The Queens Diamond Jubilee Volunteering Award

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Rochelle Sampy, one of Leaders, explains her role to collect a special award for volunteering on behalf of YouthNet.

Rochelle and Emma receive their awardAs a Leader, I put the ‘Y’ in ‘youth–led’. As a young person, I give a sense of legitimacy to YouthNet and’s activities, sharing my opinions an insight, which in turn helps them support young people.

Recently the rewards of my role as a Leader got much bigger. I was invited to go and receive the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Award for Volunteering with Emma Thomas, YouthNet’s CEO at the HMRC. It is an amazing building and one almost feels like…er…the Queen.  It was so exciting to be in the same room as Arlene Phillips (OMG! Strictly Come Dancing judge) and Dame Kelly Holmes (No…I did not get any autographs… sniff…sniff…) who, were also receiving this award on behalf of their organisations.

It was a big privilege to be there, as we were one of 60 volunteer-led national organisations who received this award. One only needs to think about the number of similar organisations there are to realise what a big opportunity this was for YouthNet…. and me! I also got to talk to others about my role at YouthNet and hope I did it justice.

The ceremony was short yet effective. Martyn Lewis, Founder and Chairman of YouthNet opened the event with a speech that highlighted how little volunteers are celebrated for what they do. The Olympics helped a little but what happens now? I suppose YouthNet is part of that legacy to change the perception of volunteers. All of the Leaders are young people and it is YouthNet who has shaped us to be better citizens who are passionate about the world around us. In a way, I felt that it was time that the young Leaders gave back to YouthNet and this is what this award represented. Of course, it also showed how useful the young volunteers are to YouthNet. It’s nice to feel wanted!

But this is just the beginning and has to be my favourite YouthNet moment so far. There will be many more awards to come although that has no effect on me volunteering for YouthNet. I love all the people I currently volunteer with and as long as they are there, I will be as well.

What’s your favourite YouthNet moment? Why do you like volunteering for YouthNet or

How young people use mobile phones to seek help

mobile support Research YouthNet

YouthNet has completed the first stage of a research project funded by the Nominet Trust that looks at how young people use mobile devices to meet their support needs. The research, involving more than 1,000 young people, consisted of online focus groups, an online survey, and offline workshops. The insights gathered will inform the next exciting stage of the project, where we will work with 16-to-25 year-olds as well as technological and youth experts to develop innovative and ambitious ideas on how to support young people through technology.

Below is just a taster of what the research revealed…

Today digital technologies are becoming increasingly ingrained in young people’s lives (with 99% of young people in the UK accessing the web), the internet is being accessed through an ever growing range of devices (i.e. 78% of young people access the web through mobile phones) and young people are increasingly going online for information and support on personal issues (with 83% of them turning to online resources when needing advice and support).

This raises the question of how less traditional, non-PC online platforms can be utilised to provide much-needed information, advice and support for young people.

The research identified areas where mobile devices could bring real benefits to young people in need by focusing on how young people use the device and the characteristics which are unique to mobile devices – beyond the evident benefits of convenience and practicality. These include: (1) connecting people; (2) providing local information; (3) instant support; (3) practical help; (5) engaging and fun support.

The research also identified areas which need to be taken into consideration when developing support services for mobile technologies aimed at young people.

–          Understanding help-seeking behaviour: whether the support is online or offline, through PC or mobile, young people’s needs should be put at the heart of service delivery. The research showed that (1) sometimes seeking help makes young people feel worse, by making it real – young people prefer to tackle the problem in a broader lifestyle context; (2) young people’s needs are often inter-related and cannot be addressed separately; (3) the way young people feel when coping with practical challenges in their lives is an issue in itself – emotional states can greatly influence help seeking behaviour.

–          How to support young people by connecting them through peers: even though young people mainly use mobile to connect to their peers, they struggle to recognise the role of peers in supporting them with personal issues. How can awareness of the role that peers can have in supporting them be raised, especially through mobile technologies?

–          Understanding privacy issues: privacy is a concern when using mobiles to seek help, but young people’s opinions and attitudes are varied: (1) there are young people who understand the risks of privacy and would not share information; (2) those who understand the risks of privacy and would selectively share information; (3) and those who don’t understand the risks of privacy and therefore would be at risk of sharing information unknowingly– services need to take into account the needs of these three different groups. Furthermore, there are different ways to define privacy and it is crucial to take the following into account: data-related privacy (whether data can be tracked by online companies) and personal privacy (whether other people can see the personal information accessed).

–          Information needs to be quick: young people usually spend less than 10 minutes on their mobile in one session and don’t like to search for information on the device. Services developed for mobiles need to be easy to navigate and the information has to be quick to locate.

–          Young people seamlessly and naturally switch devices: 81% of young people switch devices during the same internet session and they do it naturally. It is crucial for support services to be developed across neutral platforms.

–          Young people receiving online information from different places: services providing support – especially on sensitive issues – have to take into account the different situations young people are when accessing help.

Watch this space – next year we will develop and test innovative ideas to make real changes to young people’s lives through technology.

For further information, you can contact Elena at

What you told us you wanted from

News redevelopment

Over the past month or so, we’ve been asking you what you wanted changing on  Over 150 people responded to our call for feedback by answering user surveys, participating in workshops and through online chats.

After analysing your feedback we’ve pulled together the following key requirements that were most requested:

A new design to make the site look and feel more up-to-date
OK maybe this is an obvious one, but it was really good to hear this from you.  It reaffirmed many thoughts we had internally, that this was an areas in desperate need of change.

Keep the design consistent throughout the site
It’s always been a bit of an oddity that the Community side of the site has a very different look and design – now there is an opportunity to make it look like it is part of, not just an add on.

Make the page less cluttered
Over time we have been adding more and more (hopefully) useful component onto the pages and it, according to your feedback (and we agree) it may be time to de-clutter and review them. We will look to make sure that the pages only contain what is absolutely necessary.

A clearer idea of what to do next (for user’s journey through
You felt that a clearer journey on each page was needed, so you know where to go to find more information or related content.

Shorter version of articles/factsheets with the ability to ‘read more’
You love our content, but often you don’t have the time to read from beginning to end and therefore wanted shorter version of the same content so your get the facts quicker. But you still want the option to read the fuller content when you have time.

Add fun stuff like games, quizzes
We do have fun stuff on the site but it’s hidden within the Community section. We are looking to see whether there is a better place to put it and explore other new and exciting games to add.

To identify most recent activities
You want to know the most recent articles, forum posts and comments that are on the site.

More community content throughout the site like ranks, real-life stories
The Community section has some great content that are produced by you, and it should be easily accessible throughout the site.

View recent social media activities
You want to know what our users on the Facebook and Twitter is saying, and the option to join in.

Regular news updates
You are interested in knowing latest news.

Reduction of the amount of pages needed to navigate to the article
You want a way to go directly to the article without the need to navigate through multiple pages.

Additional functionalities through user accounts
You love the idea of being able to personalise and make the yours, such as changing the colour and wallpaper.

Improve the search function
Improve the current search function so that it gives results of all over the site, including the discussion boards, and make sure this works on mobile.

Ability to access key services using mobile such as chat
Many of you say that mobile phones are your main way of accessing the internet. We need to ensure that all our services work on mobile devices, including the interactive ones.

Access to AskTheSite via text and email
You would like to extend the AsktheSite service so you can get the answer directly through text and emails.

Ability to hide and clear bookmarks
Great to have a hide function, so if you are reading a sensitively article if can be quickly and easily hide the page or clear bookmarks.

Ensure the website is accessible
To ensure that everyone can use the website, whether they are using text-to-speech convertors or prefer to use their keyboard rather than a mouse to navigate.

As we move forward with the re-development of, these requirements are the key to ensuring we build a brilliant website.  Next up, we’re starting to look at how content is organised and seeing how we can make it easier for you to find what you want.

Consulting young people on the redevelopment of

News redevelopment

As part of redeveloping, we’re doing some work to find out what our users want from our services.

The first step was to recruit two focus groups of young people, one group that knows the site inside out (TheSite Leaders who had already helped us in heaps of projects) and another group who are total newbies to the site.

Our first focus group was a face-to-face workshop with users at YouthNet’s office in London. We used multiple ways to recruit participants, but surprisingly six of the seven lived in or near Leeds.  We wanted to understand how they seek information and advice, how they ask for help and support and what they like and dislike about websites. The morning started off with some icebreakers and energisers which included a lot zip, zap and boing.

Firstly, we explored how they’d find information according to several different scenarios such as pregnancy and STI information after a one nightstand, tenant’s rights with fixing heating. The group shared their thoughts and feelings about how they’d go about seeking information, Google was, not surprisingly, the first place they’d go to, the second being a website that they trusted and had used before.

After a great lunch, and lots of washing up (thanks Patrick), we continued to have an open discussion around how they ask for help and support. They highlighted that their online peers are available 24/7 and they felt more able to discuss more personal /sensitive issues with people they don’t know face to face.

The final session of the day involved looking at popular websites and seeing what the group liked and disliked about them. What was surprising was the website I love, they hated, and I suppose that says something about my age!

We’d love to know what you like and dislike about – if you haven’t filled it in our user survey, it’s not too late!

A week in the life of a YouthNet volunteer

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YouthNet have been very lucky that some of our fantastic volunteers have given up a week of their summer holidays to come and volunteer with us recently.  Anjeli is one of our TheSite Leader volunteers and she spent last week helping the Engagement and Support and Partnerships Teams. Here’s what she got up to in her own words:

I’ve been connected to YouthNet for a few years now. It started when I was browsing Do-it when I was sixteen years old to find some volunteering opportunities and I came across Lifetracks. I was part of Lifetracks which involved me contributing to discussions in the run up to the launch of the Lifetracks website. Shortly after this, I joined the Leaders Network, which involves me contributing to online discussion boards and participating in live chats to help develop I have previously come into the London office for a few offline events and when I came to the photo shoot for Barclays in April I started to wonder what it would be like to spend a week in the offices. So that’s why I’m here!

This week I have spent three days with the Engagement and Support team and two days with the Partnerships team. Here is what I got up to over my week here:


Laura and Clare gave me an induction to YouthNet, running me through what all the different teams do and in particular what Engagement and Support does. They gave me an overview of the different tasks I would be doing over the course of the week, and I felt really excited and welcome.

A lot of the work I did in Engagement and Support was very similar to the online volunteering I do with TheSite Leaders Network. I made use of my ability to consult on discussions, comment on projects and give constructive criticism.

Laura told me about the new pilot project called Technology Together, which is being run with Age UK, in the run up to the London Virgin Marathon in 2013. This project will involve young people teaching older people how to use technology. A toolkit has been produced to guide volunteers into their role, and to start up my week I looked at the booklet in detail and gave my thoughts as to the feel of the project, how it looked and its content. I then created a discussion on the Volunteer Network to encourage volunteers to give us some feedback. We have had a few responses this week so its been really informative to read about peoples thoughts on this initiative. Something which was also quite exciting was giving my thoughts on the actresses that would be featured in the launch of the project!

I also spent some time browsing around on Step Finder, which has been launched recently on as a way to help young people overcome barriers they face in seeking help services. I already knew about Step Finder from some tasks I completed in a live chat a few months ago, but I spent this time really learning about specific problems young people face, in preparation for a task Jo was to give me on Tuesday.


On Tuesday I created a discussion to tell the Leaders about an upcoming online workshop for Step Finder. This workshop is aimed at hearing people’s first hand experiences of seeking counselling services and I encouraged the relevant young volunteers to step forward.

Something I found really interested is looking at a training chat for Clare on self-care. This chat was for discussion board moderators, live chat moderators and peer advisors to address some of their thoughts and experiences when participating in online chats around self-harm. As I was editing the document I learnt a lot about the way people advise others and I found this really useful!

Another project I gave feedback on was the Essential skills training that YouthNet asks Peer Advisors to complete. In terms of supporting people and giving advice I found this extremely interesting, particularly as I am a Law student, so any experience on advising others is key to someone like me.

I also launched a discussion about a couple of websites that the Angelus Foundation has asked us to look at. The Angelus Foundation is in the process of launching a website to educate young people about legal highs and as part of this I encouraged the TheSite Leaders to contribute their thoughts on which website draft they thought was better.

Wednesday and Thursday

I spent these two days in the Partnerships team which was very different to what Engagement and Support does. Andy gave me an informative introduction to what Partnerships does and it was really interesting to see the way that Do-it runs and the way that YouthNet works with other like minded organisations.

I started my work in Partnerships by creating a sheet of statistics for the previous month for the upcoming Budget Report, including details such as number of registered volunteers and the number of do-it applications. Something which I found quite interesting is the rise in the number of applications in the past few months – maybe because of the Olympics?

Over the next couple of days I spent some time inputting feedback forms from the Vbase 3.0 training session. Vbase is a volunteering database which many Volunteer Centres use and they recently had a morning of training after the launch of version 3.0. It was really useful to see people’s opinions on the training session, with some people really pleased with the training apart from the traffic outside!

Something which I also carried out in Partnerships was finding out contact details of a number of charitable organisations, some of which could be potential partners for the future.


On Friday morning I rounded up the responses we had from volunteers about the Technology Together booklet. As mentioned before, it was useful to see contrasting opinions around the project and the information provided in the booklet and I produced a brief report of the overall response.

And now I am sitting here writing this blog on my last day. I have really enjoyed my week here. The staff here are so welcoming and friendly and the office has such a relaxed atmosphere. Through being given my own tasks to complete and being left to use my own initiative I have had a first hand experience of what Engagement and Support and Partnerships do at YouthNet, as well as a more all round experience of what goes on in the office. I will miss it here but I’m sure I will be back in the future for other Leader’s events!

Help us to design a new

News redevelopment

What do you think of Does it need a complete overhaul or just a lick of paint? Perhaps you’d like to see some of your favourite features, interactive element or tools made easier to find or improved. Do you want the whole site available on your mobile or via an app? Or maybe you think is fine just as it is.

Whatever you think, we need your feedback to begin making changes to ensure is an engagaing, informative, interactive experience designed for young people by young people.

Today we are launching a survey to capture your views. The survey is part of scoping exercise to help the team at Youthnet work out what you want to see online as we begin the huge task of overhauling

Over the next 18 months there will be changes to how the looks and functions as well as new content and interactive features to build on the all the great stuff that makes the website what it is.

We have three key principles that will underpin this work:

  • To involve young people in every stage of the project.
  • To work in development cycles to test and review that we’re getting it right.
  • To use more flexible open source technology so that can keep changing organically.

In addition to the survey we will be conducting workshops with young people, leaders and Youthnet staff to inform our vision for a new We will also be looking at other websites in our sector and beyond to make sure that we utilise the best of new technologies.

You will be able to follow the development via this blog as we will post feedback from workshops, new designs and insights into the process. Please leave us comments to tell us how you think we’re doing. By working together we can ensure we create the best possible online resource for young people seeking information and support online.

You can fill in survey here update: rape and sexual assault

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We’ve updated our rape and sexual assault information on It’s been a thought-provoking journey, so I’d like to explain the new articles and some of the challenges we’ve experienced.

Avoiding victim blaming

All this work started because we wanted to avoid victim-blaming (the idea that a rape victim may have been partly responsible for what happened). So the main focus has been  separating our advice on staying safe from our advice on what to do after a rape or sexual assault. As an ill-thought out campaign by West Mercia Police recently demonstrated, it’s all too easy to conflate advice about sexual assault with advice about how to ‘avoid’ it. What this becomes, though unintentionally, is victim-blaming.

All the victim should be thinking about is how to best recover. Not whether they should have carried a rape alarm, caught a different bus home or had one less jagerbomb. Because, as this rape victim who had her soft drink spiked attests, even the soundest safety advice is pretty useless in this context.

In the absence of being able to advise rapists not to rape (though it has been tried), it’s easy to fall into the trap of trying to advise victims not to get raped. After all, it’s natural to want to protect young people from awful things. But we had to accept there’s just no good advice you can give.

Challenging rape culture

 Another another central function of our new advice is to remind readers that rape is only ever the rapist’s fault. It might seem shocking that we even have to point it out, but (as UniLad have demonstrated) rape culture is alive and kicking in 21st century UK.

One of the insidious things about rape culture is that it replicates virally by reinforcing subconscious myths. Its invasion of our brains manifests in repeated injustices, like the tiny number of rape cases that make it to court.

In our new Rape myths article, we challenge these assumptions with facts gleaned from the amazing Jo Wood at Rape Crisis, to whom we are indebted to for helping with this update. She opened our eyes by telling us that 97% of calls to rape crisis centres are from women who knew their attacker, and that you’re most likely to be raped in your own home. She also reminded us that, despite being portrayed as a crime of passion or lust, rape often involves grooming and is never about sex but always about power.

Our hope is that by giving rape myths a good bashing, young people coming for advice will also challenge their own ideas about what rape is – and about why it happens and who is really to blame (all together now – THE RAPIST).

‘Was I raped?’

 Something else that informed our work on this topic was the discovery, via Google Ad-words, that there are almost 250,000 people a month in the UK searching, ‘was I raped’?

This may seem like a bit of a strange question. But we see young people on our discussion boards questioning whether they’ve been raped or not, usually because they were assaulted by someone they knew and trusted.

So we’ve devoted a third article to discussing the legal and emotional impact of sexual assault and the fact that it’s more common, and takes more forms, than people realise. We’ve also added ‘What is abuse?’, which defines emotional and physical abuse in a sexual relationship. Again, we hear from our users that the emotional confusion stemming from an abusive relationship leaves victims doubting their own judgement.

We know these articles are small gestures. alone can’t undo rape culture, help police officers become more enlightened, or, most regrettably, keep our users safe from these types of crime. All we can do is make sure our advice is as useful as possible to those who need it. As always our information is a work in progress, so please let us know what you think.

Porn versus reality – sex update goes live

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We’re celebrating the launch of our Porn Versus Reality film in the office today – if your work computer lets you, do take a look and let us know what you think.

It’s the final instalment of our mission to update all our sex advice. Our aim is to give young people accurate sex information in a way that means something to them. We talk about wet patches, the walk of shame and fingering, ask how much sex is normal and whether you should go to a strip club, give advice on safe online sex and sexting (tip, don’t put your head in the photo) and answer the biggest question of all –  am I the only virgin left in the village?

So  why has YouthNet chosen to focus editorial resources on sex this year– not safe sex, not sexual health, just sex, sex, sex?

Because sex interests young people (who knew?)

 Our research shows young people are not worried about STIs and routinely don’t bother with condoms. There could be a range of reasons for this, but we think part of the problem is that sexual health messages alone make dull viewing. So we’ve wrapped up the all-important (and we really do think it’s important) ‘make sure you use a condom or dental dam, and here’s how’ agenda into more interesting stuff about bondage, bits and bums.

Because of hardcore porn

The easy availability of hardcore porn has been a controversial point in the media recently. Alongside organisations like the FPA, which is offering a new course about the impact of porn on young people, we acknowledge that porn is increasingly playing a role in young people’s sex lives. Meanwhile Brook is campaigning for relevant sex education, something apparently 47% of young people do not have access to. We can see from’s discussion forums that porn may be causing changes in sexual behaviour by putting our users under pressure to look a certain way and act a certain way in bed. But, as Porn Versus Reality points out, not everyone climaxes loudly when a plumber rings their doorbell, porn actors get away without wearing condoms because they have regular STI check-ups and body hair doesn’t make you a freak of nature. That’s the hidden side of the story we want to tell.

Because good sex means many things

Sexism in the media and in porn can pressure young women – and men – to look and behave a certain way, like the boy in this research from the NSPCC who knows it’s wrong to show off sexts of girls at school, but doesn’t want to tell his mates ‘in case they say I’m gay’. We want to take this pressure off.

When we say ‘good sex’, we don’t mean obsessing about how many orgasms you have a night or whether you’ve got a penis so large it can be seen from space. We want to balance some media and pop portrayals of what good sex is and let our users know that it’s ok not to have sex, or to do it merely once a year, or three times a night (how do we know this is an important question? Our new how much sex is normal?  article is already one of the most read on

Because we’re fans of the ‘R’ factor

As our busy relationships board daily reminds us, exploring the world of sex for the first time is an emotional adventure. In a bid to talk about sex in a clear and open way, it’s easy to forget about the mysterious, wonderful yet utterly confusing feelings that go with the mushing together of two (or more) people’s genitalia. One of the lies that porn is responsible for is that sex should be disengaged from emotions. Ditto sex education, which has been criticised for focusing too much on the act and not the brain and feelings attached.

And finally …

Three cheers for Holly Thompson, our journalist, and Rob Mitchell, our multimedia producer, for their fantastic and creative work on the sex section update (by the way, Holly was nominated for a Sexual Health Journalism award along the way.)  If nothing else, the end of this work means they’ll be able to talk about their jobs in public without having to explain why they spent the day looking for the right kind of root vegetable to demonstrate a ‘normal’ sized penis, or finding out what a pubo-sling is.

Mexxy Stuff. provides the facts on legal highs

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As ‘Mexxy’ (Methoxetamine) becomes the first legal high to be temporarily banned under new Government powers today, is offering young people aged 16 to 25 the facts about legal highs.

The website, run by online charity YouthNet, provides straight talking advice and information for young people to help them understand the myths and realities surrounding legal high use. From information on what exactly legal highs are, safety and what your doctor knows, covers the A to Z of legal highs to help young people get trusted information whenever they need it.

Matt Whyman, author and expert on young people’s issues for said: “There are a lot of myths and misconceptions when it comes to legal highs. Media attention like we’ve seen today only increases the need for young people to have access to clear and balanced information about exactly what these things are.

“It’s essential that drug-related information and advice is freely available to young people so that, when faced with making decisions concerning their welfare, they are armed with the facts to make informed choices.”

-ends-, run by charity YouthNet, provides straight-talking, anonymous information and advice 24 hours a day, on subjects including drink and drugs, home, law and money, work and study, and sex and relationships. Its bespoke question and answer service, askTheSite, provides young people with a confidential, personal answer to any question within three working days. Drugs-related questions are answered by one of askTheSite’s partner organisations, addaction – a charity that provides treatment, help and advice about drugs and alcohol for young people and adults.

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YouthNet highlights of 2011

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So the baubles and tinsel are up and there is chocolate aplenty, yet each day the office becomes quieter as YouthNet staff head off for their well-deserved Christmas break.  So, as we round up another busy year, I thought I would share some of my highlights. on mobile

It’s been fantastic to see two of our key services made available on mobile this year, for all key handsets.  The Local Advice Finder, which helps young people find support in their local area, and our community boards. The boards are such an important source of peer support and it’s a great development for young people to be able to access this on their mobile, wherever they are.  In the year ahead we’ll continue to analyse how our services are accessed and use of the mobile site versus the full site on handsets…further mobile support is in planning!


The technical, partnerships and projects teams have had a very busy couple of months, delivering the Re-Do-it project; a complete overhaul of the servers and infrastructure behind Do-it, enabling some key improvements in the user’s experience of the site.  In typical tech development fashion, this involved lots of all night sessions with a steady supply of pizza, and the end result is a faster, smoother search functionality for Do-it users, enabling double the number of searches in a day – which is great for individuals to find the right opportunity, and for organisations to access the volunteers they need.

Supporting young people, in more ways

The Editorial team and the Support & Engagement team, are constantly reviewing the best way to support young people and this year has been a busy one!  From new content on and live streaming our online advice chats, to the launch of the Barclays Money Skills Champions site and the roll out of our Leaders programme; they’ve been making sure that young people are shaping the development of our services.

The launch of Step Finder has been a really exciting development this year.  While we have always signposted young people to thousands of support services, they often expressed how tough they found it to go from the safety of TheSite to visiting a doctor, counsellor or speaking to a loved one.  Step Finder brings together other young people’s experiences of making this step to give tips and share advice.  It’s a great example of how the teams listen to young people and think about how the adoption of new technology or online trends could be applied to the support we provide young people.

With so much to offer, it’s vital that young people know we’re here to help them.  So it’s been great to work closely with Radio 1 this year as our relationship expert Matt Whyman takes a regular slot on The Surgery show and our young peer advisors have provided online support via social media during broadcasts.  Connecting with our audiences through our own growing social media platforms has also given us the chance to get to know our users better and have some fun too!

Keeping the creativity going…

YouthNetters are a truly creative bunch so to set our minds racing for 2012 we held a Fedex day this month which showed staff at their best.

In true Fedex style, based upon ‘same day delivery’, everyone got to work on something they don’t always get a chance to do in the day job, with a view to delivering a tangible result by the end of the day.  The Projects ranged from taking inspiration from Information is Beautiful, to look at how to present information on TheSite in different ways (see below), to building a Geckoboard to easily present live data on applications and Do-it traffic.  And we launched a mobile app for askTheSite via Tapatalk, a third party forum app. The office was buzzing as groups worked away, and the results in one day were fantastic.

One of the FedEx Day ideas- showing what drink can do to your body

YouthNet has achieved an enormous amount this year and while most of us are thinking of winding down for Christmas, YouthNet will remain on hand for young people who can often find this a difficult time of year and for those coming to Do-it, having been inspired to start volunteering in the New Year.

So, many thanks to those staff who work across the Christmas period, and to everyone at YouthNet, our partners and colleagues for all their hard work and support this year.

Have a very happy Christmas and all the best for 2012.