Local young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) came together, supported through their schools to attend a local event planned by Young Event Makers, who are local young people that are really passionate about helping other young people from schools really grasp the idea of participation and voicing change.
The event was facilitated by the children's charity Kids and the aim of the event was to gather feedback from SEND young people on how they'd like to shape services and policy decisions. A number of local professionals from across health and local authorities were also present to listen to views of the young people.
The event was hosted by NHS East Berkshire Clinical Commissioning Group working in partnership with Bracknell Forest Council, Achieving for Children (Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead), Slough Borough Council and Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.
A representative from the KIDs Children's Charity said 'It was a really productive event. The young people were really engaged and gave us some great constructive comments. '
Some of the key conversations for the sessions included understanding the barriers to getting involved, as well as accessing services and hearing from young people about what is important to them and how can they influence and be an active part of decision making in the future.
The event also gave an opportunity for support staff/teachers from education and professionals from health and local authorities to exchange information and share best practice
Janette Fullwood, NHS East Berkshire CCG Head of Children, Young People and Families said
'The event was a great example of partnership working across health, local authorities and education. It was so positive to see a range of SEND young people all actively taking part and being provided with a chance to offer feedback'
One of the teachers that attended said 'This is a fantastic event! The young people are really excited and enjoying the inclusivity. They would really like to be involved in any future events.'
Feedback from the event will be shared with key decision makers to improve young people's participation and ensure their voices are included locally.
The whole event was visually captured by Dr Penelope Mendonça, a graphic facilitator and cartoonist which illustrated what really matters to our young people in East Berkshire.