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Included: How to support young people who face disadvantage to thrive online

Thanks to funding from the Avast Foundation, we’ve been exploring how to effectively support 16-24 year olds, who have been excluded from mainstream education, to thrive online.

23 June 2022

‘Thriving online’ is a positive and holistic way to think about online experiences. It encompasses lots of aspects that are often seen as separate – such as:

  • Staying safe from online harms
  • Knowing what to do if something upsetting happens online
  • Being able to make the most of the opportunities on offer to expand life horizons
  • Digital access
  • Digital skills

This report shares the findings from a six month project which focused on – and was led by – the needs and experiences of young people excluded from mainstream education.

Read the report in full

These young people often face multiple and complex social barriers, which make it challenging for them to thrive both in life and online. They are also often overlooked and left out of conversations about online experiences.

Barriers to thriving

 The report, which highlights a series of barriers that mean it’s challenging for this group to thrive online.   These include:

  • lack of data and devices
  • limited digital skills
  • a disconnect with adults in understanding
  • talking about and managing online experiences
  • limited peer-to-peer support
  • challenges working out who you are

Thriving in life and online

The report then goes onto outline ways in which these young people can be supported to overcome those barriers and thrive online. These include:

  • weekly facilitated peer support sessions that support young people to become adults, together
  • ongoing 121 mentoring, encouraging young people to explore who they are, and see possibilities for the future
  • interactive workshops that tackle perceptions versus reality around online depictions of success, supported by an online campaign to raise awareness of people ‘airbrushing their life online’

Practical tips – launching soon!

This report is accompanied by a practical guide for practitioners on how to work effectively with young people facing disadvantage in online programmes and services.