3.1(a) Decisions – decisions

Cartoon illustrating topic

Before the group agrees its priority for action, it’s worth exploring some of the factors that might influence you in making that decision. When deciding what to fight for, you often have to weigh up a number of issues. In unit 1, for example, you looked at how you work as a team and these lessons are important to make sure no one individual steamrollers the others into taking on something that they don’t think is important. This first activity helps the group think about decisions based on a number of often competing factors.


To help the group consider what to take into account when agreeing its priority for action.

You need

Copies of activity sheet 19, post-its and about an hour.

What to do

Split into smaller groups of four or five and run through the activity in small groups. Look at the story below. Your group has been successful in winning a grant of £1,000. But it comes with certain conditions. The money has to be spent within two months, it has to benefit the widest possible number of people and it has to have an impact – making a real difference to the group’s activities.

Look at each of the possible ways of spending the money. Add your own if you wish on activity sheet 19. You can give each between zero and three points in the relevant boxes to show how strongly each activity would fit the criteria – three would mean there’s a good fit, two not such a good fit and so on. You can use the chart, or write the examples on to separate post-its and write the scores onto those.

Speed: how quickly can it be done?

Numbers: how many people will be affected?

Impact: what difference will it make and how sustainable is it?

Having done that, add up the scores and put them in the right-hand column or ring the score on each post-it. Now rank your choices in order of priority for spending your money.

Spending our money
What we need to consider
What to spend our £1,000 on Speed Numbers Impact Score and priority
Organise a party to celebrate what we’ve achieved as a group
Buy headed notepaper for the group
Buy a new computer
Create a website
Employ a part-time helper
Pay travel expenses for us to attend our group meetings
Set up a local helpline for young people
Take out newspaper advertising about what we do
Add in your own ideas
Taking into account speed, the number of people who might benefit and the impact the decision may have, we would choose…

What do you think?

Come back together and share what each group has done. Did you all come up with the same priorities or are your lists different? Look at which factors influenced your decisions. How did you weigh up, for example, being able to do something quickly (buy headed notepaper for the group) against a choice that might take longer, but have a bigger impact and perhaps cost too much (like a helpline)?


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