We’re excited to be working on the next stage of My Best Life, our long-running collaborative project seeking digital solutions to the challenges facing young people today.

Back in 2018, we worked closely with young people in the London Borough of Camden, mapping their quiet ambitions, their pain points, what helps them, and what holds them back from the life they dream of. 

This next phase is about responding to the need for better support for young people we found in phase one. But we also want to go further, by triggering a shift in how the social sector approaches challenges like this.

Reimagining how young people discover and access opportunities

Many young people today, and particularly those living in poverty, face multiple challenges: high likelihood of insecure and inadequate housing, poor employment prospects relative to their wealthier peers, and a higher probability of substance misuse and mental health problems later in life, to name just a few. And yet, our research has shown young people find it hard to find adequate support, and when they do, it rarely feels ‘for them’.

My Best Life (MBL) is NPC’s collaborative project trying to tackle this problem. We are working with Lambeth Council and organisations from across Lambeth to develop a proof of concept in the form of a progressive web app that helps young people to discover services and opportunities in the local area.

To do this, we are thinking holistically about what is on offer for young people (services, employment and education opportunities, recreational activities etc.), and  putting young people  in the driving seat in designing and developing a tool to help them find what’s best for them.

In piloting the proof of concept we are aiming to understand what aspects of the app (design, usability, content, categorisation etc.) enhance and hinder young people’s ability to find what they’re after.

Throughout the process we are working closely with our partners at Lambeth Council as well as our project steering group made up of: The Mix, UK Youth, Founders and Coders, Integrate CIC, Leap Confronting Conflict and Cambridge Council.

Most importantly, we are working closely with young people, through our Young Person Steering Group, through Lambeth Council’s Youth Advisory Board and other forums for engaging and testing with young people as we go.

Our app is due to be launched in BETA in May.

Working in the open

My Best Life is an open project, using CAST’s ten design principles to help charities build better digital services to guide our work. Starting with ‘take small steps and learn as you go’.

This is reflected in the way we’re working. We’ll be providing regular updates, with opportunities for you to get involved in shaping the direction of progress. We’re jumping into this team mentality right from the start.

If you want to be involved – either to partner with us, share your insights, help set our objectives, or just have thoughts on our approach, we want to hear from you!

Follow our journey on NPC Labs

My Best Life is an open and collaborative project. We’ll be micro-blogging our learning as we go, and we’re keen for you to contribute as much as possible as a project partner.

NPC Labs is a new space for us to work in the open. For some of our projects, we’ll be updating on our progress much more frequently and less formally than we traditionally do with our blogs. Many of these projects will be collaborative partnerships with external partners. This is a new way of working for us and we are excited to see where this path leads. Be part of the journey at labs.thinknpc.org.

Building on what we’ve learnt

This project builds upon the success of My Best Life 1, an exciting project which was one of our first big forays into co-production with young people. Read the report below:

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