Over the last year York Council’s Local Offer and Participation Officer, Laura Brown has been working on a participation project named 12 Moves to an Inclusive City to understand what young people in York think needs to change to ensure the city is more inclusive.
The proposed idea of 12 Moves derived from the necessity to involve young people’s voice and coproduction in decision making within schools and the higher services. The process involved running designed focus groups within secondary schools, primary schools, a college in York and a mixture of young people’s groups such as Access4All and York’s Youth Council. The session was designed and structured so no additional influences were contributed from adult voice.
The session was completed by 471 young people aged 4-21 years old with representatives from children and young people with additional needs. All of the ideas from around the city were collated into one list of raw ideas from young people. York’s Youth Council then comprised the final 12 from this vast list and this was the outcome:
It is very interesting to see what our young people deem important and we strongly believe that these areas need to be considered to ensure that we are listening to the young people of York.
Children and young people across York have been working with the Local Offer Officer to find out what is important to young people in York. We aim to make York a very inclusive city and to do this, we needed to know what needed to change according to young people. After a year in the making, the 12 moves have finally been put together and we cannot wait to share them with you! Watch this space!!
32 parents gave overwhelmingly positive feedback to the course run for parents on ‘Holistic approach to behaviours of concern’ on Saturday. This course was arranged in response to request for support at an autism engagement event. CYC were delighted to be able to host this in conjunction with Living Autism Foundation, York Inspirational Kids and York Parent Carer Forum.
Feedback rated the workshop as 3.9/4.0 and included:
“Very informative and loads of helpful tips” and “Really useful practical ideas. Depth of knowledge & understanding behind the information”
This course for parents of children with autism or those who may be on the waiting list for assessment for autism, looked at behaviour that ‘challenges’ parents. The speaker, Geoff Evans, a consultant for Living Autism, has a wealth of experience and understanding of children with autism and how families can support their children. Parents reported feeling affirmed by Geoff, ‘(The course) made to feel like its OK as a parent to find it hard, doesn't mean you're a bad parent’ They left encouraged, with ideas to try at home.
We are very grateful to Living Autism Foundation who supported the event, and particularly thankful to the widow of the founder who died recently, for their vision and commitment that made this possible. Thank you too to York Inspirational Kids who coordinated the tickets and to York Parent Carer Forum who promoted this and hosted the previous autism events, that highlighted this need.’
The latest Integrated Services Conference was held on 23rd October 2019. At this conference, we had speakers from a range of departments and teams, starting with William Shaw who gave us an excellent update on the Centre of Excellence. Followed by Susan De Val who discussed the autism pathway, Jo williams who discussed her work on Children's Rights and the Rights Respecting Schools Award. After a lovely coffee break where our attendees were able to network with other professionals and parents from York, Penny Hutchinson spoke about how her work in the Local Area Coordinators Team links with children and young people with additional needs. Our last three lovely speakers were Barbara Mands and Nicola Dos Santos from the Early Years team who spoke about the impact of early years funding streams and also the early years inclusion standards and finally, Emma Bewley from the Island - what lovely work they do!
At her sons Review meeting a parent raised concerns about her son independently travelling in York. She had heard of Safe Places but couldn’t find any information on where they were.
Progress with Safe Places was raised during the Autism Strategy meeting on the 13/12/18. The relevant website (York CVS) was identified plus a list of current Safe Places. Meeting participants concluded that Safe Places needed promoting and ideas were raised as to how numbers could be increased. A proposed action was that Safe Places could be promoted through activities on World Autism Day.
Staff fed back to parent and the AHS SENDCo.
The parent was pleased to know where the Safe Places are and will go through the website to get her son a Safe Space card. She said this will help lesson her and her sons’ anxiety when he is out in York.
The 10th Opportunities Fair was held at Askham Bryan College on the 26th June 2019. The day was attended by over 180 people; schools from around York attended the event with their students so they could find out more about what is available in York to young people with Special Educational Needs after they leave school.
At the fair, we had over 25 different providers who ran stalls in the main hall – these providers came with any resources they thought may have been useful to the young people on the day. It was great to see the young people asking questions to the providers and they went home having learnt something new.
Throughout the day there were workshops run by United Response, Animal Care from Askham Bryan College, York’s Independent Living and Travel Skills Team from York City Council, Horticulture from Askham Bryan College, Graphic Design run by York St John University, Plant Production run by Brunswick Nursery and a life skills workshop run by the Specialist Careers Advisers team at the council too. The young people were able to choose 4 workshops throughout the day to attend and every workshop ran so well. We cannot thank the teams that came on the day enough for their hard work and support on the day.
It was so lovely to get such great feedback and we cannot wait for next year!
“I have already found the day useful and I have been here less than 10 minutes”
“The day went so smoothly, everyone knew where they needed to be and when”
“The kids really enjoyed the animal care workshop, it was really modern and had a really lovely feel”
“I loved the animal care because I like the bits when we got to stroke and hold the snakes, I fancy doing it for my college course as well”
“I’ve enjoyed it at Askham Bryan college, I’ll come again”
“It was all about plants and stuff, probably the best one I’ve done so far”
2 young people from York, one who is involved in the Youth Council and the other who is a part of Access4All had a great opportunity to go to London with Jess Haslam and Laura Brown to attend a Young People's Conference. The day was all about disabled children having all options open to them. We decided what participation was and talked about the United Nations Rights of the Child. We talked about:
Accessing information on line is the best way to get good information. Councils need to have good on line information and easy access to e-media.
The Education, Health and Care plan shouldn’t be all about education only. It should be about other things. Young people need to say what they need day to day.
It was a great day, and the boys and I can not wait to share what we learned with our groups.
An event ran at SPARK in York, celebrated autism for an entire day! If you attended, tell us what you thought and watch the carpool video, here, the video was made by amazing people around York to raise awareness of autism.
Following our first Young Peoples Group of 2019, we were very excited to hold another group on the 8th March. This time the group:
• Chose a name
• Chose venues to inspect
• Developed questions to ask venues
• Practised giving feedback to venues after the inspections.
Well done team! It was great work! This training will come in very handy when we are out in York next month beginning these inspections.
We had a ballot to choose the name for our group – It was a close vote, but in the end the name Access4All was the winner.
We also invited Steve Rouse from Choose2Youth Club to talk to the young people about his experience in previous inspections from young people through the ‘Good Place to Come’ award. He told the group what it was like for him being inspected - he told us that it was nerve-racking but very rewarding when Choose2Youth Club was given an award for being accessible. The club implemented a couple of changes the young people had suggested, and these are still in place. Great to know the inspection made a difference!
In the next upcoming months, we will be inspecting over 10 different venues across the York area to see how accessible they are, so make sure you check back to see what we thought!
During a meeting with parents on the 21st February we discussed two new leaflets which are being created by the SEND team at York City Council. To ensure that parents/carers and public are receiving as much information as possible on the options which are available to them in any scenario, we have worked with a number of groups at different stages to write two new leaflets and they have been sent to all the parent forum/support groups.
This leaflet is designed to help parents know where their first port of call is. If they have a query or concerns about their child it suggests the first place you would go to in order to find out more.
This is a dictionary of all the acronyms and technical language we use within the world of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). Many professionals and some parents use them all too often. This booklet should provide the answers – explaining what they mean.
YOU SAID WE DID: When discussing these leaflets, one parent informed us of how useful it would be to have these available on school websites alongside their specific SEND information. Therefore, once these leaflets are completed, we will ensure that they are sent to schools and hopefully will be uploaded to their websites too.
Thank you to all those who have helped. We are doing final revisions now and will be publishing them shortly.
‘Judged by young people for young people’ - Quote from young person.
We are delighted to let you know that the first meeting of the new Young Advisor’s group was held on 8th February. This group will go out to youth clubs, libraries and other venues to provide feedback on how inclusive the group or venue is. The aim is to find out if it is a good place to come? They will also act as an advisory group to the Local Authority and health on how to improve services for disabled children.
We were joined on the day by Victoria Pearson from Fulford, Ruth Thompson from York Inspirational Kids, Emma from Milthorpe School and Jess Haslam from York City Council.
The young people had a great day of training on the role with the national charity KIDS which leads on participation.
You will hear more from this group in the future. Watch this spot!
The young people enjoyed participation activities and discussed the reasons for being part of a participation group and providing feedback to settings and venues.
Tell them how it really is:
By listening to our suggestions it will become more accessible for all
‘A better quality of service’
It can make me feel proud (being involved)
Gives you a voice and being listened to... which makes you feel good.
A better future for young people.
The next meeting will decide on the name of the group, the criteria for advisory visits and plan the first venue to inspect!
Carers of children and young people who are in care asked for a meeting with an Educational Psychologist (EP).
The EP for Children in Care attended a support group to provide an overview and advice. Feedback was very positive.
“I just wanted to say thank you so much for coming to talk to our connected carers today; your input was so helpful. It was so kind of you to stay so long – I hadn’t anticipated we would take up so much of your time.”
Parents asked for more Jessie’s Fund music groups.
Portage Home Visiting Service worked with Jessie’s Fund to run a termly music group. A musician and a Portage Home Visitor have facilitated this. The Portage Home Visitors are now trained to run this every term. A highlight from a parent during a My Support Plan review was:
“Jessie’s Fund Music group, my child loved it, made friends and enjoyed the rhythm of the music, we would love to be part of the group again”,
It has been an exciting year for the Centre of Excellence. We have worked with parent carers, young people and partners to develop plans for a new centre for disabled children and young people. Please see links below for more information.
Parents asked the teachers of the deaf to help their children understand what was would happen when they went for an appointment in audiology. This social story can now be used to help many children, so they are not anxious about going and will begin to enjoy the experience.
Applefields School have been listening to young people and making changes.
1. We got rid of the bell!!! It used to make some of the young people with autism shake! – we listened
2. Our student council are supporting us on the design of our coming website
3. We increased the range of sweets on offer at our tuck shop!
In October we hosted our Let's Celebrate Event to mark the 4th year of the successful implementation of the 2014 SEND Reforms.
We heard from some amazing speakers.
Here are some of their stories: