Youth Engagement in Social Housing – A Tpas four Nations Special

Thursday 7th of December 2023

Top Ten Event Take Aways. 

On Tues 5th Dec Tpas England, TPAS Scotland, TPAS Cymru and Supporting Communities from Northern Ireland were joined on Zoom by over 100 people all focused on better engaging young people in housing services and community issues.  

This insightful and informative event included contributors from 
Bolton at Home and the charity RECLAIM,
Northern Ireland Youth Forum,
Elderpark Housing Associaton


For a quick round up, check out my top ten event take aways below:

  1. Use Incentives and rewards. They encourage young people to participate so don’t be tight, get a budget for your engagement work and offer that free food or give out some vouchers. Oh, and don’t forget to cover any travel costs too!
  2. Build partnerships with existing youth networks. They will be invaluable when it comes to recruiting young people to take part in engagement projects, and it may also lead to some great partnership projects too!
  3. Youth workers are top people and worth their weight in gold! Reach out to them, tap into their expertise and knowledge. Chances are they will be more than happy to help.
  4. Remember conversations and relationship building are the key to unlocking effective youth engagement. These things matter more than any process or structure, as these build trust, and when you have trust, young people are more likely to engage with the process or structure. Or how about binning off the process and structure all together and just going with the flow, this approach just might work better!
  5. Be prepared to switch and change in the moment when working with young people. Having a fixed agenda, plan or mindset is pointless. Young people can be unpredictable, they will surprise you, and they will take you in different directions. Embrace this and go with it as it can often lead to some great places!
  6. Don’t think Digital is the go-to solution for engaging young people. Like most folks they like human interaction too and remember for some, Digital maybe isn’t accessible for them as they don’t have the devices or data to participate.
  7. It’s going to take patience and time! Ensure you build in enough time at the beginning of any youth engagement project to do that all important trust and relationship building and don’t get frustrated if timescales slip or success isn’t instant.  
  8. Make your focus the young person. Pay attention to what their likes, preferences and interests are. If it’s all about the organisation and what they want from them, it’s likely that young people will lose interest quickly.
  9. The principles of good engagement apply to working with young people too. So be clear about why you are engaging, know what outcomes you are looking for, have an impact measurement plan in place, and ensure you feedback what’s changed as a result of their engagement.
  10. Celebrate and share successes. Today’s session showed some of the great work that is happening in youth engagement across four nations. We know that there’s more out there.  Please do tell us about it so we can give you a platform to share your stories and successes! The more we share the better we get!