Youth Participation in the Big Society…

[Summary: explore & add your thoughts to this paper from North West Regional Youth Work Unit on youth participation in the Big Society]

Last week a new paper from the North West Regional Youth Work Unit (NWRYWU) crossed my radar – exploring how a wide range of approaches to youth participation may fare under current government policies and priorities – particularly those framed by ideas of the big society.

It looks at approaches including:

  • Youth led grant giving
  • Youth inspectors
  • Shadow boards and youth panels
  • Youth councils and fora
  • Campaigning work
  • Regional youth fora & youth parliaments
  • Peer education
  • Short-term projects
  • Rights and advocacy work
  • Health service participation
  • Youth-led organisations

Partly to aid my own note-taking on the document – but also to open it up to wider discussion (and with kind permission from NWRYWU) I’ve put the document up as a commentable doc over here where it can be read paragraph-by-paragraph and you can leave your comments on any section.

Whilst I’m not convinced that those supporting young people should immediately bend their language and focus to the priorities and language of a ‘big society’ agenda (and Kevin Harris’s critiques on the naivety of much big society thinking are worth reading), exploring and understanding what big society ideas might mean for youth engagement and getting more dialogue on the future of youth engagement can only be a good thing.

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