Hertfordshire YPAG

Who are we?

Hertforshire YPAG is a group for all 13-21 year olds living in Hertfordshire. The group helps researchers to improve the development and delivery of research that is about young people’s lives.

The first meeting of the group was held in January 2020, so we are still quite a new group and welcome new members. At the moment, due the COVID-19, we hold our meetings online.

Professor Kathryn Almack, Chair of the group

Professor Julia Jones

Professor Brian Littlechild

Sonya Prime, group facilitator

Next meeting

Date of next meeting:

  • Tuesday 13 July  2021 5:30pm – 6:45pm

Going forward, we hope we will be able to plan face to face meetings again which are held at the University of Hertfordshire (travel costs are covered) but we will also make it possible to join the meetings online for those who can’t get to the University.

The group was set up by staff in the School of Health and Social Work at the University of Hertfordshire with support from other organisations, including the Youth Council (Hertfordshire Partnership NHS Trust); Youth workers from Hertfordshire County Council and Scouts leaders.

If you are interested in joining our group – please get in touch

What we do

Who is the group for?

  • Any young person aged between 13 and 21 who is interested in learning about research

What happens at the meetings?

  • The main aim is for young people to give their views on research ideas and projects.
  • Researchers are invited to the meeting to talk to our members about a research idea or study.
  • They might ask for your views about the way they are thinking about setting up a research study, including how best to invite young people to participate in projects, testing out interview questions, and conducting on-line surveys and face-to-face interviews.
  • We have a regular slot to learn more about research; different ways of doing research, the ethical issues involved and so on
  • There might be opportunities to be more involved in the research, such as conducting interviews, analysing data and helping to write publications from the research. To do this, training and with ongoing support would be given by researchers,

What would I get out of joining?

  • Getting your voice and opinions listened to and acted on throughout the research process.
  • Learning about different ways of doing research on a range of topics about young people’s lives.
  • Meet new people
  • Develop skills in presenting and communication
  • Team building skills and confidence
  • Can contribute to your Personal Statement

What researchers say

‘I found it really helpful to speak with the YPAG right at the start of developing a research proposal. They handled a sensitive subject very well, and provided some useful insights into how young people seek support, which I will build into my work.’

Researchers – get in touch!

For researchers wanting to collaborate with the group:

  • The first thing to do is contact the group facilitator to discuss your requirements and so that the facilitator can explain the process of accessing the group, what to expect, preparation prior to the meeting and so on.
  • You will be then asked to sign a Researcher Agreement Form, which sets out very clearly what to expect from the group and what we expect in return.
  • We strongly encourage researchers to attend the meetings so that effective dialogue can be achieved but this can’t always be achievable so facilitators are happy to present your study to the group for review.
  • Several weeks after the consolation has taken place the facilitator will contact you to gain some feedback as to what happened as a result of the young people’s input, for example, did anything change to the protocol or patient information sheet as a result of the groups comments and did this go through ethics without any problems? This is really important as it demonstrates the impact of young people’s role in the design and delivery of research.

Latest from Hertfordshire YPAG

Holly’s report: how YPAG meetings can help shape research

Read Holly’s account of how the Hertfordshire YPAG has been shaping research and policy during COVID restrictions.

Hertfordshire YPAG group meeting blog: 14th July 2020

Daisy Cooper describes the group’s work with researchers looking at coping with loss, and a project using photography to promote wellbeing.