Facing Challenges

I guess this is the point where I stop and take stock of what I’m facing. I really do feel this is something worth doing and a project that can be done. But there are realities that need to be considered.

  1. We’re essentially talking a about social networking website that feeds out of Facebook, while simultaneously functioning as an information portal and connecting up with offline youth organisations. Getting this to reality is not going to be easy. I clearly can’t do this by myself. Even if I had a matrix style download of every skill available I just wouldn’t have the time to achieve something on this scale! So there’s a plan A and a plan B and I’ll discuss them further in a future post. Plan A is based on me exploring my social network and their connections to gather together volunteers and friends, and plan B is the formal fall back of funding and outsourcing the development.

  2. There’s a lot I don’t know about the groups we’re focusing on and the only way to achieve that is by immersing myself in the offline world of youth support organisations, and hopefully learn from others who are already part of that world. I’ve recently started working with Connexions in Tooting so am in the process of updating my understanding of life as an inner city youngster. I’m also hoping to find people in my network that already volunteer and who could talk me through the gaps and issues they see.

  3. There are plenty of other websites out there, both for young people and volunteers separately. Once I’ve got this blog up and running I’ll start researching them to validate the gaps I believe there are, and also to chuck together a simple SWOT analysis. Any help with this research, even if just listing the sites out there, would be awesome!

  4. Any project like this needs longevity and sustainability if it is to survive. There are day to day development and maintenance costs; it needs critical mass to make an impact; and unless I’m looking to maintain this for life, it needs to be transferable to an organisation that can take it forward when we’re done with it. These are all considerations that will need to feed into what we focus on in setting up this project. I’ll come back to this in a later post too.

  5. Finally and most crucially there are some serious safety risks to consider in terms of working with vulnerable young people, which may mean that any direct online or project-based adult volunteer and young person interaction is just not feasible. For now I’m looking into building relationships with offline youth support organisations to whom we might hopefully be able direct volunteers and thus the responsibility for managing those risks, but need to work a bit more on what it means for this project.
These are the 5 key ones I’ve thought of so far. I’ll keep adding to them as I go along. If you can think of any others, please add your comments!

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