The NeurOX Young People’s Advisory Group (YPAG) is a group of young people (aged between 14 and 18 years old) who work with the Neuroscience, Ethics and Society (NEUROSEC) team in the Department
of Psychiatry at University of Oxford. The YPAG supports adolescents’ involvement in research, policy and ethical decision-making about mental health and ethics challenges that affect their lives. As part of the YPAG, young people act as co-researchers in the design, implementation and analysis of a range of mental health science research.
To help evaluate the impact of the YPAG, we used the Storytelling Methodology – an independent evaluation approach led by the Old Fire Station (OFS), which is based on the Most Significant Change (MSC) technique. This process involved collecting the stories of eight people involved in the YPAG – YPAG members and research staff. OFS story collectors had conversations with these individuals (the storytellers) about their experiences of the YPAG and what it meant to them. These conversations were recorded and transcribed, and then edited down into shorter stories which faithfully reflect the storyteller’s insights into impact and significance in their own voice and words. The stories were approved by the individuals and anonymised. We then held a discussion session which brought together people with different perspectives and relationships to the project to discuss the stories and the learning emerging. This report shares the key insights and learning which came out of this process.