How to involve young people in designing your project

Interested in applying to the National Lottery Community Fund for a project involving young people? You’re more likely to be awarded funding if you can demonstrate that young people have been involved in designing and developing your project idea.

It can be quite easy to fall into the trap of having an idea for a project that you want to deliver, designing the activities yourself and then approaching a school or youth club to consult with young people to see whether that’s something that they want.

We believe that projects and activities are have a stronger chance of success if projects are designed and developed with the people it will benefit. That’s why we look to fund projects that are people-led through involving the community throughout the design and development of the project.

One of the best ways to involve young people in your project is through co-production or co-design. If you’re scratching your head wondering what exactly these are, here’s a definition from Co-production Wales:

‘Co-production enables citizens and professionals to share power and work together in equal partnership, to create opportunities for people to access support when they need it and to contribute to social change’.

Essentially, this means ensuring that the people you are working with, in this case young people, are at the heart of the planning process to identify, plan and deliver projects and activities that matter to them. Whilst this is not necessarily a new approach, it is beyond what may be traditionally referred to as consultation and more about empowering communities and individuals.

So with this in mind, here are six tips on how to co-design your project idea with young people:

  1. View and treat young people as vital partners in the planning and organisation of your project, and include them in any major decisions
  2. Wherever possible, encourage young people to take the lead, improve their skills and increase their confidence
  3. Ensure young people are a key part of the driving force which shapes, develops and delivers your project
  4. Be inclusive of all young people, including young people from protected groups, and work to challenge discrimination
  5. Take into account what issues are important to young people and think about what you can offer to help address them
  6. Make sure that young people will continue to be involved with your organisation, creating a lasting legacy beyond the grant life time.

Hopefully these guidelines will help you to involve young people in designing and developing your project, and help you to strengthen your project and increase your chances of being successful when applying for a grant from the Big Lottery Fund.

For more information visit our website, call us on 0300 123 0735, email, tweet us @TNLComFundWales or talk to us on Facebook


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