At The CYRA Service, we work with you to help transform research findings into real-world impact to improve children’s lives, education and wellbeing.

 

We can work with you from start to finish on a project or we can help you at any step along the way. Key aspects we commonly help with include:

 

  • Literature Reviews - We synthesise relevant research evidence for you to inform your priorities, program developments or ensure that any resources are evidence-based.

  • Project Reports - We format and design high quality project reports and can create child and youth-friendly versions.

 

  • Media Resources - We develop eye-catching, print, graphical or video outputs that engage and educate. These can be tailored for parents, carers, teachers or other professionals, as well as for children and young people themselves.

Some examples of recent work:

 

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Screenshots from the 'What is a Researcher?' video.

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Researchers working with children need to explain their research to children (and their parent/guardian) to help them decide if they would like to take part. However, children are often not familiar with the role of a researcher. For children to make an informed choice about taking part in research, they need to have some idea of what ‘research’ actually is.

 

In 2022, Dr Laura Benton from University College London's (UCL) Department for Culture, Communication and Media contracted The CYRA Service to write and help coordinate a short, pilot video for young children (approx. age 3-7 years). We drew on existing research and practice evidence, insights from our involvement with ERIC (The Ethical Research Involving Children Initiative), feedback from an advisory group of children and parents and engaged with the professional illustrator, Holly Smith. 

 

The video has been funded by an Impact Grant from the UCL Department for Culture, Communication and Media. It is freely accessible for any researcher to use to support the informed consent process with young children and is accessible here. The hope is to secure funding to build upon this initial video.

The Rockhopper Toolkit:
Finding your feet during times of change

The Year 2021 marked the 25th anniversary of the first Seasons for Growth Children and Young People’s program. It was also the height of the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions in Australia. It was decided that the most valuable way to celebrate the anniversary would be to offer a gift to schools, children and young people, by sharing the Seasons for Growth knowledge and practice wisdom accumulated over the 25 years.

 

The CYRA Service worked with a team including program author, Professor Anne Graham, staff from the MacKillop Institute and Tim Pace from fibre.tv, to write and develop an adapted program that would help support children’s emotional literacy and resilience during uncertain and changing times. A key challenge was to adapt the small group learning experience of Seasons for Growth to the needs and context of a whole class. We found the answer in rockhopper penguins.

 

Rockhoppers are adaptable, tenacious little penguins that spend five months out at sea before coming back to land to nest. As they try to hop up the steep rocky cliffs of windswept islands, their efforts are repeatedly thwarted by large crashing waves that wash them back out to sea. We saw parallels between the rockhoppers’ efforts to make landfall and children adapting and re-adapting between school and home-school.

 

Rockhoppers are both funny and resilient, but the real beauty is that they offer a shared focal point for the children that is slightly removed from their own experiences. As they examine how the rockhoppers navigate challenges and change, and as they practice their own ‘rockhopper skills’, the children are encouraged to see the connections to the impact of the pandemic, or other major changes in their lives. 

The Rockhopper Toolkit offers a fresh, fun yet safe approach to learning how to adapt to change and uncertainty. It has been designed to be easy to implement in schools, through a series of three short videos. These narrated videos bring together quirky animated illustrations with inspiring clips of real rockhoppers from the BBC documentary series, ‘Penguins in the Huddle’.

The Rockhopper Toolkit: Finding your feet during times of change is freely available worldwide. 

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‘Beyond’ Safety: Ethical Practice Involving Children’ is a large-scale, Australian Research Council funded-study being driven by an international team of researchers across 6 universities in Australia, New Zealand and the UK. It aims to strengthen knowledge, policy and practice concerning ‘child-safe’ organisations by examining the role of ethical practice in improving children and young people’s safety and wellbeing.

From 2021 - 2024, The CYRA Service is assisting the international team by developing:

  1. A suite of full colour research summaries, one for each phase of the study. The Phase 1 and Phase 2 summaries have been published to date.

  2. Associated social media infographics to promote the findings and maintain engagement throughout the life of the project.

Find out more about the study and download the pdfs of the summaries: Phase 1 Summary; Phase 2 Summary.

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EPIC Phase 1: Policy Analysis Summary

EPIC Phase 2: Qualitative Phase Summary