Filming, Food & Further Research, by Toby

By Louca-Mai Brady,

The first in-person YPAG meeting of the year took place on Saturday 9th March. This was the first YPAG meeting that I have attended, as I have just joined the group. The meeting started with a ‘two truths and one lie’ icebreaker which helped me get to know everyone🧊. After this, we had lunch – loads of tasty looking pizza and, as a vegan, I was happy to see how well I was catered for too 🍕!

After lunch we worked with Sybil and Russ from Flexible Films on our film about the group 🎬. We talked about who we are, what we do, and why it’s important to involve young people in research. We then took it in turns to interview each other using a ‘Magic Video Box’ and filmed the group in action. Although being filmed seemed a little scary at the beginning, we all gave our thoughts and enjoyed the process.

Flexible Films said ‘We had  a great session with YPAG. We were delighted and impressed that everyone attending wanted to speak on camera.  The interviewers did so well and improved enormously by the end of the session’.

After this, Jess talked to us about the SALIENT project and research which is about encouraging sustainable eating, and getting people to choose more veggie sausages instead of meat ones🌭. We talked about the ways in which vegetarian options are often better for the environment and what other foods can be substituted for meat options🥦. It was interesting to hear about the different vegetarian and vegan options people have at their schools and what might make people decide to choose them, and on the other hand, what might sometimes put them off choosing them. As a vegan, this was especially interesting to hear about, as were the discussions the group had about how to persuade people to make sustainable eating choices.

Jess said ‘I had a great time working with the YPAG members, and learning from them. We talked lots about whether veggie meat-alternatives (for example Quorn burgers, or vegan sausage rolls) are served in school canteens and adult workplaces, and how to encourage people to choose these options. The young people also asked lots of good questions (for example, should we be encouraging people to choose veggie alternatives or vegan alternatives) and they knew a lot about research methods. I’m looking forward to working with them again for the SALIENT project’

Several of us recently took part in a workshop with members of the university’s adult public involvement group (PIRg) for an ‘intergenerational’ proposal that Louca-Mai and other researchers are developing on activities where schools and care homes come together. This was the first time we’ve worked together and my first taste of getting involved in research. We talked about the plans for public involvement in the proposal and helped improve the ‘plain English summary’ by making it easier to understand. Some of us had already taken part in similar projects, e.g. schools linking up with local care homes, so we could share what had worked well and what could have been done differently. We agreed that it was important for everyone to decide together on the activities they are going to do, so that everyone feels included, and all the activities work for both younger and older age groups. As somebody who took part in this research, I was glad to see the progress it was making, and I hope the project gets funded!

Louca-Mai said: “This was the first time we had brought our young people’s and adults’ group together, and it was great! I really hope we can do more intergenerational public involvement in the future”.

I’m really pleased that I joined YPAG, as the group is very welcoming and gets involved in a wide variety of interesting research projects. Plus, of course, there are great snacks (including my favourite Jammie Dodgers)🍪! I’m excited to see how our film turns out and I’m looking forward to the next filming session!