Democracy Box Summer Update

At the end of 2020, we caught up with Yvonne Murphy from Democracy Box (check out the case study here!). Yvonne's been on a mission to improve the way young people are taught about democracy. Recently she shared what she's been up to since...

You don’t really learn about the system. The only time it gets talked about is when there’s a general election. It’s something you’re supposed to know but you never get taught it.

Young person interviewed for The Democracy Box podcast

Yvonne's now recruited 32 young co-creators aged 16-26 from all over Wales including those from the five lowest turnout constituencies in Wales. The Democracy Box involves young people from all around Wales being paid as co-creators to explore and develop new ways to explain the basics of our democracy for other young people, old people and everyone in between all year round and not just in the run up to an election.

What does "democracy" mean to young people?

Yvonne teaches the young co-creators the basics of our UK democracy through her Story of our democracy in 7 chapters tool (which two young co-creators are currently busy making more visual & accessible) & then gets them to retell the story in their own creative way, using video, music, podcast, spoken word, animation, social media – they decide how best to interest their peers so they can engage with the content. Yvonne then facilitates the young co-creators creative journey & the development of their creative ideas together with the project collaborators & professional creatives from across Wales.

The best way to ensure young people understand and engage in our democracy is to make sure young people are paid to be front and centre of any information campaigns about our Welsh and UK democracy.

Yvonne Murphy

One young co-creator has designed all the branding and logos. Others act as team leads on the social media platforms. All are paid properly for their time & creative input.

Why do young people think it's worth understanding the basics of our democracy?

Yvonne's also holding focus groups with teachers and teacher trainers and young people in school and youth groups and collectives to test the content Democracy Box creates and evaluate the impact of the project. She's working with professional creatives, productions companies and creative degree students from across Wales to prototype ideas.

One young co-creator said “We need to Be Brave. Be Bold. Be Educated.”

The seed phase R&D confirmed that many Welsh and UK citizens, including teachers and educators do not have a sound basic understanding of the UK democracy and how local, devolved and Westminster Governments all fit together and why. There should be No Shame & No Blame in not knowing this stuff.

Every single young person I have worked with, interviewed & spoken with doesn’t know this stuff, wants to know it and are angry that they don’t.

Yvonne Murphy

What's next for Democracy Box?

  • A Democracy Box Interactive Website
  • A Democracy Box Tool Kit for working with young people as co-creators.
  • The Creative Cascade Model to be piloted in collaboration with Central South Consortia in Autumn 2021. Yvonne is developing the Creative Cascade Model and wants to teach teachers how to replicate the Democracy Box process with students aged 7 -16 in schools across Wales because 90-100% of young people she has surveyed want this stuff taught in primary and secondary schools.
  • The Democracy Box Music Festival & Record Label with Youth Cymru, young people & RecRock.
  • A one stop shop/Digital signposting to all things democracy
  • A Talking Shop in each of the five lowest voter turn-out constituencies in Wales creating face to face voter engagement & a shop window for The Democracy Box

"Across the world young people are realising that democracies have failed them and future generations to come on issue like climate change, jobs and skills and wellbeing. Part of this problem may be that our education system does not provide enough support to young people to help them understand and engage with democratic systems or processes. The holistic nature of the new curriculum provides an opportunity to address this but teachers and learners must be supported to find creative ways to. This programme is a way of doing exactly that."

- Sophie Howe, Future Generations Commissioner for Wales & Democracy Box Collaborator

How to find out more...

The Democracy Box podcast is on Spotify and Apple podcasts.

They have a rap series too! Raps 1-4 were commissioned by BBC Bitesize & Rap 5 is available on the Omidaze Facebook page.

You can find them on TikTok, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube, and read more on their blog.


The Democracy Box © is a non-partisan research and development project funded by Clwstwr until summer 2021 and created by Yvonne Murphy aka Omidaze Productions.

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