There are around 1.5 billion young people in the world today. 40% of the population is under 24 years of age.

The Challenge

UNICEF and Wellcome undertook a global youth-led research project exploring what young people around the world want people working in research, policy and programming to know about their experience of mental health.

This was complemented by a UK-based research project exploring how to increase youth participation in science and health research. Wellcome and UNICEF wanted to design up and publish a synthesis of the research findings that would be engaging and relevant to their key audiences.

Our response

Working with Beatfreeks, the youth engagement and insight agency, we recruited a team of young co-leads aged 18-25 to design and implement the UK-based participatory research programme. These young people meaningfully shaped and carried out every stage – from the research design to the implementation and analysis.

The research engaged 100+ young people via surveys, group discussions and interviews. Reaching marginalised groups, whose perspectives are often overlooked, was prioritised. The findings, which explored big issues like mental health and climate, were shared at the Hive, a conference focused on peer research by young people, run by the Young Foundation.

In order to share the findings of the global and UK research, Shift created a series of short publications throughout the 18-month project to shine a light on the activity and emerging insights. Again, we assembled a team of young co-leads aged 18-25 who undertook the copywriting, art direction, website build, video editing, illustration and translation work.

Together, we produced a website (see below) packed with infographics, short films and bite-sized summaries that highlighted the key findings as well as some of the personal stories from the global and UK-based research programme.


UK research

With Fan Sissoko.

Young co-leads: Amber Seddon, Ellis Roberts-Wright, Erin Carr,
Max Edgington, Shakira Morka, Zuhur Ahmed.

Design and socialisation of global insights

Led by Tori Flower.

Art Director/Creative Production: Caroly Nisu

Copywriters: Camila de la Parra, Shakira Morka, Ellis Roberts Wright

Illustrator: Saffron Lee

Translators: Pauline Ries, Lorine Navet, Camila de la Parra, María del Mar Gómez-Pamo González-Cela


A bigger role for young people in health & science research

January 26, 2022

Young authors explore how they can play a bigger role in health and science research. Supported by Wellcome and Beatfreeks.



wellcome logo unicef logo   

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