When planning great stuff for young people, it helps to first consider your needs, aims and objectives. Then work out the methods you’ll use, the opportunities you’ll offer and how you’ll actually put your plan into action.
Before you start any planning, it’s best to read the First Steps article, to help consider attitudes, opportunities and diversity.
If young people are going to get involved in your project, group, event or activity, they’ll want to see a clear purpose. Think about how you can communicate this. It might be something personal – like learning new skills or meeting new people. Or it may be an opportunity for them to improve their local community. (It’s also OK if the purpose is simply to have fun!).
“We don’t hide under the fact that you’re making a big social impact. Once you focus on why you’re doing something, people are more attracted to do it” – Lizzie, Oaktree Foundation.
To help you explain your purpose, work out your needs, aims and objectives. These are the first three parts of a NAOMIE planning framework.
This is one way to help plan a project, event or activity. NAOMIE stands for:
are the reasons why you’re doing what you’re doing. What is the need, or gap you are trying to address, or issue you are trying to solve? (What does your organisation need? What do young people need?).
are the outcomes you hope to achieve by involving young people. Aims should be clear and realistic.
show what needs to happen to achieve the aims. Again, these should be clear and realistic.
are the opportunities you will you offer and the resources will you need (i.e. staff/volunteers, skills, materials, funding/budget).
is how you will actually put your plan into action, and what your timeline and deadlines are.
is how you find out if you’ve been successful.
Here’s a quick example:
In creating your framework, you’ll need to identify the opportunities you want to offer. The best projects, events and programs that involve young people are ones that:
Whether you’re offering informal or formal opportunities, they should:
Effective youth programs:
To make an activity or project really enjoyable, build in opportunities for:
For some ideas of different opportunities you can offer, read the Ways to involve young people article.
Involving young people in your planning right from the start – will help you identify opportunities that are engaging and accessible for other young people. Seek and encourage diverse groups to get involved. Try to get young people interested from as many different backgrounds and as possible, especially those who you might not have involved before.
It’s important to recognise that there a number of different barriers that might prevent young people from participating in any opportunity you offer. Read the How to really support young people article to learn how to remove these barriers.
Want to make your group or organisation ‘youth-friendly’? Here are some tips from youth-led organisations:
If you need some support in your planning, connect with groups and organisations who are already working with young people. Identify opportunities to partner with other groups so you can share skills and pool resources and expertise. Your local youth services will be a great place to start – just remember that that they are there to support, not to do their job for you.
What you can do now
After planning great stuff for young people, you’ll want to think about how you can get young people interested in what you…