Giving children and young people a voice
Young people in Central Bedfordshire design a booklet for staff and teachers to give an insight into those little things that can make a big difference to those who belong, or are heading towards, the LGBTQ+ community.
A group of young people in Central Bedfordshire, supported by Groundwork East, aged between 12 – 18 years old, set up an LGBTQ+ group in Leighton Buzzard and teamed up with Young Healthwatch to work on a joint project to explore and improve attitudes and presentations to the LGBTQ+ community within a school/college setting.
The group is a safe place for young people to be a part of and gives them the opportunity to be who they want to be, without preconceived ideas or barriers. They were most passionate about, within a school setting, words and phrases that may offend them, although not meant intentionally.
They all felt that if the teachers and staff were with them, rather than against or unknown to them, it would make a real difference to the LGBTQ+ community within the school and help staff to understand more.
“If someone has the confidence to confide or identify with you, all we ask is to be taken seriously – listen, don’t judge.”
After summarising all the ideas the group had discussed, and their beliefs about what they could do to challenge and change ethics and attitudes at school, they decided to work on a project to produce a small booklet called ‘Its not a phase’ to include up to 10 phrases or situations that they personally experienced within a school setting and offer alternatives that could be used instead. They also wanted the booklet to provide links to information sharing sites to assist with further research about the LGBTQ+ community.
The booklet was presented to the Education Authority of Central Bedfordshire Council with the recommendation that it is widely distributed to schools and educational settings across the area, to raise awareness of the LGBTQ+ community within schools, to build resilience and educate school staff when engaging and speaking with members from the LGBTQ+ community.
Young people believe that use of this booklet in school will help everyone to understand that when someone comes out, they are still who they are but being more true to themselves, and are still perfectly normal.
Enter and View
Young Healthwatch members recently received appropriate ‘Enter & View’ training and are keen to put their learning into practice by visiting health and social care services such as hospital wards, surgeries and care homes. The young people will then be able to report their findings from their unique perspective. If you would like a group of young Healthwatch volunteers to visit your service please contact Amy.Eymor@healthwatch-centralbedfordshire.org.uk.
Healthwatch Central Bedfordshire wants to hear from children and young people who have something to say about the health and social care services they use – that’s everything from your school nurse or GP to your local hospital and support services. We want to give you a voice so that you can be part of shaping services now and in the future.
If you are under 25, why not consider becoming a member of Young Healthwatch Central Bedfordshire?
Young Healthwatch can keep you informed about what is happening locally in health and social care. Check our news and events pages for the latest information. Perhaps you have details and tips that you can pass on to other young people. Know a good support group? The best way of getting help? Let us know!
Interested? Get in touch with us at Healthwatch Central Bedfordshire
Find us on social media or phone us on 0300 303 8554
You can also email us: email@example.com