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The YouthBank Process


The YouthBank Lifecycle consists of a series of elements that, when blended together, enables young people to create positive change for both themselves and their communities. This document describes what these elements are and how they fit together. It defines each of the elements and provides a basis for partner agencies, youth work practitioners and young people to navigate their way through their YouthBank experience. 


Within the overall YouthBank Process there are a series of YouthBank Cycles each of which is made up of Five Phases that are broken down into 18 steps which the YouthBank members move through. Each step through the cycle is achieved by the completion of a series of Challenges.

The YouthBank Lifecycle


This element describes the life of the YouthBank, which could be as short lived as six months or could go on for several years. The process is essentially the experience of a specific group of young people who have built an identity for themselves,  have gained knowledge and skills together, thought deeply about their values, and used their YouthBank to express these in the context of their own communities.


A YouthBank Cycle

A YouthBank cycle is essentially one round of grant making. The end of a cycle is the point at which YouthBank members take a step back and appreciate the changes that have happened as a result of their insights, decisions and actions. They can recognise how they and their communities have changed, and begin to use these experiences to make decisions about their futures.


Five (5) Phases


Each YouthBank Cycle takes the YouthBank Team through 5 phases. The first four phases build the team’s knowledge about themselves and their communities, and an understanding of their potential as change makers. Developing their skills to make decisions and take action, they are challenged to exercise power in an ethical and value driven way. The fifth phase consolidates what the YouthBank has learned in the first four phases, and identifies and evaluates the changes that have occurred during the process.


18 Steps


There are now 18 steps spread throughout the YouthBank cycle, each of which has a clear purpose and is met by completing a series of Challenges.

  1. Building your YouthBank Team:  Become part of a team that is committed to making a positive difference

  2. Understanding Context:  Take a fresh look at what happens in a specific community and identify #opportunities for improvement

  3. Living the golden rules:  Ensuring the proposed changes are fair for all

  4. Power  - who has it?  Understanding the dynamic of power within the local community.  Identifying how it can be utilised to create change

  5. Our agenda for change:  Be clear about what you want to change and why.

  6. Generating Ideas:  Creating solutions for change

  7. Sharing your agenda:  Getting people on board with your ideas for change

  8. Establishing your funds:  Locating and building resources 

  9. Call for applications:  Generating responses from young people in the community to create change 

  10. Shortlisting:  Deciding what is in and what's out

  11. Interviewing and report writing:  Asking great questions and report the facts 

  12. Decision making:  Considering all the options to make good decisions

  13. Monitoring template:  Collecting the data for assessment purposes.

  14. Contracting:  Setting the ground rules, expectations and responsibilities for all. 

  15. Recording what happened:  Telling the story

  16. Accounting for the money:  Budgeting 101

  17. Deciding what has changed:  Exploring the impact of the projects to create change in the community

  18. Capturing lessons and celebrating success:  Celebrating and sharing the stories of change 




Ultimately, each YouthBank Cycle is experienced as a series of challenges to be faced and accomplished. The new YouthBank Toolkit provides what we believe are the fundamental core challenges that YouthBanks should face in order to get the most out of their experience.  Describing the challenges each YouthBank will address, each individual YouthBank Cycle is unique and the associated challenges the young people face vary depending on the individual contexts.

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