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UKRI COVID-19 Funding Success

Children’s voices at the centre of meeting needs in and through COVD-19.


VOICES addresses the UK's serious knowledge gap in understanding the needs of children and young people aged 5-18 living in poverty. COVID-19 has exacerbated the issue.

Co-produced by:

  • Newcastle University’s School of Education, Communication and Language Science's Centre for Learning and Teaching
  • regional charity Children North East

Funded by:

  • ESRC

Project leaders:

The project builds on our networks across the North East to find out what more than 1000 economically disadvantaged children and young people’s lives are like now, what they are struggling with and what is going well. This will be communicated to policy leaders and practitioners of organisations working to provide educational and social support.

Methods include:

  • a multimodal survey
  • focus groups (primarily online)
  • creative arts

We'll engage policymakers in acting on the findings. We'll disseminate findings using comics and videos that have been co-designed with young people.

Our reach will include:

  • Redcar and Cleveland
  • Darlington
  • Middlesbrough
  • Durham
  • North Tyneside
  • South Tyneside
  • Sunderland
  • Gateshead
  • Hartlepool
  • Stockton
  • Newcastle
  • Northumberland

There will methodological lessons from this project about:

  • researching in a pandemic
  • delivering online focus groups with children
  • using creative collaborative methods online with children
  • having two very different organisations (a university and a children’s charity) co-producing research methods

Findings that will be communicated nationally and internationally The finding will cover a wide range of children’s experience and concerns including:

  • schooling and education
  • friendships and family
  • health and wellbeing
  • home and housing
  • transport and employment
  • cultural engagement