What makes young people happy? And how is a charity helping them get on in life?

We’ve spent much of this year meeting young people across the country, for a charity called IntoUniversity. It’s been massively heart-warming.

IntoUniversity runs after-school centres that provide academic support, mentoring and other constructive activities, for young people from less privileged backgrounds, to help them either attain a university place or purse another chosen aspiration. As a charity, IntoUniversity wanted to measure and evaluate the work they do.

So they commissioned us to spend a month visiting one centre, in Brent, to create an in-depth ethnographic video case study about the place and its impact. We then spent a few months taking photo portraits, with interviews, of 24 IntoUniversity students in their homes across the UK. For the portraits, we decided to take the theme of ‘what brings you most joy’.

The results were incorporated into an Impact Report, assured by PwC, and a full qualitative Impact on Attainment report by our regular partner, Renaisi, and shown at the launch at UBS head office last month. We’re hoping for a public exhibition of the portraits next year.

In the meantime, you can watch the video case study above, and read an interview with our director, Elliot, about the project and the value of visual ethnography, in IntoUniversity’s winter newsletter here.