While all YouthBanks are given flexibility to develop in a variety of ways to suit local needs, their work is underpinned by a number of key principles. These are called the YouthBank Golden Rules (adapted from YouthBank UK Golden Rules).
The Golden Rules hold the key to operating a successful YouthBank and you will need to think through what each one means and be sure that you can wholeheartedly commit to following them as they are the principles on which the YouthBank model is built on.
Whilst there is no rigid template of what a YouthBank should look like, and there is flexibility to develop in a variety of ways to suit local needs, the Golden Rules apply to all.
1. YOUTH-LED YouthBank activity is youth-led. This means that young people who make up a YouthBank Committee make decisions on how money is allocated within their community. The role of adults within YouthBank is to provide training, support and advice to young people, rather than make decisions on their behalf.
2. OPEN TO ALL YOUNG PEOPLE YouthBank grants are for young people who want to make a difference in their community. All young people typically aged 14 to 25, who live in a YouthBank area, are encouraged to apply for funding. YouthBank particularly welcomes applications from young people who don’t get the same opportunities that others might have, such as young people in or leaving care, homeless young people, young carers, young people with disabilities, young people from minority ethnic groups.
3. PARTICIPATION & INCLUSION Every member of a YouthBank Committee is given an equal opportunity to express their views and decide how grants are allocated.
4. PROMOTING UNDERSTANDING & RESPECTING DIFFERENCE YouthBank provides opportunities for young people from different cultural, religious and political backgrounds to come together in a safe environment, share experiences, and develop understanding and respect for one another.
5. CLEAR AND FAIR METHODS OF GRANT-MAKING The YouthBank decision-making process ensures that all money awarded is given out fairly and that the processes used for checking how money is spent are clear and transparent.
6. SAY IT AS IT IS! YouthBank uses clear and straightforward language so that all training materials, publicity, application forms etc are easy to read and understand.
7. DEVELOPING YOUNG PEOPLE’S SKILLS & EXPERIENCE Using a range of creative and fun activities YouthBank offers young people new experiences, new skills and new learning, providing opportunities to do things that they would not normally have the chance to do.
8. REFLECTION & EVALUATION YouthBank Committees take time to look back at everything they have been involved in, from training and team-building activities through to how they made decisions and the type of projects they funded. They reflect on what worked well and decide if they would do anything differently next time around.
9. CELEBRATION YouthBank believes it is important to celebrate both the hard-work of young grant-makers who give their time freely, and also to congratulate the young people who use grants to make a difference in their community. By hosting celebration events young grant-makers, young people who have received funding and members of the local community can come together to acknowledge the impact of YouthBank within their area.