Young people have been involved all the way through this project, as coproducers with real power. We have held focus groups, looked at research papers and held a national survey to help us understand how it feels to help a friend in a toxic relationship. Groups of young people have used that information to come up with ideas of resources to help friends who want to help their friends.

Young people have then looked at all 15 shortlisted ideas below, cast their votes on what will be created and then co-produced what emerged as the winning ideas. You can explore all 15 ideas below and see more about the #FriendsCanTell campaign here.

Please note for accessibility - if there is a video click on the caption icon at the bottom of it to see subtitles and if it's a voice note, then the description underneath is the transcript for it.

Ideas from young people who have worked on this project

The your best friend logo shows two friends with fists in the air

A TikTok Series for LBT+ Young People

Idea One

A series of connected TikToks which offer practical information, tips and skits illustrating challenges faced by LBT+ people in their relationships. As it does this, it will also also showcase a diverse range of queer relationship structures, experiences and identities.

The series could include things like - how to approach your friend when something worrying happens in their relationship, how to say how you’re feeling in a relationship, or set boundaries, what emotional abuse can look like in a LGBT+ relationship, and so much more.

Inform Teens

Idea Three

There is so much information out there but it's often not easy to find, and if it is, it doesn't speak to teens in a way that they can relate to it.

An idea to change this would be to create a space on the Your Best Friend website and a commercial video which provide information on relationships, red and green flags and tips and advice for organisations who work with teens.

Most importantly, this should be easy for teens to access and relate to.

The Time to Step In Navigator

Idea Five

Some things have a very fine line and we’ve talked about how young people may doubt themselves. I like those diagrams where there’s a question, you answer it with yes or no and follow it to the next question, until you’ve answered quite a few questions and it gives you a solution. I think this would be helpful to have so you know what to do, there doesn’t have to be loads of options of what to do, but maybe just a simple yes or no whether it’s time to involve an adult or not.

We could turn this into an interactive online tool that can be shared across the web or made interactive

Red Flag Posters

Idea Four

A simple series of posters around the college that show red flags in relationships that you might be missing in your friend's relationships.

These would be put up on toilets around colleges, and have QR codes that you can zap to go the advice to help you help your friend.

As more awareness is raised about what to look out for in your friend's relationships and what to do, people might share photos of the posters on social media and the conversations in colleges will create change.

The Interactive Film

Idea Six

We want to create a film where the character is pretending to be in a real life situation.

However, rather than just have you look on, they would break the 4th wall and ask you, the viewer, for advice.

It could begin with one film, but could lead to others too. The main goal would be to get young people talking and stepping in to think through what they'd do if the person in the film was their friend. We can learn a lot through the power of the crowd.

A Podcast to Open
a Friend's Eyes

Idea Seven

Opening a friend's eyes is not always easy. We want to make it easier by creating a podcast of young people in a conversation on how to open a friend's eyes.

Our tagline will be 'You think it, we say it."

Through this medium, young people will be able to explore scenarios that they relate to, and understand how to talk to their friend in a way that helps their friend see what they see.

Going Social with Red and Green Flags

Idea Eleven

We'd like to provide more information and support for young people so they can help their friends. We plan on doing this through a social media campaign focusing on the red and green flags in a relationship, as well as how to establish boundaries within a relationship.

Through this campaign, we want to prevent young people from feeling alone and helpless in this situation, and reassure them that help is available for them. Another important aspect of relationships which we would like to educate young people about is red flags, so that they can help their friends avoid being entangled in an unwanted situation in the first place.

We plan to do this all over social media with information and resources as well. As talk from experts like psychologists or scientists who study relationships and young people. Possible things this campaign could include on Instagram posts, a resource of red and green flags, or sharing real stories. In the Instagram post with different scenarios, we would encourage people to interact with the posts and point out what might be wrong in this situation, and then have a picture stating what the red flags are. In the resource of the red and green flags, we would include things that aren't okay and things that are okay; So young people are more aware of boundaries within the relationships.

Finally, in the stories of young people, we would include the experiences encountering either red or green flags. Then share these so young people can relate with the content and see their own friend's relationships reflected in this to understand if their relationship is healthy.
An illustrated icon of an instragram post
A friend looking at her friend trying to work out what's up with her

What's Up With
My Friend?

Idea Ten

You may have friends that are behaving differently but you can't work out why. It can be daunting, and you can feel powerless.

We'd create relatable social content that would be distributed across online spaces where young people spend their time and it would show them why their friends are acting in certain ways.

Most importantly, it would also sign-post them to advice to help their friends.

Training for
Creating Change

Idea Twelve

We would like to create change and raise awareness through a programme that would help friends help friends and crucially, it would sit within existing programmes.

This training programme will be delivered by a YPF partner alongside the young person, teacher, or professional in order to deliver informative sessions across schools, universities, organisations, and workplaces. For these informative sessions, we want to educate young people on where they can go for support to support their friends, what support is available to them, how they can recognise red flags and controlling behaviours, how they can establish boundaries, what are the statistics on relationships and real life experiences from victims.

All of this will show them how they can help a friend who is in a toxic relationship and how they can lead to create spaces for support for other young people. At the end of each training programme, we would like to create an informal support space for the young people involved in each session, we think is quite important to keep the programme flexible, so the support process and options can be tailored to each school, university, organisation or workplace.

We also think is important to use acronyms session to help young people remember how to support others, perhaps is the slogan for the session or on the leaflet handed to new participants or sent digitally. If the training was ever in person. Perhaps the leaflets could have a QR code, which directs them to the YPF website or link on the digital resource packs.
An illustrated icon of a flag on a TikTok post

A Red Flag Tik Tok Series

Idea Nine

We want to create a TikTok series to help young people see what red flags look like in their friends' relationships.

These short videos would show them what to look out for, why they happen, when to step in, and what to do.

Of course, by doing this on TikTok, we can make it entertaining so that young people will pay attention and start to recognise how what they're watching actually relates to their friends.

Peer Groups

Idea Fourteen

Young people may feel they unable to speak to their friends in order to help their friend. We also know trying to find the answer is daunting.

So, we want to run a pilot where young people can anonymously get together online at a certain point each week and discuss something they've all seen happen to their friend.

Rather than keep worrying about it, they can work together (with an expert) to come up with ways to help their friends.
Three anonymous young people in a group shown as a silouhette
Illustrated icon of PHSE lesson cards

Seeing Red Flags on Dating Apps

Idea Thirteen

Young people use dating apps, but how can we show young people what red flags to look out for on them, so that they can help their friends see them within those apps?

By increasing young people's knowledge and awareness of toxic relationships, it will increase friends' confidence to intervene and better support their friends.

As we do this, we can then also inspire the dating app companies to embed warning signs into their own apps.

PHSE for Friends

Idea Fifteen

There are PHSE lessons happening in schools but how many of them deliver information that helps friends see the red flags in their friends' relationships? Or how to help them? Or what to do in different situations?

If we can create this content, then schools can download it and use it for easily in their PHSE classes.

The content would be peer to peer and create the conversations that are needed in schools.
Join us on this mission...
There are a number of things we'll do but two big things are listening to girls, young women, and non-binary people, and getting information out to wherever they spend their time (online or offline). If you want to be involved in either of those two things - add yourself to the list...

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