Involving young people in the District

Banbury District tried out a new way of including younger people in the running of their district - by holding their District Meeting at a Pioneer and Venturer group night. They learned a lot about how they would do it better next time - so here is their story to help you learn from their experience.

Report on Banbury District Meeting At a Pioneer and Venturer Group Night

 

What we did

We held our District Committee Meeting at a Pioneer and Venturer Group night.

Why we did it
An attempt to get younger people involved in district meetings and to increase the likelihood that all leaders could make a given date.

Successes
The main successes are that the meeting was productive and people seemed to enjoy it. Different ideas came out of the meeting being run a different way than would have if it had been run as a normal district meeting so in this way it was more productive. Everybody could do it and it was organised at 2 days notice and there were large numbers of people there (about 20). Energisers were very successful.

Things to improve
The main problem was the younger people did not seem to engage very much with the discussion, although they did to a degree. This may have been because there were very few of them (our Pioneer and Venturer group combined is 5 members). Another problem was people talking over one another, making it very hard to facilitate (this was all ages to an extent, although the type of interruption varied). Things also seemed rushed so breaks were quite short (the disadvantage of a 2 hour meeting when it takes 10 minutes to arrive and then quite a lot needs discussing).

Recommendations for others trying this

  • Have more than one person facilitating the meeting so it is less stress on one person. Leave more time to plan this as then other people could be involved with running bits of it.
  • Have people in each small group facilitating and making sure people are involved.
  • Try to have a slightly longer meeting if possible but with bigger breaks.
  • Include lots of energisers.

- Jack Brown, Banbury District, 2011