Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The joy of participation

Today, in the Guardian, is possibly one of the best reasons to support a youth participation scheme
"I would ask Berlins to look at our council's proposals for the spending of its budget of £101,000:these include 50 new books for every school, thousands of pounds worth of sports equipment for state schools, and a teacher to help disadvantaged primary-school children with reading. Moreover, one suggestion made by the adult council officers was that the budget would be better spent on publicity such as youth council wrist bands and one-off awareness events that only cater for a maximum of 200 people, a tiny fraction of the young population of Camden. Such an event was hosted last year, and the bill came to £25,000."
This is part of a full article, by Camden Youth Councilor Conrad Landin, written in response to the latest outpouring from Marcel Berlins. His attitude, that of disregarding someones opinion as useless due to age, has always annoyed me. That is why it is so exciting that the Methodist Church is looking to commit £4million to a nationwide participation scheme. But what makes the scheme, like the vision outlined by Conrad, so important? Participation never has the structure as the endpoint. Instead it is about creating a scheme through which the voice of young people can be heard and something done about it. Participation is only part of the outcome, it is an active group of young people changing the lives of young people (and more) around them. I have been involved in various youth participation schemes for almost a decade now and I firmly believe in their power to be the best method to deliver the voice of young people. That said, they must always remember at best they represent the voice of those involved - and there will always be more people uninvolved - the challange is to ensure that the system does not discriminate. Take Care Y'All John

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous11:36 pm

    woo, Youth Participation!