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Make It Real

A youth mentorship journey.

The Challenge
During first term of my MA at Royal College of Art I worked with 2 other students on a brief for Lambeth Council. We were tasked with ‘developing service propositions to harness the motivations, assets and skills of residents of Lambeth’. We chose to focus on young people’s aspirations. We gathered insights on young people’s aspirations, from young people themselves as well as parents, youth workers and community members. Here are our insights gathered during our qualitative research, based on interviews of 25+ Lambeth residents.

We need diverse role models
‘I don’t want to talk to someone way older about my aspirations. I want to talk to someone who is like, me. Someone who is more my age can tell me more.’
Shaznam, Young Person from Baytee Center

‘A lot of the young boys haven’t necessarily got role models. It becomes really difficult. There aren’t a lot of father role models.’
Kareen, 198, Youth Worker.

Social capital is important
‘Access opportunity is limited by their own social capital. If you are not in a good group of people that can help you get in places. Lack of social capital and lack of voices.’
Laura, Young Lambeth Cooperative

We need effective mentors
‘My aspirations… I’m not really sure. And no, I don’t have any adults in my life I can share my aspirations with.’
Shania Duarte, Young Person from Brixton

Through this ethnographic research we realised that young people had diverse aspirations and they needed diverse role models around them that could help them to fulfill those aspirations. With this in mind we developed Make It Real. Make It Real links 15-17 year olds with 18-25 year old for face to face mentoring. Those 18-25 year olds will have industry mentors.

The Team
Research, ideation and development: Boyoung Lee
Research, ideation and development: Hsin Yi Lo
Project management and implementation: Charlotte Fountaine

The Impact
‘The service delivery model you have created is really thoughtful and overcomes some of the things that were concerning me safeguarding wise. It’s a model we would never have got to without your input.’
Laura Basset, Business Development Manager, Young Lambeth Cooperative.

Young Lambeth Cooperative, who commission youth services in Lambeth loved the idea, so I am now working with them to implement the service. The project was also selected by Innovation RCA for incubation support as part of the Our Place in the World Challenge.