a similar background made the project better than if it was run by professionals only. Workshop participants (94%) liked that the trainers were other young people like them.

“It is really helpful and useful [to] share my experience and know that I wasn’t the only one who had [those] kind of problems.” – Young Citizens Participant

Trainers (98%) and participants (95%) felt more informed about their rights after the programme. Trainers (95%) felt more confident about accessing services, and participants were more likely to get involved in new activities (91%) and were more aware of where to go for support (90%). Participants felt more positive about the future (93%) and that they could deal with problems better (87%). Trainers (98%) felt like part of a community and that they had helped other young people. Participants (89%) felt close to other young people in the workshops.

“I have now got enough information on who to ask for support and what steps to take.” – Young Citizens Participant

Trainers told us that they developed skills (98%) and confidence (96%) that would help them to achieve future goals, felt their confidence had increased to deliver training (97%), and felt prepared to run training (97%). A higher percentage of trainers were working after the programme (31% compared to 10% before the programme).

The trainers we interviewed told us that they had made friends on the programme, accessed support, used their own experiences to support participants, experienced positive impacts on their wellbeing, and developed skills and confidence, such as building leadership skills through being in charge of a class.

“[I have enjoyed] learning and having fun at the same time, but also feeling like an important part of the community.” – Young Citizens Trainer

What professionals told us

Professionals, including teachers and youth workers, told us that the workshops helped young people to know where to go for support (97%) and would help them to better support young people (94%). They thought the workshops taught young people about their rights (96%), that young people appeared connected (96%) and that the workshop had more impact as a result of being led by young people with similar experiences (96%).

Next steps

Funding has been sought for the programme to continue and in the meantime, it will charge colleges, youth groups, and other partners for the delivery of workshops.

Our recommendations for the next phase of the project and the full evaluation report can be found from the button below.

Read our Young Citizens evaluation report

Lizzie Gilbert, Research and Evaluation Officer for Coram’s Impact and Evaluation Team, led on the final evaluation of the Young Citizens programme. More can be found about Coram’s Impact and Evaluation Team here.