Commission us for your next project

The Upstart team has been involved in a wide variety of consultation and research projects. Usually these are about listening to young people to help design and deliver new programmes, or evaluating projects with responses from young participants.

Our work has explored skills needs for businesses, responses to music education, perceptions on artificial intelligence and the ongoing development of the Arts Award programme.

We can design online surveys and run 1:1 interviews or focus groups. Our experience in mix-method research ensures an inclusive practice that gets the best data and insights from young people. We can also consult stakeholders, including leaders, staff and other community members.

Whether it’s one-off desk research or a project interviewing stakeholders and young people on camera we can manage it, source young people and deliver the outcome that suits your organisation. See some examples of past work below.

We also love running events! These are great ways to showcase work, bring a community together or simply get feedback from young people in a creative way.

What’s our offer?

To manage a youth voice or influencing project from conception to delivery.

We are happy to manage ‘one-off’ research projects, consultation/sharing events, or devise a long term engagement programme where young people directly influence your work as a youth advisory board.

A specialty of ours is supporting organisations to develop the strategy and capability required to deliver menaningful engagement that truly listens and responds to young people’s voice.

How much?

Every project is different so we really need to chat about your requirements. But we can deliver a short online training session from £500, devise and analyse consultation surveys for your beneficiries on less than £1k and even deliver a whole day’s exciting event with multiple workshops for £3k (plus event budget).

And remember: When you commission us, not only do we work really effectively but any surplus we generate from the projects will go towards helping us meet our charitable objectives, meaning you’re also helping us to engage young people and support their creative development.

Consultation event with interactive sessions for the Mozilla Foundation at the Royal Society of Arts, 2018
Image by Erik Westra.

Past projects and commissioners

2024+ Kids in Museums We are supporting museums across England to engage young professionals as trustees on their boards through training, group and 1:1 support with both the museums and young people.

2024 Trinity College London We conducted 1:1 interviews and an online survey into the development of play based learning across five countries.

2023 Area 43 We designed and delivered the content of a residential training programme in Cardiff to support young people with public speaking, using video equipment, delivering presentations and being persuasive in having their voice heard. We incorporated risk management, advocacy and training on running effective meetings.

2023 UNESCO Nottingham City of Literature We crafted the programme for ‘Young Voices Amplified’ – a cross sector conference for professionals working with young people across Nottingham and beyond. The event included panels featuring young people and subject experts, workshops in hybrid engagement, evaluation, theory of change and using journalism to develop young people’s voice.

2022+ Warwickshire Local Cultural Education Partnership We designed and delivered governance training for young people interested in becoming trustees of cultural organisations. As part of the programme we supported them for 6 months as they started their journey as trustees, and provided training to cultural organisations on how to best engage the young people’s voice. Over 20 young people have been trained and supported to be our future arts organisation leaders. >”>See a round up of the training day >>

2022+ Arts Council England Bridge Organisations Produced a national website celebrating good practice in youth voice for the cultural education sector. We interviewed 18 organisations over six episodes across England. In 2021 we created the digital platform and first series of this work including audio interviews. Find all the episodes at:

2022 Trinity College London We conducted 1:1 interviews and an online survey into the skills needs of young people new to the world of work.

2022+ Leicester & Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership Careers Hub We designed a programme that recruited and supported 15+ members of a Youth Advisory Board to meet monthly and participate in a range of activities from consultations on the skills improvement plans, to meeting government ministers and supporting other young people to get experience of the world of work.

2022 Arts Connect The West Midlands Bridge organisation was putting together a Youth Voice & Leadership conference for young people from across the region to come together and share experiences of culture. We trained and supported a group of young professionals (the Speak Up! Youth Panel) to evaluate this event and collect material to produce a manifesto in multiple media formats.

2020+ Nottingham Youth Cultural Partnership Creating Connecting Notts with young members from the city’s arts and youth organisations. The group meets monthly, undertakes research projects and produces events for other young people. >”>Find out more about Connecting Notts >>

2020 Royal Opera House Bridge We researched good practice in youth voice for Royal Opera House Bridge.

2020 Trinity College London We undertook international research with educators, policy makers and employers to identify the skills needed for the future workforce.

2020 UK Youth We became Generation Code Accelerator Digital Hub Consultants where we supported a range regional organisations to develop their digital youth voice engagement practice; the project had to respond to the onset of Covid and was a pivotal moment for youth work organisations; and a period of time that could draw on our extensive experience working nationally and digitally with young people.

2019 Trinity College London We surveyed nearly 4,000 students in a wide range of schools (rural, urban, state and private) about their experience of music education and self-taught music learning.

2018 Creative & Cultural Skills Council We led the research for 18-25 year olds into ‘Careers information advice and guidance for the creative industries’ which was commissioned by CCSkills as part of their report for Arts Council England in response to the government’s Careers Strategy. Our research involved a roundtable consultation discussion, peer interviews, phone interviews and an online survey.

2018 Mozilla Foundation This global non-profit commissioned us to consult an international cohort of young people, so we ran an afternoon of workshops ‘Exploring the Impact of Artificial Intelligence‘ with c.50 young people and engaging some great partner organisations including NESTA and the BBC.

Some of the organisations we’ve supported

If you’d like to work with us to run a consultation, evaluation or research project then just get in touch on [email protected] or 03300 881008

And remember: When you commission us, not only do we work really effectively but any surplus we generate from the projects will go towards helping us meet our charitable objectives, meaning you’re also helping us to engage young people and support their creative development.

Amplify - Profiling children and young people's voice in creative and cultural learning