Daniel Rose, The National Trust

Describe your role
I’m based at the National Trust Central Office in Swindon where I have national responsibility for youth volunteering strategy and participation. My role is quite varied from training and advising staff and youth marketing to an exciting new climate change and young people project called 'You, Me, and The Climate'.

What makes a good participation worker?
A good participation worker is a person who truly has a passion for young people to be actively listened to and will stand up and be counted. After all we all encourage young people to stand up for what they believe in so they should actually see us do it too.

What are the barriers to involving children and young people?
I think there is a danger is participation work that it can be seen as always the same young people taking part and therefore we should keep a check on who we are working with and identify the gaps. The biggest barrier for young people is when adults do not clearly set out why young people are involved, what they can change and in what timescales. Honesty is the key. So often I’ve seen this not happen and young people are not only let down but never come back.

What are the benefits?
There are huge benefits for young people and organisations by involving them. For young people it gives great personal development and lifelong skills missing from their formal education such as political awareness and knowledge of their rights. For organisations their enthusiasm and creativity to look at issues differently is amazing.

What tips do you have for effective participation of children and young people?
I think all participation workers have different styles and ways of working which we can all learn from. Simply I would always say be honest, think outside the box, take risks and work with other colleagues, because the more joined up participation structures are the more likely young peoples opinions will heard by those in power.

What is effective participation?
The effective participation of young people in organisations needs clear direction, strategy and vision. Both adults and young people need to know what the agreed principles of participation are and young people should be able to use them to hold the organisation to account.

Participation Works is a partnership of…
British Youth CouncilChildren's Rights Alliance for EnglandKIDSNational Council for Voluntary Youth ServicesNational Youth AgencyNCB