Young people get involved in shaping Devon’s Children’s Services
Children, young people and their parents and carers had the chance to learn about the services on offer in Devon and take part in shaping them for the future last week, at a participation event organised by Virgin Care.
The event, which ran from 9.30am until 3pm last Wednesday (31 May), was open to children and young people across Devon who use, or have used, the health and care services which Virgin Care provide on behalf of the local NHS and council.
The day was an opportunity for people to speak directly with senior managers about how the services work, what they like and what they’d change to improve the experience for themselves and others. Virgin Care’s Chief Executive Bart Johnson and the Operations Manager responsible for the Devon services, Amir Qureshy joined the event to talk to those in attendance about their experiences.
Sessions included talks from young people on ‘Helping Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services be more accessible for young males’ and break-out workshops on using apps to make complicated information easier to understand, how health workers can improve how they work with children and young people as well as sensory play.
There were also opportunities for children and young people to join the Devon Integrated Children’s Services (ICS) Young People’s Voice Group and to sign up to help develop better online content about some of the difficulties children and young people face.
A ‘tube room’ ran throughout the day for people to give their feedback on the services and their experience on video, as part of plans to ensure children and young people’s voices are heard by those who run and make decisions about the services.
Virgin Care’s Feel the Difference Fund provided funding for the event. The fund is a dedicated £100,000 a year that’s made available for projects designed and delivered by local colleagues which improve the experience of using Virgin Care’s services.
Amir Qureshy, Operations Manager for Virgin Care in Devon, said: “It was lovely to meet many of the children and young people who use our services, and to hear their feedback about the services we run.
“The team received some very useful feedback which we’ll use to improve our services and to make sure everyone who works across the whole of Devon hears what children and young people have to say about our services.”