We believe that young people’s views and an understanding of their health needs should be central to the day to day running, development and improvement of health services. Amplifying the voices of young people and encouraging dialogue between them and decision makers is at the core of our work. To find out more about what we believe need to be included in participation work to ensure that it is meaningful for both young people and adults, read our participation statement.
Lindsay Starbuck, our Youth Participation Coordinator contributed to the Our Voices podcast series. Our Voices is a project run by the International Centre at University of Bedfordshire ‘to promote the involvement of children and young people affected by sexual violence in research, policy and practice.’ In the podcast, Lindsay talks about how the philosophy and methods of popular education can be applied to working with young people affected by sexual violence.
You can also listen to the other episodes in the series here.
Off the back of our Be Healthy project, we have developed a participation model and successful training programme that promotes best practice in working with marginalised young people on health issues. We put participation into practice at our training, from making it fun and interactive to having a young person co-facilitate the session. We also reserve two free places for young people on the training. We also sell the 24 page curriculum booklet on its own, which includes 10 different activities and outlines the philosophy behind the method.
We also offer bespoke training about engaging effectively with young people in a health context. In December 2016 we delivered training to commissioners from across London as part of the Healthy London Partnership’s Commissioning leadership development programme for children and young people’s commissioners.
As part of the Young People’s Health Partnership AYPH has led a range of ‘takeover’ activities where young people get involved in informing health decision making.
In 2016 we supported young people to take over Public Health England (PHE). They spent the day interviewing PHE teams and then put questions to a panel of senior leaders, including Chief Executive Duncan Selbie, at the end of the day. We have also led takeover activities in the Department of Health and supported several NHS England takeover challenge events.
AYPH coordinates a network for participation practitioners working with marginalised young people. The aim of this network is to provide peer support, promote best practice and share practical examples of successful participation work with young people perceived as vulnerable or hard-to-reach.
The network is based on the belief that sharing knowledge and working cooperatively will create better outcomes for the young people who are most often excluded from the decisions being made about their lives. If you would like to be involved in the network, have a look at our call out