Last week youngsters in Sunderland joined health care, children’s services and education leaders at the Voice of Our Future event.
The event held, at Sunderland College’s Bede Campus, was organised by youngsters from the Children and Young People’s Advisory Network (CYPAN) in partnership with schools and Together for Children(TfC), which provides Sunderland’s children’s services.
Service leaders from City Hospitals, Sunderland Clinical Commissioning Group and Together for Children were represented while the youngsters raised issues that matter to them and gave feedback on their experiences.
TfC has been reaching out to young people in schools, colleges and via organisations including Young Carers and National Citizenship Service. In preparation for the event, over 300 young people shared their views in a variety of ways, which ranged from posters to speaking on camera and voting on issues.
Jane Wheeler, lead for youth participation, at TfC said: “Young people have fed back both positive and negative experiences. Key issues surround personal safety on the streets and in parks, drugs, homelessness, education and youth services.”
Michael McBryde, aged 14, said: “It’s great to have the opportunity to influence improvements and events like this enable young people like me to boost our confidence, plus its great experience for the future.”
Sue Carty, Director of Quality and Performance at TfC, said: “Here at Together for Children we aim to give a voice to young people and through initiatives like this improvement can be factored into service plans. We thank all partners who took the time to get involved.”
Any young person wishing to find out more about Youth Groups should visit https://togetherforchildren.org.uk/children-and-young-people/youthgroups