New initiative gets children and young people’s voices heard

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Working on the toolkit

A new initiative will ensure children and young people get the opportunity to have their voices heard and have an influence in the way services are delivered in Somerset.

It’s all thanks to a newly developed set of readily available online tools which will ensure they get their voices heard and fully participate in consultations – whether it’s in their school or their local youth group.

If you work with young people the newly developed tools will help to make your engagement and consultation more meaningful. They will ensure more young people participate and this will help lead to better outcomes for children, young people, their families and carers and their communities.

The online package which contains downloadable information, posters and links to key websites has been developed by the Somerset Children’s Trust Participation Workers Network   a group of skilled participation and engagement workers.

The group works hard with children and young people to support their voices to be heard in service delivery and design and community consultation.

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Certificates were awarded to those who helped develop the toolkit

The tools are designed for those working with young people who may not have run a consultation before or who may be new in their post and need some guidance.

Working alongside young people who use council services, the Network built the toolkit for those looking to engage with young people and children.

“Young people are very capable, educated and opinionated individuals,” said Micha Soulsby, Somerset UK Youth Parliament Advisory Group Member.

“Within young people having a voice they are saying – we don’t want to be just consulted, we want to be involved, for the benefit of both young people and everyone alike.”

Councillor Frances Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Children and Families, added: “Listening to the voices of children and young people is essential for anyone developing services for them.

“I am delighted that this toolkit is now available for anyone to download and use. It has the potential to make a real difference for young people.”

And the package is growing all the time as new tools and resources are added.

To view and use the toolkit go to Somerset County Council’s Youth and Community Service website.