When thinking about any new project with young people, the first thing I think about is what’s in it for them. Why would they want to be involved? Is it an opportunity which will change lives for the better? What will they gain from it? How will we make it inclusive, enjoyable, meaningful etc? Is it worth it? Of course, these questions are answered in partnership with young people, but as a professional, it’s my responsibility to make sure I’m always putting myself in young people’s shoes. Of course, every young person is different and what works for one, won’t work for another.
I find it useful to use my experiences working in youth participation to support my thinking. Then, when working with young people directly, I will ask them the same questions. Following this, I can compare my thoughts to theirs, making sure my way of thinking is still current and on track. With life continuously changing, this is a great way to refresh your thinking when working on new projects.