Welcome to The Lookout: a space for children and young people to look around at everything that’s happened over the past 18 months and report back to people in positions of influence.  

We wanted to understand from children and young people: How has life changed for them? What are their hopes for the future? What do they most need? And how do different relationships feature in all of this? 

In Citizens Rising, we’ve drawn together all that we have heard from young people so far about what they need from adult society as we move forwards. Thank you to everyone who has taken part. 

Resources for reflecting

Whilst we’ve already published our findings, the resources that we’ve developed to support young people to reflect on the pandemic years remain open for anyone to use. If you have any questions or would like to discuss them, please get in touch: hello@relationshipsproject.org

For individuals

If you’re a young person, you can take your very own trip to The Lookout. Have a listen to the guided meditation below, then share what you saw with a trusted adult or friend

For groups

If you work with young people, use our simple guide to run a Lookout with your group. The pack includes a guided meditation lots of creative activities 

What can you see? A guided meditation

Come with us on a trip to The Lookout. This guided meditation activity will help you, your group or your young person to look round at everything that’s happened over the past 18 months, and look ahead to the future they want to be part of.

Settle yourself in a comfortable position, grab a pen and paper and press play. At the end, please take a moment to share what you’ve seen with us

The Lookout: A guide for teachers and play leaders

We’ve created a simple Handbook to support youth workers, play leaders and teachers to run “Lookouts” in their setting. Anyone who works with or supports young people is warmly welcomed to use this pack to support their group to make sense of the past 18 months and look forward to the future. 

The Handbook contains: 

  • A fun and interactive 60 minute session plan 
  • An engaging guided meditation activity 
  • Ideas to get the creative juices flowing 
  • Support on safeguarding and data protection 

Sightings from The Lookout

We reported in real time from The Lookout via our Sightings, which you can explore below. We then wove together all that we heard in the report, Citizens Rising which has been shared with our panel of Chief Listeners: leaders who are committed to hearing the perspectives of children and incorporating them into decisions made about children’s lives as we build back from Covid.

Lookout Sighting #3: Well connected or connecting well?

The Lookout is a space for understanding how life has changed for young people during Covid. During recent Lookout discussions, the double-edged nature of digital connection has come up frequently. In this Sighting, we explore the complex effect of digital technology...

Lookout Sighting #2: Lost rituals and new routines

The Lookout is a space for understanding how life has changed for young people during Covid. We're primarily hearing from young people directly but recently hosted a discussion with parents and professionals working with young people. This Sighting shares a key theme...

Lookout Sighting #1: School, stress and a summer of catch-up

Over the past 18 months, we’ve been hearing about adults’ experiences of lockdown through The Relationships Observatory. Now, in partnership with Summer of Play, we’re hearing from children and young people about how the past year and a half has been for them, and...

Chief Listeners

We have engaged a panel of “Chief Listeners” to respond to young people’s perspectives as heard through The Lookout. We’ll be sharing key themes and insights with them throughout the project, and inviting them to share their response to our final report in October. 

Introducing our Chief Listeners…

Mete Coban, MBE

Mete Coban, MBE

Mete is is the Chief Executive of My Life My Say, which works to empower young people to take part in democracy and lead change. He is also a councillor in the London borough of Hackney, where he was the youngest councillor ever elected.

Kirsty McNeil

Kirsty McNeil

Kirsty is the Executive Director for Policy, Advocacy and Campaigns at Save the Children, where she works to create campaigns that improve the lives of children around the world. She was previously a Special Advisor at 10 Downing Street.

Ray Shostak, CBE

Ray Shostak, CBE

Ray is an international adviser in education and in improving public services. He has held senior roles in both national and local government, including as Head of the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit.

Iesha Small

Iesha Small

Iesha is Head of Change for Education and Families at The Youth Endowment Fund. She is also a writer and former teacher. She is passionate about creating a fairer society, particularly for young people. 

Linda Woolston

Linda Woolston

Linda is an executive coach who has worked with business executives, politicians and charity leaders to help them achieve their dreams and goals. She was a Founder Director of We Are What We Do, an organisation helping people get involved in changing the world.

Tulip Siddiq, MP

Tulip Siddiq, MP

Tulip is the Shadow Minister for Children & Early Years. She has been the MP for Hampstead and Kilburn since 2015. Two things she focuses on are ending child food poverty, and improving early years education and childcare.

Danny Kruger, MP

Danny Kruger, MP

Danny has been the MP for Devizes since 2019. He’s particularly interested in strengthening communities and has set up a project called the New Social Covenant Unit. He cares about giving young people the chance to gain the skills they need to build a great life.

Maddie Dinwoodie

Maddie Dinwoodie

Maddie is the Chief Programme Officer at UK Youth, where she strengthens youth work by leading a department to take a human-centred design approach to find sustainable solutions for the youth sector, ensuring all young people are equipped to thrive and empowered to contribute throughout their lives.

Finding additional support

We know that for many young people the last year has been very difficult, and talking about these themes might be upsetting. It might make you realise that you need to talk to someone in more detail, or that you need some extra help. Whatever your worry, it’s always better to talk about it. You could talk to a family member, a friend, or a teacher. If there isn’t anyone you feel you can speak to, you may want to check out the helplines below.


  • Shout 85258: Shout 85258 is a free, confidential, 24/7 text messaging support service for anyone who is struggling to cope. They can help with depression, anxiety, bullying and lots more. Text them on 85258 or find out more on their website https://giveusashout.org/ 
  • Childline: If you need advice or just want to talk, call this helpline: 0800 1111 (calls are confidential and free). Someone from Childline will help you with any problem if you are feeling sad or worried, or if you just need someone to talk to. Visit their website to find out more: www.childline.org.uk
  • Young Minds: Young Minds helps children and young people to cope with difficult feelings – the website has lots of useful information and you can also call them on: 020 7336 8445 (local rates) www.youngminds.org.uk
  • The Samaritans: The Samaritans provides confidential support for anyone feeling low or in distress. Call them 24 hours a day on their Helpline: 08457 909090 (local rates) Visit their website to find out more: www.samaritans.org
  • NSPCC; If you’re worried about a child’s safety or welfare or if you need help or advice, call this helpline: 0808 800 5000  (calls are confidential and free). This NSPCC number is for anyone who’s at risk or is worried about any other children who are at risk. Visit their website to find out more: www.nspcc.org.uk
  • CEOP: If you’re worried about online abuse or the way someone has been communicating online, let CEOP know. Visit their website for further information: www.ceop.police.uk/safety-centre
  • UK Safer Internet Centre: Find e-safety tips, advice and resources to stay safe online. Visit their website: www.saferinternet.org.uk

For more information, please see our safeguarding policy here