Call for a citizen enquiry

First Published: 24th April 2020 | Date: 24th April 2020 | Tags: , , , , , , ,

We are pleased to share the following ‘call for a citizen enquiry’, which engages with the Mass Observation archive to encourage youth workers and young people to write a monthly diary. We hope to work in support of this project and others, as we seek to continue to publish articles by researchers and practitioners concerning the current pandemic and how it is affecting young people, youth services, and youth policy.

Call for a Citizen Enquiry: Youth Work and Young People Now

We propose to host a Citizen Enquiry through the community-based youth work sector concerning what is happening for young people and what is happening to youth work and youth workers now and over the coming months.

To do this we will need a) a network of correspondents in all parts of the United Kingdom  and b) a network of citizen enquirers willing to join in discussing and analysing what is emerging.  The main purpose is to find out What is happening here?  And what is happening for young people? We do not only want to document youth work but get a snapshot into the lives of both youth workers and young people during this time and the coming months.  So this can include the weather, the atmosphere, the food, the music, the emotions…whatever you want to include you can. We will be making a contribution to the wider picture of what is happening via Mass Observation (

We will ask for diary entries each month for at least one day on the first week of the month (starting in May)  from youth workers and if possible also with young people they are working with.  We will also join the Mass Observation diary project on 12th May.  In addition, we invite short reports (memos)  on the following themes:

Vulnerabilities and Precarious lives

Who is missing?  How is outreach work happening?

Crisis points and meeting basic needs

What is happening online?

Improvisation?            Emotions?

Community networks?

Fears  and hopes for the future of  your organisation/youth project ?

Then a group of citizen researchers from the youth work sector will meet monthly to consider what has been submitted in their area, join a national meeting to see  what is emerging and, after 6 months say , decide on what to enquire into further.

This will be an independent citizen led research project.

Those involved will  be invited to submit their diaries via this enquiry  to the Mass Observation archive at the University of Sussex who are undertaking a record of everyday experiences of the pandemic.  They will be invited to use the ethical processes associated with Mass Observation and guidance of this will be given when people join the project.

Janet Batsleer  Manchester  (please contact me to join)

Christine Smith Hull

Tania de St Croix   London

Kevin Jones   Manchester

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Last Updated: 26 July 2020