Young Persons Authentic Voice and Changemakers

Who are the Changemakers?

The Changemakers logo. Says "Introducing...The Changemakers" with an animated graphic of 5 girls.

Image co-created with Changemakers for Day of the Girl 2023

The Changemakers are a group of dedicated young people who share a passion to end domestic abuse and tackle the social challenges facing today’s youth. Ranging in ages, from 13-20, the Changemakers are based across the UK and provide a safe and inclusive environment for young voices to share their opinions and experiences. The name Changemakers was chosen by the young people because the group gives a voice to those who are often overlooked, ignored or silenced when talking about important issues. It serves as a reminder and promise that their voices are powerful and can help create significant change.

Working alongside professionals in the field, Changemakers use their voices to shape national campaigns and co-create services for young people impacted by domestic abuse. This dynamic group empowers young people to actively engage in projects that directly affect their lives and those of their peers. Projects that the Changemakers have been involved with include: combatting harmful and toxic behaviours in early relationships; researching what causes young people to display abusive behaviours; shaping the national RSE curriculum, and redefining young people’s relationship to the police.

The Changemakers are from a variety of cultures and backgrounds. Within the group, everyone is treated equally and only encouraged to share what they are comfortable with. Changemakers are experts in understanding the challenges young people face today. Every young person’s voice is acknowledged, valued and respected. Together, young people can create significant change and help in the fight to end domestic abuse, for everyone, for good.

Too often young people are made to feel that their voice is not important because they are too naïve or inexperienced, but working with Changemakers has shown me that a young person's voice can be one of the most powerful tools to inspire change. I am thankful so far for my journey with Changemakers and hope to continue this work with even more young people to end domestic abuse for everyone, for good.

Changemaker, SafeLives

What have the Changemakers been working on this past year?

Changemakers have had a busy time. We have been involved in lots of amazing projects which have sparked lots of enriching and inspiring conversations within the changemaker group. We have:

  • Taken part in a consultation by the Department of Education to discuss the RSE curriculum and any changes we think need to be made.
  • Had training from the British Youth Council on things like public speaking, confidence building and how to create a campaign.
  • Been involved in a discussion around the men and boys research SafeLives have been conducting and have been asked if they would like to be involved with co-creating a set of recommendations that could help challenge harmful and masculine behaviour.
  • Attended Buckingham Palace. In 2022, the Changemakers were given the opportunity to attend a reception to raise awareness of violence against women and girls hosted by Camilla, now
  • Queen Consort, at Buckingham Palace. This event was an incredible opportunity for young people to meet other domestic abuse professionals and organisations and hear about the work they were doing. Changemakers were able to share their own thoughts on the challenges young people in particular face and provide an alternative insight to gender-based violence.
  • Been working on the SOS project which comes to an end in September 2023.

What is SOS?

SOS also known as Sound of Silence is a project that strives to give a voice back to every single young person that has felt silenced. It’s a project that explores issues that aren’t spoken about enough in society and helps to create a safe environment for young people to speak freely about issues that have affected them. It allows young people to work to change things they feel passionate about. Sound of silence makes sure that every single young person feels heard and seen. It is a project that the SafeLives’ Changemakers engaged in from Sept 2020-Sept 2023.

How does Sound of Silence work?

Sound of Silence was split into four topics they were: Men and boys; The RSE Curriculum; Young People, the Police and Domestic Abuse and; Intersectionality and Domestic Abuse

Read the Sounds of Silence report

Other projects the Changemakers have been involved in:

  • Changemakers were interviewed by a journalist from BBC radio 1’s Newsbeat about domestic and young people and the education that young people have access to in relation to domestic abuse.
  • Changemakers have also been asked to take part in other government consultations for example the victims bill.
  • Helped to Recruit a group of new changemakers to join the SOS project, changemakers are from a range of demographics e.g. geographical location and age.
  • Asked to sit on the interview panel for young persons’ authentic voice coordinator
  • Asked to feed thoughts and opinions into applications for future funding for safe young lives and projects relating to that.
  • Asked to attend events to speak to potential investors and organisations that SafeLives works closely with.