Welcome to the Young People’s Hub of Achieving for Children’s SEND Local Offer, a part of the AfC Info website.
If you are under 25 years of age, live in the boroughs of Kingston or Richmond and have a special educational need and/or disability, the Hub is a space created and developed for you with other young people with additional needs.
The Hub is split into three sections:
- Accessible Information: This is where you can discover information that has been created in an easy read format, about a variety of services and support.
- Stories and Experiences: Our intention is that this will be an area for children and young people to share their stories and experiences.
- Messages and Views: This is a place for children and young people to share their thoughts, views, opinions and messages about the things that are important to them.
You said about The Young People's Hub
We have been receiving a lot of feedback about this area of the Local Offer website from parents and carers. Here is a summary of some of the things that you have told us and our response to them.
You said: You think that having a Young People's Hub as part of our Local Offer website is a great idea, that it has great potential and is ahead of many other Local Authorities.
You said: The Hub is disappointing, not engaging and not fulfilling its potential. You said it promises more than it delivers. You said it needs to be more interesting and that local children and young people deserve better.
Our response: We agree. Our vision for the Hub was – and still is – that it is a area designed for and with young people where they can go to share their experiences, stories and views with others. We know we need to do more work to develop the Hub and you can see our initial plans below, which we will start in the Autumn Term.
The content and design
You said: The accessible information section is well developed and includes some interesting resources. You said there needs to be a greater variety of information available and some more interactive media, such as short film clips. You would like to see more young people's stories.
Our response: We agree. We are pleased we had some extra capacity to improve and add to the Accessible Information section and really want to include more films and children and young people’s stories.
You said: The first page is dull and uninspiring and the symbols and overall style of this page is dated and boring. You said it doesn't seem to be 'in sync' with the other pages or the rest of the website as a whole.
Our response: We completely agree. The more recent addition of the young people’s pages on the main AfCinfo site has brought into focus the need for updating the Hub. We have been looking into alternative images for this page with the web developers, as we can’t do this in house. We hope to be able to show you changes soon. Update: The new look to the Hub went live in September 2018.
You said: The Hub is under developed and is not kept up to date. You said that it needs to be reviewed, refreshed and redeveloped. You told us that once developed, it needs to be better promoted. You told us that a review of the Hub needs to take place with the community and all relevant groups.
We agree that the Hub is under developed and needs reviewing and refreshing. We have included questions about the Hub in our SEND Local Offer Consultation (opens a link to the live consultation), so that we can gather views from the wider community about it. We will, of course, also use the feedback you have left on the site as part of that review. Once refreshed and developed we aim to improve our promotion of the area – particularly to children and young people themselves.
You said: It is not at all clear who develops the Hub. You want to know more about the young people involved and how they work with the Local Offer Team. You said a film about this would inspire other young people to explore more.
The young people most closely involved in the development of the hub are the ‘Online Media Group’, a group which is facilitated by the Participation Team. The group began meeting monthly in November 2017 and is a small group of young people who are Participation members.
The Local Offer (and Hub) is on every meeting agenda and the group has discussed and fed back to the Local Offer Team on content, design, navigation, wider consultation with children and young people and promotion.
Feedback received about the Hub is also shared with the Online Media Group.
The young people involved are passionate about improving the Hub and the Local Offer as a whole and have also been very clear in telling us where improvements are needed and how they and other children and young people should be involved in those.
We will take your suggestion about making a film about the group to the next meeting in September and ask them what they think.
The group members plan to carry out wider consultation about the Hub in schools and colleges in the Autumn and Spring Terms, which will ensure that a larger group of children and young people have their say and inform developments.
If you know young people who would be interested in getting involved with the Online Media Group, the Participation Team would be really happy to hear from you.
Our Plans for Autumn 2018:
- To use the feedback from the SEND Local Offer Consultation and school and college consultations to inform future development of the Hub
- To increase contributions to the Hub from children and young people by inviting schools, colleges, youth groups and individuals to submit content under the 3 areas of the Hub. We have been asking for feedback on this suggestion through our LO consultation and so far it has received positive feedback.
You said: You know about the Participation Team and appreciate the work that goes into this team, but are concerned that this work is reserved to a small group of young people and not enough effort is made to inspire the wider community
Our response: The Participation Team has recently developed its pages on the Local Offer, which hopefully give a more detailed picture of the range of work that the team undertakes.
The Participation work ranges from support to individual children and young people around specific issues, through regular focussed groups (such as the Online Media Group), to consultations with children and young people across a wide range of schools and settings.
The Participation Team is always keen to hear from and meet new children and young people and support them to get involved and share their views - whether individually or through group activities.
Some children and young people are able to contact the Participation Team independently to get involved, but others need a parent, carer, teacher or other adult to encourage and facilitate that contact.
The team is really happy for children, young people or adults in their lives to contact them to discuss participation, how it works and how they can be involved.