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The case studies on our website are to give you an idea of the type of work Sefton Young Advisors are commissioned to do. If you would like more information about any of these projects, or any other work we have done, please contact us to find out more (contact details on 'Contact Us' page).
For day-to-day updates on the work we are doing you can now follow us on Twitter (@SeftonYAs) or Facebook: search 'Sefton Young Advisors' and like our page.
Hearing the Voice of the Child report is a Sefton council led initiative, that was first proposed in February 2016, and directly relates to the safety of children and young people across the borough of Sefton. The purpose of the report is to collate the views and opinions of children and young people across Sefton by working with services that help children to voice their views and opinions. The report also outlines their thoughts and recommendations for what they'd like to see happen, and how they would like to see the services improve.
A range of agencies and services were contacted in February 2016 to complete the signs of safety framework. The Signs of Safety model is a tool which practitioners and service providers can use to carry out safety planning, and risk assessments in child protection cases. Fifteen services were asked to use the three houses tool from the signs of safety model to consult with children and young people, who use their services. The purpose of the consultation was to find out how safe children and young people feel.
The Sefton Young Advisors and representatives from the MAD group read through all the reports and summarised them under the headings above and under the following sub-headings:
- Relationships and home life
- CSE and e-safety
Our full findings are available online in the report below!
Sefton has identified Emotional Health and Wellbeing (EH&W) as a priority for young people within the borough. Therefore, a range of organisations and services have been looking at how we can improve services that support young people in terms of their EH&W which has led to the drafting an Emotional Health and Wellbeing Strategy.
As a result of this and Sefton’s CYP IAPT, the Sefton Young Advisor team along with members of the MAD group (Looked After Children’s Council) and The Camhelions (Youth Mental Health Voice Group) and members of the CYP IAPT worked together to develop and deliver the EHWB event with young people from schools and groups in Sefton.
We wanted to find out from the young people their opinions and experiences of emotional health and wellbeing services and support, what services they already knew of and how accessible they thought they were. It was also a good opportunity to make them aware about the services that are available and what they offer.
Following the event, we were able to take our report from the consultation to multiple NHS & Sefton decision makers to show them the information and findings we got from the day. From this we got loads of great feedback and are lucky enough to keep this conversation going with a second EH&WB event happening in March 2017!
If you'd like to read about our event and our findings then the report is available to read online below!
Sefton Young Advisors have recently consulted with over 200 young people from across the Sefton borough on behalf of Sefton Council. We have consulted on what Sefton will look like in 2030 and the people in it. In order to do this we have used and developed the ‘Sefton 2030 toolkit'. We also worked closely with Sefton councilor Jayne Vincent throughout the consultation and we have collected views from a wide range of young people; including young carers, looked after children and children with additional needs.
We were asked to evaluate the experiences of SEND young people with an EHCP plan, evaluate the Neuro-Development Pathway with young people with Autism, ADHD and Sensory Disorder’s and assess whether young people with SEND feel that they are able to participate in current youth participation structures in St Helen’s.
We did this evaluation by holding workshops and discussions with a wide range of primary schools, secondary schools and youth groups in the borough of St Helen's to get their opinions on the support they gain from their EHC plan and ASD pathways, in and out of school.
Our final report which was presented to St Helen's council and members of the community is available to read below.
In previous years, Sefton Youth Service developed, managed and facilitated Sefton’s Youth Cabinet but last year, decided to commission-out the running of the cabinet. Sefton Young Advisors within Sefton Council for Voluntary Services (CVS) were successful in their tender, and are now commissioned to lead on the development, implementation, management and facilitation of the youth cabinet, with support from Sefton Youth Service and the North West Regional Youth Work Unit (NWRYWU). The redesigned youth cabinet is aimed to be the borough-wide youth voice model, which works alongside all Youth Service, Voluntary youth providers, uniformed groups, schools and special interest groups to empower and ensure that young people have a voice in service delivery both within the youth service and the community.
Shout It Out Sefton (SIOS) as our cabinet is being called, is now up and running and will begin working on raising the volume of youth voice in Sefton. We’ll keep you updated on SIOS’s initial campaigns, issues and actions.
The Social Work department at Edge Hill take preparing their students for their professional practice very seriously. One core skill is the ability to communicate effectively with families, young people and the elderly when they are in most need of support. Two Young Advisors created a short presentation that explored the Young Advisors model of listening and communicating, specifically with young people- but the principals are transferrable. This workshop included activities that explored the Ladder of Participation, which highlights the need for communication that promotes empowered participation
Another core aspect of the social work profession is to interview young people to make recommendations for social services support
Sefton Young Advisors were asked to act as a social work service user with a scenario that would challenge the Social Work students. The first year students were assessed on their ability to make the service user feel at ease, gain necessary information, express good verbal and non-verbal communication and keep to time limits, as they are only allocated 10 minutes to complete the interview!
The Young Advisors really enjoyed working with Edgehill and the students, gaining confidence and extending their facilitation experience and skills; feedback from Edgehill- students and staff- was very positive as well.
Sefton Young Advisors were asked by Sefton Council to make a short film looking at the impact of welfare reform on voluntary sector providers. We decided to speak to volunteers at the Foodbanks and Citizens Advice Bureau to find out what they think the challenges are for people they work with, and the services they provide, in 21st century Britain. You can watch the video below...
Sefton CVS's Big Lottery funded Noted project has been promoting the use of innovative, arts-based approaches to get vulnerable children and young people involved in decision-making for the past three years. Throughout this time, Sefton Young Advisors have been working closely with the project. One of our favorite tasks has been helping to train and develop the fabulous Noted Team - a group of young people who have benefitted from Noted and then volunteered to be the project's management team! The team wanted to end the project with a bang and so organised a fantastic final celebration event. We worked with them to make sure influential decision-makers were there and that the whole thing reflected how exciting, innovative and powerful Noted was. As well as Cllr Peter Dowd, Leader of Sefton Council; we also had Cllr Pat Ball; Peter Morgan, Deputy Chief Executive of Sefton Council; and lots of other really important guests attend. We were particularly pleased that lots of the young people who've benefitted from Noted were able to be there.
You can see more about the work of Noted on their twitter page: @NotedSefton and the Noted Team's blog (link below)
There are also some pictures from the event in our Photo Gallery!
Sefton Young Advisors supported Sefton Council to design three consultation events for young people to have a say in the future plans for our borough.
The events were across the borough and made use of creative approaches, games and discussions to hear the views of young people.
Sefton Council were really impressed with the Young Advisors work (this is the third time we've worked with them on their Local Plan consultation) and we're planning to help facilitate more public events in September!
We have published our report covering the work that we did to raise awareness of stroke.
We celebrated the publication of the report by having a launch event with invited guests. In attendance were: the High Sheriff of Merseyside, Professor Helen Carty; the Mayor of Sefton, Cllr. Paul Cummins; Marie Rice, Managing Director, NHS Sefton; Margaret Hardman, Chair, Sefton CVS; Jeanette Lunt, Assistant Regional Manager, Stroke Association; and Angela White, Chief Executive, Sefton CVS.
As well as giving a background on the work and what the Young Advisors did, the team also answered questions and showed the video they made as part of the project (you can see that further down this page).
Below is a link to the report and also an e-copy of the leaflet that the Young Advisors designed for the project. This is printed as a wallet-size concertina leaflet. You can also view the stroke awareness video we made below.
The success of our Stroke Awareness project has been recognised by us winning the Together We Can Empowerment Award for Improving Health for Young People At Risk! Jenny and Mark went along to the prestigious awards ceremony at Manchester Metropolitan University and were delighted when we were announced as the winners!
Sefton Young Advisors are regularly commissioned to deliver service inspections and appraisals of other agencies. We are experienced in tailoring this service to the needs of the organisation we are working with and commissioners are provided with a full report detailing our findings and recommendations on completion of the work. Agencies who have commissioned us include Sefton Council and NHS Sefton. Reports for individual agencies are confidential, but if you want more details on what we can offer, call Dan!
Members of the team attended Sefton's Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) consultation event and took the opportunity to have their say in where the council should prioritise their spending ahead of further budget cuts in the borough. Sefton Young Advisors had an opportunity to meet other members of the community; hearing their thoughts about where savings should be made and finding out the wants and needs of different generations in Sefton.
Young Advisors took part in a focus group looking at how the tool kit/ game "A Fair Deal to Wellbeing?" can be made more accessible to young people. The game is about the 5 ways to wellbeing and is a self-facilitating kit.
Firstly, Young Advisors played the game. Generally it was really good and prompted discussion about wellbeing within the team, but at times we were a little confused and we felt that the title needed changing to appeal more to young people.
We then made some suggestions to a member of the staff team at Our Life (creators of the kit) on how to make it more accessible for YP, as they are looking to take it into youth groups etc. Our recommendations included using drama and making it more active.
Young Advisors youth-proofed the leaflets and posters for the Sefton and Liverpool NCS pilot as well as the assemblies that were delivered to schools in these areas.
Young Advisors have also supported the NCS team in sign up events and taster days; running several consultation sessions with the young people (including what they would like to eat whilst away on residential and also what they would like to see at the celebration party).
Young Advisors have also supported Sefton CVS deliver a residential and have led on the evaluation aspect of the programme; collecting comments, surveying participants about their experiences and using this information to create a report that delivers feedback from the young people on NCS. This information will be shared with the providers from the summer programme and the Cabinet office (and findings can be used for the Autumn Pilot).
Young Advisors facilitated a consultation event where potential providers for the autumn pilot pitched to a panel of NCS alumni, who then asked questions and had their say on whether or not young people would enjoy the Social Action Projects being suggested. The information collected has been used by the NCS team when choosing the autumn providers.
Finally, Young Advisors were involved in the organisation of the Celebration Party at Aintree racecourse. This included running consultation events giving the participants a chance to input what they would like to see, eat and do during the evening, contacting events and audio-visual companies, creating a washing line display with quotes and photos from the summer programme for young people to enjoy and supporting the NCS team on the evening. Young Advisors also managed to have some fun themselves at this event!
Young Advisors worked closely with staff from Sefton CVS to design a media awareness training package for young people with learning difficulties. Young Advisors researched this by learning about existing services and training packages as well as attending a drama production with young people about the dangers of BBM. Receiving this training first-hand and speaking to other young people there, Young Advisors had a chance to see what worked and didn’t work.
They then supported the CVS team in making the package interesting, informative and youth-friendly by offering advice; born from their own ideas and experience. The training is currently being piloted.
Baroness Newlove came to visit Sefton Young Advisors and see them at work. The visit was hosted at Netherton Park Neighbourhood Centre and began with Young Advisors telling Baroness Newlove all about their work - particularly in the area of community safety. Over lunch we were joined by Councillors Peter Dowd and Ian Moncur, along with Jacqui Kerr from Sefton Council and Angela White and Nigel Bellamy from Sefton CVS. The final part of the day was a YA-facilitated workshop with young people from the local area, where we talked about crime and anti-social behaviour to find out how young people felt about this locally.
Baroness Newlove was really impressed by our team and found the workshop very useful in the run-up to the release of her Building Safe, Active Communities report.
Young Advisors facilitated a consultation event on behalf of Sefton Council to find out the thoughts and views of young people regarding the spending cuts in Sefton (Sefton Council had to save £20million). Young Advisors designed a giant interactive game in the style of monopoly; with each coloured 'property' representing a different suggested spending cut and the amount of money it would save.
The young people visited every station before voting what they would like to save. They each had 10 'houses' to distribute over the services however they deemed appropriate.
The young people then found out more about the different services and the impact cutting them would have to the community. This was done in speed-dating format, where the young people would hear a pitch and then ask the Young Advisor representing that particular cut questions.
The young people then voted again at the end of the event. Young Advisors analysed the differences in voting from the start to the end of the session and created a report for the Council to then use when making their decision on the spending cuts.
Sefton Young Advisors have recently completed a piece of research looking at how young people feel about being consulted and engaged with through social networking sites. The research included consultation with young people across the borough and revealed that whilst many young people are happy to use social networking sites to interact with agencies, they don't want it to be the main tool for consultation and engagement. The research also raised a number of concerns around safeguarding. Overall, the Young Advisors emphasised the importance of not relying on social networking as the primary method of consultation – it should only be used when appropriate and as one part of a wider process. Follow the link below for the full report.