Young People being able to approach other young people to help themselves and each other”: An examination of how YouthBanks empower young people

Gormally, S. (2010) Young People being able to approach other young people to help themselves and each other”: An examination of how YouthBanks empower young people. Journal of Youth Work: Research and Positive Practices in Work with Young People, 3, pp. 29-46.

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Publisher's URL: http://www.youthlinkscotland.org/webs/245/documents/JYWIssue4.pdf

Abstract

This article evaluates if youth grant making can empower young people, with particular reference to YouthBanks in Northern Ireland. It begins with an extensive theoretical overview of the concepts of power and empowerment and, from a range of ideas and positions, develops a workable definition that is subsequently applied to the data. Drawing on a small scale qualitative sample from recipients and grant makers in YouthBank, the key findings included little differentiation between the community and school based, in relation to decision making freedom, but a significant difference in the community group being able to recognise and act to change their operating structures and challenge structures beyond their organisational remit. Another significant finding was that young people benefitted significantly from being involved in this type of initiative, with raised confidence levels, opportunities for self reflection, accredited training and an appreciation of having dedicated local resources to work with others to take positive local action. However, the main conclusion is that empowerment is an ongoing process, not a fixed outcome to be measured. This finding indicates that the purpose and nature of work with young people must be open and flexible to ensure continual growth and development. It also implies that such work requires a more process sensitive and responsive form of measurement and ongoing impact analysis to recognise the benefits that young people experience in working with peers which benefits both self and others.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Gormally, Sinead
Authors: Gormally, S.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Education > Social Justice Place and Lifelong Education
College of Social Sciences > School of Education > People, Place & Social Change
Journal Name:Journal of Youth Work: Research and Positive Practices in Work with Young People
Publisher:YouthLink Scotland
ISSN:1469-0780

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