Three representatives from the IPEH M8s SEND youth groups, Jennie, Josh and Chicane, attended the ‘Making Participation Work’ youth conference in Birmingham on 12th February in half term, supported by our SEND Youth Participation Worker, Rachel Sadler and Dan Sharpe from the SEND Commissioning Team. The day before the conference the group stayed in a local hotel and had some team bonding time bowling, and going for pizza.
The conference was run by the Council for Disabled Children with the charity Kids and was a fantastic opportunity for our young people from West Sussex to network with other young people from across the country and share ideas on how to get their voice heard as young people with additional needs.
Chicane said ‘I liked having different speakers there from Kids, the Department for Education and the FLARE youth group. Their enthusiasm was uplifting’.
Josh, from Bognor, enjoyed working with the young people from the Horsham group, and visiting Birmingham which he found an ‘interesting place’ and said he would be ‘more than happy to do this again’.
They would now like to look more in depth into their rights and learn more about policies around SEND and are hoping to co-design a local West Sussex SEND Voice conference in 2018.
Jennie, who is also an EPIC award winner 2017, said ‘This is the first time I have stayed away from home by myself’. Kathy, Jennie’s carer said ‘She enjoyed the Birmingham trip…it really showed how she has matured’.
To find out more about youth voice and participation take a look at our new team Wiki online (accessible web pages).