‘Time and Time Again’ Full Research Methodology

‘Time and Time Again’ Full Research Methodology

There are two principal research strands which contribute to the ‘Time and Time Again’ report:

  1. The first is the general 2020 period of National Youth Trends data collection, which took place between 17th August – 12th October. This is our annual baseline piece of research, where we talk to young people about a broad range of issues and topics.
  2. The second is a heritage sector specific research strand commissioned and partially delivered by Don’t Settle and their team. This was made up 6 questions which would be included in the above 2020 National Youth Trends baseline data collection, a co-creation session and a series of focus groups.

Research Design

National Youth Trends Research Design

This research was conceived in response to the ongoing need to platform young people’s voices, in order to make institutions more relevant. We did not set out to look into a particular topic, area or issue, but rather wanted to talk to young people about a broad range of things, so that how they responded could direct what we would later focus on. 

In order to form a pre co-creation starting point, we drew on our previous research, our day-to-day conversations with young people and nearly a decade of experience working in the sector to come up with a long list of topics, questions and thoughts young people are passionate about. We then added to this long list by canvassing opinions from young people on what would be important to ask, and talking to institutions about what they wanted to know about Gen Z. 

We then co-created the final iteration of the research framework with our National Youth Trends Advisory Group – a group of young people from across the UK. They suggested amendments, helped us figure out possible answers and wordings for the questions and flagged issues which were missing from our longlist. Following several iterations, the final research framework – in the form of a list of survey questions and answers – was signed off by the group. 

We then went on to work with them on the platforms and channels we would use to collect data from young people and how this would work. The advisory group are paid a bursary of £150 for their year long involvement consulting on National Youth Trends.

Don’t Settle Research Design

This research strand builds on Don’t Settle’s experience, which highlights that young PoC do not necessarily define culture and heritage in the same way as their White peers, or in the same terms as the “cultural sector” and/ or the “heritage sector” have historically been defined. Recent work in these sectors has sought to make these definitions more inclusive, so this research will be able to comment on whether young PoC are aware of these broader definitions, and how this impacts their perceptions of traditional routes to participation.

The aims of the research are to:

  • understand how young PoC understand and define the terms “culture” and “heritage”, particularly in comparison to their White peers and the culture/ heritage sectors;
  • understand if and how young PoC participate in culture and heritage, particularly whether participation is through traditional/ formal/ institutional means (e.g museums) or other means (social action campaigns, Youtube/ Ted talks, family or community storytelling and education); and
  • understand the extent to which young PoC feel that they can and want to influence the sector, whether through volunteering/ governance or careers or informal means. 

The first stage of this research engaged 8 young PoC as co-creators in our design phase, which comprised two workshops held on 2nd and 30th July 2020. The co-creation brief for this research was limited to developing a pool of questions. The questions would contribute to the National Youth Trends survey and inform the structure of the focus groups.

Participants for this co-creation workshop were recruited via an application process and selected on the basis of availability on the selected dates and to attain a diverse sample (age, gender, race/ ethnicity). Participants were given a bursary of £50, payable after the second workshop. Participants were also given the option of being named as a consultant on the report. 

Data Collection

Data collection for had four strands:

  • National Youth Trends 2020 Survey
  • September Diaries
  • Drop Your Thoughts
  • Don’t Settle Focus Groups

The principals strands used for this report were the Survey and the Don’t Settle Focus Groups.


The principal method through which we collected data was through a survey open to anyone aged 16 – 25 (inclusive) who was living in the UK between the 17th August and 12th October.

The 70 question long survey was conducted and distributed online. It collected young people’s answers, demographic data and one question where they could leave contact information (email address or social media handle) to opt-in to being contacted by Beatfreeks for further opportunities. 

This sample was self-selecting. We distributed links to complete the survey in two principal ways: 

  1. Sharing it with other organisations that work with young people so that they can distribute it amongst their networks
  2. Targeted promoted posts on Instagram and twitter

During the process of data collection, we analysed demographic data collected (geographical spread, gender and ethnicity breakdown etc) to then further target groups which we have not yet reached. We mapped participant demographic data onto UK census data to ensure representation among groups.

This strand implements informed consent. The opening page of the survey informs participants as to what the project is, and how the data will be used in terms and detail appropriate to our age range. For the one question requiring personal data, the question description includes a link to our data policy (again written in terms appropriate to the group) which details how the data will be stored. The question also explains how the data will be used, should they want to provide it. Participants have the option to withdraw from the research at any point by leaving the survey incomplete and exiting the webpage.

As an incentive to complete the survey, an incentive was offered to young people who took part. By submitting the survey, participants were entered into a competition to win one of ten £100 vouchers, for an online retailer of their choice. In order to be eligible for the voucher the young people had to leave contact information, so we could be in touch with them should they win.

September Diaries

Our second research strand is called the September Diaries. For this, we worked with 18 young people across the UK to submit 8 diary entries each over the month of September in 2020.

Participants for the September Diaries were picked from self-selecting applicants. We advertised applications in our first two weeks of survey data collection through our two principal ways of circulating information about the survey (above). Once applications had closed we selected the group of 18 young people based on attaining a group with representative demographics (age, geography, ethnicity, sexuality, disability, gender). Participants received a bursary of £100 for their time. This was payable following data collection.

Following confirmation of successful applicants, participants read an in-depth participant consent form and contract. This included more details about the project, information on the process of data collection, safeguarding information, their right to withdraw from the research and a series of consents relating to diaries.

Participants could consent to: 

  1. Submitting data to the project (required)
  2. Having their first name and basic demographic information attached to their diary for public use (optional)
  3. Using images submitted as part of the diaries for public use (optional)

Participants are informed of their right to withdraw any of the above consents, at any point during the process prior to publication. To achieve an appropriate level of safeguarding for the young people, diaries were submitted via private Whatsapp messages with Beatfreeks. At several established points in the process, our DSL checked in with the young people posting links and resources around maintaining mental wellbeing, and to check if the diary  process is affecting them.

The final group of 18 participants can be seen below.

118femaleAgnosticNorwichLesbianWhite BritishYes – physical disability/chronic illness
218maleNoneBirminghamHeterosexualAsian OtherNo
419femaleScotlandEdinburghWhire BritishYes, I have endometriosis
522maleAgnosticCardiffHeterosexualWhite BritishNA
621maleCatholicNottinghamGayCaribbean, British Irish TravelerNo
724maleChristianLeedsStraightBlack BritishN/a
819femaleNon-practising Christian background / spiritualistCroydonLesbian/Pansexual/Still figuring it out!Black BritishNo
925nonbinaryAgnosticLiverpoolBisexualWhire BritishNo
1016nonbinaryNoneNorthamptonBisexualWhire BritishNo
1216femaleOrthodoxNewcastleStraightWhire EuropeanNo
1121femaleNoneGlasgowStraightWhite BritishUlcerative colitis
1322maleN/ALondonStraightBlack BritishNo
1424femaleNoneBristolStraightEast AsianNone
1522femaleChristianSheffieldHeterosexualBlack British, White BritishDyslexia
1625femaleSikhBirminghamHeterosexual/StraightSouth AsianNo
1720femaleChristianityLeicesterBlack BritishNo
1820femaleAtheistCoventryStraightWhite BritishNo

Drop Your Thoughts

In order to ensure that we made data collection for the project as accessible and open as possible, we also offered the ability for young people to send us pictures, audio recordings, articles, drawings, poems, anything they wish to, via a secure online form. This data was collected along with the above consents (outlined in the September Diaries section), and participants were also informed at several points as to the nature of the project and the use of their data.

Don’t Settle Focus Groups

In addition to the six questions added to the baseline survey, Don’t Settle conducted 6 digital focus groups to gather qualitative data. These were held via Zoom by two facilitators. Groups had between 2 and 8 participants.

Focus group participants are selected from self-selecting applicants, who applied to be involved. Details of the opportunities were advertised through the same channels as the above baseline survey.

Applications were selected on the basis of eligibility and in order to obtain a representative sample on the basis of gender, sexuality, disability and formal education. To be eligible, participants must live, work or study in one of our target areas; be aged 16-25; identify as a Person of Colour; and be available at dates/ times of focus groups.

The target areas outlined above: Birmingham, Bristol, Dudley, Liverpool, Manchester, Sandwell, Wolverhampton. An incentive of £20 was offered to participants.  This was framed as being a thank you for the participants’ time, and as such will only be given to those participants who attend focus groups. Beatfreeks sent the vouchers to participants after the end of the focus group by post.

Informed consent was employed for the focus groups. The application form for the focus groups included details of the project, where to find appropriate data policies, information on how personal data will be used, and consents. If a participant was selected for the focus groups, this information was then included again in an introductory email with details of the focus group. This information was then included again as part of the introduction to the focus group.

Data Analysis

Baseline survey


Participants were given a statement and then asked to position themselves on a scale of 1 to 5 according to how far they agreed. Points 1, 3 and 5 were marked with answers,

so that it was clear if the midpoint represents a positive, neutral or negative stance.

Open Ended

Some questions were qualitative to allow for self-directed answers. These were then coded where relevant into common themes.

Multiple Choice 

Participants were encouraged to pick one answer from a list we had provided.

Multiple Response

Participants were encouraged to pick up to three answers, or as many as applied, from a list we had provided.

Focus Groups

Qualitative Data

This was collected through the Don’t Settle Focus Groups and was analysed by narrative and content. These insights have then been used to add nuance to quantitative data, and provoke further analysis.


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