Annual report: A year at The Mix

This has been both a challenging and important year for The Mix. Young people were already facing a crisis in mental health before the destructive impact of coronavirus turned their lives upside down. Now, with an even tougher job market, disruptions to education and youth services, and an intensified sense of isolation and loneliness driven by lockdowns affecting the wellbeing of under 25s, it's been more crucial than ever that we deliver the support that’s so desperately needed.


of young people feel that life is “not really worth living"
Princes Trust, 2019
young people took their own lives in 2019


children and young people suffer from anxiety disorder
We want all young people to be able to make informed choices about their physical and mental wellbeing so they can live better lives. In order to achieve this, we aim to always be empowering, brave, collaborative, non-judgmental and inclusive.

Reaching young people when they need us the most

During the pandemic, The Mix saw a 23% increase in demand for our helpline, a 90% increase of posts on our community boards and a 75% spike in searches for information about counselling. We were uniquely placed to respond to this.
23% increase in demand for our helpline
90% increase of posts on our community boards
75% spike in searches for information about counselling

The Mix had to make sure that despite the devastating closure of schools, universities, health and youth services, we were still there for young people, providing a lifeline of support.

We not only achieved this, but scaled up our life-saving helpline and counselling services, creating a coronavirus hub page for support and information, running weekly entertainment sessions on Instagram and collaborating with other youth organisations to increase access to The Mix in communities across the country; as well as continuing with our important youth-led campaign work.

We’ve increased the number of contacts taken on our helpline by 14% since March.
We've recruited an additional 27 volunteer counsellors across this period, taking our total number of active counsellors to 55.
7 days
We’ve extended our Group Chats to seven days per week.
2 hours
We’ve extended our helpline hours by two hours each day.

4 million

In 2019/20, The Mix reached over 4 million young people in the UK.

We have a social of reach of 2.2 million through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.

Our website and community were visited by over 1.8 million young people reading over 2,000 articles and videos.

We supported 1,066 visitors to our moderated live chat groups.

We delivered 13,400 contacts via our helpline, offering listening support and information.

We delivered 19,500 support contacts via our 24-hour crisis messenger service

We delivered 3,620 sessions of free counselling.

The Mix empowers young people to find the support they need

We aim to ensure that any young person who needs help with their physical or mental wellbeing feels empowered to change their state of mind, connect to support networks and access knowledge. This year, we’re proud to have succeeded in meeting these aims.
63% of young people said they would make a positive change as a result of visiting The Mix.
70% of young people said The Mix had connected them to support networks. Mix.
83% of young people said they found advice or information that was relevant to them at The
94% of young people said they would visit The Mix again and 91% said they would refer a friend to our services.

We are proud to be youth-led

One of the things we are most proud of at The Mix is the way we include young people in idea generation and key decision making, allowing our young communities and volunteers to shape our services, inform our campaign work, co-design our content and represent us in the media.
In the past year our Youth Participation team have launched three new youth groups, bringing the total to five. Each group has a unique and important role, ensuring that young people have their voices heard across every aspect of our work as a charity

Quote from Ellie, a young person from our Youth Panel:

“The youth voice work at The Mix not only allows for the growth of the organisation, but it allows me to grow as a person. Giving young people a voice is giving them a chance to have a say in a world of possibilities. At every turn in the journey to change, young people are often faced with a barrier of can nots, The Mix breaks these barriers and reveal a road of empowerment by giving young people the tools to create their own map.”

433 unique young people took part in 690 opportunities, shaping our work across 94 different events.
Young people shaped our response to the pandemic through taking part in a co-design session, which we used to inform content and support.
We have increased the number of young leaders at The Mix to 35. They have complementing roles that focus on specific areas of our work, from service and content development, public speaking to governance of the organisation.


In the past year we have exceeded our target for engaging with young people by 135%.

Our campaigns

Self Harm Awareness Day (SHAD)

As one of the founders of SHAD, we want to break the stigma around talking about self-harm and this year we launched a bold campaign with this aim.

  • We designed a self-harm hub on our website, bringing together advice and coping strategies.
  • We worked with celebrity influencers and our youth ambassadors, Rachel and Sian to produce video content to challenge stigma.
  • We worked with YouGov to produce a white paper presenting new research on the extent of self-harm among young people – this secured a full page of coverage in The Mirror.
The Coronavirus hub page

We partnered with Facebook to create a hub page with a wide range of support and information about coronavirus for young people. This was shaped by a co-design session in which young people told us what kind of support they needed.

  • We produced a video with ITV’s Dr Zoe Williams in which she answered young people’s questions about Covid-19.
  • We produced a huge range of article content spanning mental health, employment rights, study tips, money guides and ideas for entertainment and distraction.
  • The hub page also connected young people to our community and support services.
Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW)

In line with this year’s theme of kindness, we launched a youth-led campaign for MHAW that encouraged a positive narrative about young people by asking them to share what they were doing to be kind during lockdown.

  • We hosted a performance by Frank Turner on our Instagram channel, which then got coverage in NME and other music press.
  • We launched a website survey that asked young people to share what they were doing to be kind and support others.
  • We launched a kindness diary, a new feature which was co-designed by young people.
90% of young people told us that they were being kind because they wanted to prevent loneliness and isolation.

Our partners

This year, The Mix has worked with some incredible partners, who have made an amazing contribution to our work by allowing us to expand our services when they were most needed, as well as to offer support and information about the issues that are most important to young people. We’d like to thank each and every one for their support, and here are just a few examples.

We partnered with TOMS to launch our Body & Soul Club, which campaigned to change the negative narrative around body image. We worked with The Vamps musician James McVey, which increased our reach and engagement on social media. The partnership also allowed us to recruit 20 new youth ambassadors who have continued to work with us. We are delighted that we have moved into an ongoing relationship with TOMS, especially through the Covid-19 crisis when they chose us as a Giving Partner.

We hosted a fundraising dinner at the famous River Café which was attended by celebrities and influential figures as well as by some young people from our community. The event raised awareness of our work and generated large donations with a live auction. We were able to secure full funding for our SHAD campaign, as well as our work on bullying. The partnership also allowed us to recruit 20 new youth ambassadors who have continued to work with us. We are delighted that we have moved into an ongoing relationship with TOMS, especially through the Covid-19 crisis when they chose us as a Giving Partner.

We launched a new long-term partnership with NOW TV, an incredibly valuable one which will enable us to expand our services, upscale our teams and massively raise awareness of our work. We are working with NOW TV staff on internal volunteering opportunities and have also recruited eight GEN NOW ambassadors to help us shape our ongoing work for the partnership.

We partnered with Gymshark to work on Deload, an innovative mental health initiative, which encourages young people to focus on their mental as well as their physical wellbeing and provides access to our online group chats. This partnership allowed us to extend our online group chats from five to seven days per week, allowing us to reach even more young people who are in need of support.

During the first stage of lockdown, we teamed up with Shout and Young Minds to form One Space, a site that was designed to meet the urgent need to offer mental health support to young people. The site signposts under-25s to our services in order to make their mental health support journey as simple as possible. Through One Space we were also able to offer young people an online summer prom, an opportunity to celebrate their achievements with their friends which wouldn’t have otherwise existed.

Looking to the future

As we continue into a period which is increasingly unpredictable and uncertain, we know that our role in young people’s lives is more crucial than ever. Our staff and volunteers are committed to supporting young people through this time and into the future, and we have worked closely with our young communities and to develop a strategy that will allow us to keep doing this important work.

Our focus will be to evolve our services, to use data and youth voice to challenge what needs to change and to build long term stability for our charity.

Our aim for the future: We want to drive positive change in young people and their world through digital, youth voice and data.

Our new strategy:

We will improve our services

We’ll focus on building a new website that is better optimised for mobile users and offers a more personalised user journey. We’ll also prioritise our video content and build a new and improved virtual volunteering journey and we will have a focus on mental health, life experience, finance and education.

We will grow awareness of our work:

We’ll grow our brand to engage more young people, influence policy and attract new supporters. We’ll also focus on SEO to build our profile online. We’ll publish more data to offer insights into issues impacting young people and we’ll improve the quality and effectiveness of our interventions.

We will amplify the voice of youth

We’ll work to place young people even more firmly at the heart of what we do in governance roles, strategic development and fronting our media work. We’ll amplify young people’s voices with data collected from their peers and we will continue to ensure The Mix is open to all young people, especially those from BAME or hard to reach backgrounds.

We will build a healthly charity

We’ll achieve the support we need to deliver our vital services and build our reserves. We’ll also seek to deliver an income target of £2 million, via a balanced portfolio of support.