About the project


Welcome to the Change Up exhibition. In this space, we showcase the innovations, tools, and training that have been developed by young people with support from third sector youth work organisations in Renfrewshire.

Line drawing outline of Scotland

This work was produced in the middle of a pandemic. Alarm bells have been ringing across Scotland about the rising rates of poor adolescent mental health. Activists have been calling out for more attention to be paid to issues of coercive control and gender-based violence.

In this context, young people have looked these issues straight on. They have led on the development of resources which tackle coercive control and improve our mental health and wellbeing. This work carries a heavy emotional toll. These groups have had to be brave in bringing these issues to light. More than that, they’ve had to be brave to find solutions and innovations. They have been visionary in imagining a better world.

Illustraton of two happy looking heads viewed from behind looking at a lightbulb with arrows pointing from their heads to the light bulb
Illustration fo happy looking character pointing with arm outstrecthed hilst holding a book. Small lines from their mouth indicate they are speaking

For too long, we have asked young people for the answers. Now that they’ve given them to us, we must honour that work and take it forward. Please share these tools. Please use these resources in your work. Please celebrate the brilliance of young people in Renfrewshire!

Now it’s up to us. We must respond. We must make use of the resources they’ve given us. We must change.

What is Early Action System Change?

The Change Up exhibition is born of the work produced by the Early Action Systems Change Renfrewshire partnership, in collaboration with young people, dedicated to tackling the root causes of inequality in Scotland.

Funded by the National Lottery Community Fund, we’ve conducted rigorous data collection, mapped local systems of support and funding, and worked with young people and their families to understand what’s most important to them. Together we’ve found coercive control and poor mental health to be the leading issues that young people in Renfrewshire face.  


“You can see the development and the impact of what you're doing for the young people, it is so rewarding being able to engage with them. Seeing young people create a bond with you and each other is important. Creating space is the most valuable.” — Youth Worker

In the past year eight amazing youth groups have each developed diverse, creative and impactful resources in response to these challenges.They demonstrated resilience and imagination, facilitating design sessions on Zoom, partnering with creative agencies, and breaking down barriers to have meaningful conversations. Through these means–and more–young people’s stories emerged. 

 The process of co-design has facilitated curiosity, empathy and discovery, driven by a true sense of ownership. It’s led to stronger bonds between young people, increased their knowledge and understanding, and validated their experiences of coercive control and poor mental health. Youth Workers have told us that this, more than most other projects, has been the most authentic to what young people want and need. The act of creating something together, and having something to show at the end, has been a powerful one.

“The value of co-production is that you value other people’s experiences, their skills, you create a space of authenticity, it’s ok to find things out together” — Youth Worker

This space calls on viewers to take action and turn the young people’s hopes into reality. We invite you to explore the topics, the challenges and tell us what you can do to help Change Things Up!




Youth groups


Funded by


Produced in partnership with Engage Renfrewshire, Renfrewshire Council, Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership. Funded by National Lottery Community Fund.

2021 Dartington Service Design Lab.

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