Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
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Ideas Festival explodes with creativity

photo 3What do young people want? It's a simple enough question but one we perhaps don't stop to think about enough. With expert help from Changing Our Lives, the Trust's Children, Young People and Families Division have taken their first major steps to finding out the answers.

The division already has some great practices and initiatives that engage young people to be more involved in their health care. The School Health Team recently visited schools to talk to pupils about what they want from their sexual health information and young people were invited to sit on interview panels for some of our senior positions. This is a fantastic start but there is so much more scope for really listening to young people and involving them in creating and developing our services into the future.

On Friday 1st August  staff from the division, corporate leads, governors and commissioners came together to explore the concept of true co-production, hearing from young people about what they really want and how they would like to be treated. Dreadlock Alien also made an appearance encouraging staff to do some spontaneous beat boxing and spoken word poems around serious issues.

After hearing the thoughts of these inspiring young people Changing Our Lives asked staff to each come up with three pledges as to how they will take what they've learnt from the day, and the young people present, forward. The pledges involved some fantastic ideas including having a young governor sit on the Trust's Assembly of Governors and developing a young person forum that could help co-produce our social media strategy.

Lesley Writtle, Divisional Director for Children, Young People and Families commented: What an inspiring day! I was truly impressed by the enthusiasm and creativity of everyone involved. I am excited by the prospects of truly engaging young people in co-production and look forward to working with them, and Changing Our Lives, to develop our services into the future.

The division will be looking at how they can work on these pledges to make them a reality and Changing Our Lives will be offering support and guidance to make sure these pledges are followed through and put into practice.