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 want 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? 

If you’re a playgroup leader, a teacher, a children’s group organiser or similar and think your young people would like to share their thoughts, please get in touch!

Three ways to get involved

Online Lookouts

We’re hosting fun, interactive sessions for children and young people on Zoom for them to share their experiences, hopes and dreams. Everyone is welcome

Group Lookouts

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 

Individual Lookouts

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 via the link below

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 
  • Guidance on how to submit outputs to The Lookout
  • Support on safeguarding and data protection 

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

Share what you see 

Whether you’re taking part in The Lookout alone or as part of a group activity, we’d love to hear what the last year has been like for you, and your hopes and dreams for the future. Once you’ve listened to the guided meditation (above) and gathered your thoughts, please share them with us by filling in one of the forms below. 

We welcome submissions in any format: written, drawn, narrated or something else. Files can easily be uploaded to the form, we just ask that no personal details (apart from that which we ask for in the form) or information about other people is shared. 

Individual Lookout submission

If you’re a young person aged 8-18 and want to share what the past year has been like for you, please click on the link below. You’ll need a parent or guardian nearby to give their consent for you to share so please make sure they’re around before you start

Group Lookout submission

If you’re a children / youth group leader and have run a Lookout with your young people, please use this link to share their submissions. Please make sure you have the relevant permissions before sharing. More details on data sharing can be found in the Handbook

Sightings from The Lookout

We’ll be posting regular Sightings from The Lookout, drawing together insights and key themes from the contributions we receive from young people. Sightings will be shared with a group 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 #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.


  • 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