Skip to content
Skip to navigation menu


Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) 2009

Starts: 11 March 2009

ESRC Festivalof Science Logos

‘By Us, For Us, About Us’: A Children and Young People’s Festival of Participation in Research 

‘Ganddo’ Ni, Drosto’ Ni, Amdano’ Ni’: Gŵyl Cyfranogaeth Plant a Phobl Ifanc mewn Ymchwil

Part of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Festival of Social Science 2009, 11th March 2009, Millennium Suite, Millennium Stadium, Cardiff

Rhan o Ŵyl Gwyddorau Cymdeithasol yr ESRC 2009 11 Mawrth 2009 Ystafell y Mileniwm, Stadiwm y Mileniwm, Caerdydd

Children's Commissioner for Wales Keith Towler with students from Ferndale Community School

Children's Commissioner for Wales Keith Towler with students from Ferndale Community School

Cardiff University in association with the Children’s Commissioner for Wales and Children in Wales held a one-day event as part of a series of activities commemorating the first Children’s Commissioner for Wales, Peter Clarke, who died in 2007. ‘By Us, For Us, About Us: A Children and Young People’s Festival of Participation in Research’ was held at the Millennium Stadium on the 11th March 2009, funded as part of the ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council) Festival of Social Science. It was one of the first events held by the WISERD research centre.

SOCSI Student evaluators try out activities at an exhibit

SOCSI Student evaluators try out activities at an exhibit

The aim of this event was to engage children and young people in debates about children’s role in research, to promote further understanding of the research process and to present research findings in an accessible manner. Twenty research studies set up mini exhibitions in the stadium's conference suite. About half were from Cardiff University's Childhood research group based in the School of Social Sciences (SOCSI) and the rest were from voluntary agencies such as Shelter and NCB, Rhondda Cynon Taff council and Glyndwr and Glamorgan Universities. Topics were wide ranging including genetics, diabetes, children's rights, young carers and young people's use of outdoor space. BBC Wales attended and set up a video pod for young people to record their views about being a child in wales.

the Most Rev Dr Barry Morgan shares the day with visiting pupils

The Most Rev Dr Barry Morgan shares the day with visiting pupils

Approximately 160 children and young people took part from schools and youth groups, including Croesyceiliog Comprehensive, Ferndale Comprehensive, Hartridge Comprehensive, Willows High School, Cardiff Muslim Primary school and Mount Stuart Primary School. They were engaged in activites such as quizzes, trying out adapted bikes, watching DVDs of research findings and making animations. RCT council had a theatrical make-up expert with them and soon the stadium began to look like a battle scene with children walking around with realistic looking cuts and burns. SOCSI childhood doctoral students ran a workshop on 'design your own research study' and several children ran mini-surveys during the day. My favourite was short and to the point:  'Do you like tuna sandwiches? yes/no'.

One hour of the day was open to adult visitors and approximately 100 practitioners, policy makers and researchers attended, including the Children's Commissioner for Wales - Keith Towler and the Archbishop of Wales, The Most Rev Dr Barry Morgan. The Welsh rugby squad were training in the building that day, but unfortunately did not make it to the event.

WISERD plans to build on the event with further collaborations with schools in the area, developing awareness of social science research and encouraging young people to get involved in research.

Dr Sally Holland - Senior Lecturer in Social Work, SOCSI, Cardiff University

This was an exciting and dynamic event to be part of in an iconic setting. The research I presented is an ongoing project addressing how services for young carers can be improved in Cardiff Schools. The research has involved close collaboration with the Young Carers Development Officer and the Cardiff Young Carers Project and Gareth and Steph from those groups were part of presenting initial research findings on the day. An important part of our research has been to give the young carers a voice in what measures they want to see introduced in schools. School based focus groups with pupils have involved interactive methods designed to explore the experiences of young carers. At the Millennium Stadium event Steph demonstrated to delegates a technique whereby someone lies down on the floor and allows others to draw around their frame. This outline then provides a template to reflect on and write down emotions and feelings that young carers might experience. Our stall was kept busy with an excellent level of engagement with this approach by young people and later in the day adult delegates. Drawing around the frame of the Children’s Commissioner for Wales, Keith Towler, provided an excellent photo opportunity. As well as being able to share our research with the young people of Wales we were particularly pleased that the young carers from one of our schools were given the opportunity to attend the event as delegates. It was particularly heartening to see them revelling in an educational but also fun day.

Dr Lesley Noaks - Lecturer in Social Work and Criminology, SOCSI, Cardiff University

Festival Information Used for Children and Young People / Gwybodaeth a Ddefnyddwyd ar gyfer Plant a Phobl Ifanc


Other information

Open To: Public