Improving communication between service users and services: interview with Young Champion Sophie about co-developing videos

As part of our youth engagement efforts, CORC works closely with Young Champions from the Anna Freud Centre to explore questions that young people have for mental health services and researchers about outcome measurement. Over the past few months, CORC has been running a project with the Young Champions to develop video content which answers these questions in a fun and engaging way. During lockdown, a group of Young Champions have continued to work with us on video plans remotely and soon we will be able to start production on the first video. This video focuses on the communication between the service user and service provider in terms of introducing, explaining and accessing feedback and outcome questionnaires.

Sophie has been a Young Champion at the Anna Freud Centre since March 2019 and has been involved in the CORC video project from the start. Here she tells us a bit more about her experience of the project. 

Sophie - Young Champion at the Anna Freud Centre

CORC: What made you want to be involved in the CORC video project?

Sophie: Having attended two youth panels in November and March in which CORC approached the Anna Freud Centre's Young Champions about the CORC video project and getting to storyboard the videos to have a rough starting point to go on, I realised that I was highly intrigued in actually being involved in developing a plan for each of the videos and potentially working on producing them for real. I know CORC would have the resources and ability to produce good videos, but to offer input as a young person who is directly impacted by the experiences being talked about (such as how practitioners introduce outcome measures), could help to result in GREAT videos, so I knew I would love to be involved in that.

CORC at the March Youth Panel 

CORC: How do you hope these videos will be used and help young people?

Sophie: I think it’s really important that these videos are reaching the people that really need to see them – so that practitioners and researchers are aware of the viewpoints of young people, and that young people are able to hear from other young people just like them – so I hope that if we employ our best efforts in making them as useful as possible, that the people who need to see them and benefit from them will be able to take away the key messages us Young Champions want to get out there about working with young people.

CORC: In what capacity do you personally want to be involved in the video project?

Sophie: I’m very much a person driven by creativity so I’m particularly interested in having the opportunity to have some creative control over how these important messages are portrayed, making sure that the end result is three videos that successfully engage the intended audience(s) while staying true to the thoughts, feelings and opinions of young people – it’s been incredibly fun thus far envisioning how the videos might be approached from a directing, script-writing and visual/videography perspective. I can feel the director/producer inside of me ready and rearing to go for when we’re able to resume face-to-face work and get the ball rolling on filming the videos. I’m also very much looking forward to being in front of the camera as opposed to behind for the ‘Young people react’ style video we have planned!

CORC: What has happened on the project during lockdown?

Sophie: Obviously as a result of the lockdown measures deployed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic we’ve had to adapt very quickly to digital working including having video calls (video calls to talk about videos, how ironic!) over Zoom about the project and how to move it forward, but we were able to come to a shared decision pretty early on about whether it was best to perhaps utilise the expanse of time lockdown has granted us to put extra effort into planning the videos to make sure they’re as detailed, creative and informative as can be, so that when things begin to return to normal, we’re able to pretty much jump straight into producing them. It’s been a shame that we have not been able to work on them together in person at the centre, as it’s such a great place to be when working collaboratively on a project, but given the circumstances I think we’ve adapted pretty well and gave it our best shot at not letting the current situation hinder our plans to create three top-notch videos ready to advise and inform young people, practitioners and researchers alike.

CORC: What do you think CORC can do to be better at involving young people? 

Sophie: This is the first time I’ve been actively engaged with CORC on a project that has involved young people, but I’ve had a very positive experience so far, so all I can really say is that it would be brilliant if CORC continued to ensure it is involving young people as much as possible. I think CORC having its own, newly appointed Youth Engagement Officer Olivia to help make sure that is the case is a great step in the right direction!

Olivia Wild - CORC Youth Engagement Officer

CORC: Thank you Sophie for taking the time to write this piece and also for your ongoing work on this project!

As of July 2020, the scripts for the videos are being developed by the Young Champions with input from practitioners and members of the CORC team. We are looking for experts (clinicians, service providers and researchers) who have experience in this field and are happy to be involved in either a more advisory role, or even be part of the video recordings. Please contact us via 

We hope to be able to share these videos with you in Autumn 2020.

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