The Children and Young People’s Strategic Participation Group was developed under the guidance of Cynthia Atkin, chairman of Healthwatch, following engagement with young people and listening to their interest to help shape the development of health and social care services. The Participation Group is made up of engagement officers from different services working closely with a wide range of young people across Northumberland.
The group was tasked to develop a strategic and workable framework for all partners to follow, ensuring the opinions of young people are heard and fed through to key decision-makers, along with allowing responses and action to be passed back to the young people.
Recently, the Participation Group was involved in the national Make Your Mark ballot. The group consulted with 7,000 young people across Northumberland, asking them to vote on the issues that they think Members of the Youth Parliament should campaign on for the year ahead.
Ms Atkin said: “The Northumberland Youth Service has demonstrated fantastic support in developing the Young People’s Strategic Participation Group which has delivered some fantastic results; the framework that has been developed allows a clear channel of communication to ensure the opinions of young people are listened to by the key decision-makers.
Coun Scott Dickinson added: “Young people are the next generation of voters and it is important that they realise their opinions matter and will help towards shaping their future.”