Working with Young Men: (formerly Young Men Matter) pre final editing, final project report shared with funders

Cath Holmstrom, Mark Price, James Ravenhill

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


This report summarises the learning from the various aspects of the Working with Young Men project. It identifies issues from data collection and analyses and also identifies implications for practice and also potential next steps. The report is structured such that a reminder of the main reasons for the project being commissioned precedes the literature review, focussing particularly upon the key themes that emerged from that process, given the fact that these also formed the basis for analysis of interviews carried out with representatives of local organisations. The data arising from interviews with young men and with professionals from a range of organisations is then explored, theme by theme before then identifying conclusions and recommendations arising from this project. The project was commissioned as a result of concerns within and between local statutory and non-statutory services and other stakeholders about what had initially been referred to as a ‘stubborn core’ of young men for whom engaging with existing services was seemingly not happening, and about whom professionals were concerned in respect of safety and the risks to these young men too. In many cases, they were the young men that were costing BHCC significant amounts of money in resources and services, with little ‘benefit’ being apparent, but there was also recognition that there may be young men slipping through and between existing provision. The project was tasked with exploring ideas about ‘what works’ with such young men, if possible to identify, and to obtain perspectives form young men and professionals about this through interviews, including interviews with young men for whom outcomes could have been less positive. As part of the original project brief, there was a recognition that Brighton and Hove may be a somewhat unique context in which to be a young man, with references made to the vibrant culture and values that are based upon its history and standing as a holiday or day trip town, with perhaps a deepening divide between the prosperous and those struggling to afford to live in the city, perhaps feeling even more alienated and seeking meaning and belonging in other ways. As such, the group of young men the project sought to understand included those aged 14 to 25 years, those for whom a degree of criminal or anti-social behaviour and/or substance use was part of their experience, as well as those potentially vulnerable to exploitation, radicalisation (both far right and Islamic extremism) and abuse of different kinds, as well as experiences of poor mental health and/or disability, especially given the incidence of suicide and self-harm within the city. In terms of research approaches and methods, the team adopted a largely qualitative and interpretivist approach to the interviews in order to ascertain experiences and meanings and used a thematic approach to the analysis of the professionally transcribed interview data, using a two stage process of analysis to ensure as full approach as possible.  
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 23 Dec 2020

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