Annual report: A year at The Mix
Princes Trust, 2019
Reaching young people when they need us the most
The Mix had to make sure that despite the devastating closure of schools, universities, health and youth services, we were still there for young people, providing a lifeline of support.
We not only achieved this, but scaled up our life-saving helpline and counselling services, creating a coronavirus hub page for support and information, running weekly entertainment sessions on Instagram and collaborating with other youth organisations to increase access to The Mix in communities across the country; as well as continuing with our important youth-led campaign work.
We have a social of reach of 2.2 million through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.
Our website and community were visited by over 1.8 million young people reading over 2,000 articles and videos.
We supported 1,066 visitors to our moderated live chat groups.
We delivered 13,400 contacts via our helpline, offering listening support and information.
We delivered 19,500 support contacts via our 24-hour crisis messenger service
We delivered 3,620 sessions of free counselling.
The Mix empowers young people to find the support they need
We are proud to be youth-led
Quote from Ellie, a young person from our Youth Panel:
“The youth voice work at The Mix not only allows for the growth of the organisation, but it allows me to grow as a person. Giving young people a voice is giving them a chance to have a say in a world of possibilities. At every turn in the journey to change, young people are often faced with a barrier of can nots, The Mix breaks these barriers and reveal a road of empowerment by giving young people the tools to create their own map.”
As one of the founders of SHAD, we want to break the stigma around talking about self-harm and this year we launched a bold campaign with this aim.
- We designed a self-harm hub on our website, bringing together advice and coping strategies.
- We worked with celebrity influencers and our youth ambassadors, Rachel and Sian to produce video content to challenge stigma.
- We worked with YouGov to produce a white paper presenting new research on the extent of self-harm among young people – this secured a full page of coverage in The Mirror.
We partnered with Facebook to create a hub page with a wide range of support and information about coronavirus for young people. This was shaped by a co-design session in which young people told us what kind of support they needed.
- We produced a video with ITV’s Dr Zoe Williams in which she answered young people’s questions about Covid-19.
- We produced a huge range of article content spanning mental health, employment rights, study tips, money guides and ideas for entertainment and distraction.
- The hub page also connected young people to our community and support services.
In line with this year’s theme of kindness, we launched a youth-led campaign for MHAW that encouraged a positive narrative about young people by asking them to share what they were doing to be kind during lockdown.
- We hosted a performance by Frank Turner on our Instagram channel, which then got coverage in NME and other music press.
- We launched a website survey that asked young people to share what they were doing to be kind and support others.
- We launched a kindness diary, a new feature which was co-designed by young people.
We partnered with TOMS to launch our Body & Soul Club, which campaigned to change the negative narrative around body image. We worked with The Vamps musician James McVey, which increased our reach and engagement on social media. The partnership also allowed us to recruit 20 new youth ambassadors who have continued to work with us. We are delighted that we have moved into an ongoing relationship with TOMS, especially through the Covid-19 crisis when they chose us as a Giving Partner.
We hosted a fundraising dinner at the famous River Café which was attended by celebrities and influential figures as well as by some young people from our community. The event raised awareness of our work and generated large donations with a live auction. We were able to secure full funding for our SHAD campaign, as well as our work on bullying. The partnership also allowed us to recruit 20 new youth ambassadors who have continued to work with us.
We launched a new long-term partnership with NOW TV, an incredibly valuable one which will enable us to expand our services, upscale our teams and massively raise awareness of our work. We are working with NOW TV staff on internal volunteering opportunities and have also recruited eight GEN NOW ambassadors to help us shape our ongoing work for the partnership.
We partnered with Gymshark to work on Deload, an innovative mental health initiative, which encourages young people to focus on their mental as well as their physical wellbeing and provides access to our online group chats. This partnership allowed us to extend our online group chats from five to seven days per week, allowing us to reach even more young people who are in need of support.
During the first stage of lockdown, we teamed up with Shout and Young Minds to form One Space, a site that was designed to meet the urgent need to offer mental health support to young people. The site signposts under-25s to our services in order to make their mental health support journey as simple as possible. Through One Space we were also able to offer young people an online summer prom, an opportunity to celebrate their achievements with their friends which wouldn’t have otherwise existed.
Looking to the future
As we continue into a period which is increasingly unpredictable and uncertain, we know that our role in young people’s lives is more crucial than ever. Our staff and volunteers are committed to supporting young people through this time and into the future, and we have worked closely with our young communities and to develop a strategy that will allow us to keep doing this important work.
Our focus will be to evolve our services, to use data and youth voice to challenge what needs to change and to build long term stability for our charity.
Our new strategy:
We’ll focus on building a new website that is better optimised for mobile users and offers a more personalised user journey. We’ll also prioritise our video content and build a new and improved virtual volunteering journey and we will have a focus on mental health, life experience, finance and education.
We’ll grow our brand to engage more young people, influence policy and attract new supporters. We’ll also focus on SEO to build our profile online. We’ll publish more data to offer insights into issues impacting young people and we’ll improve the quality and effectiveness of our interventions.
We’ll work to place young people even more firmly at the heart of what we do in governance roles, strategic development and fronting our media work. We’ll amplify young people’s voices with data collected from their peers and we will continue to ensure The Mix is open to all young people, especially those from BAME or hard to reach backgrounds.
We’ll achieve the support we need to deliver our vital services and build our reserves. We’ll also seek to deliver an income target of £2 million, via a balanced portfolio of support.