Children and young people from across North Wales have taken part in various events to help develop a Children’s Charter to ensure they have a voice on areas that matter to them.
Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB), in partnership with organisations and councils across North Wales, held a series of events and engagement sessions for young people to attend to help create the Children’s Charter.
The Charter is a set of standards that organisations work to, to make sure children and young people are treated fairly and have a voice.
Scarlett Williams, from Senedd yr Ifanc, Wrexham’s Youth Council, a partner supporting the Charter, said: “I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of being able to work alongside different organisations to develop the Children’s Charter event. I thought that it was really insightful to discover the views of young people and how they responded to the ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing’. Watching the event unfold after helping to work on it for months was really rewarding and I hope that we can continue working with BCUHB in the future.”
The health board’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and Neurodevelopment Services are leading on the development of the Charter and have engaged with around 2,400 children and young people so far.
Wendy Pinder, Interim Head of Nursing for East Area CAMHS, Neurodevelopment and Learning Disability Services and Regional Targeted Improvement Lead for Patient Experience, said: “The Charter development is a great opportunity to ensure all our staff understand what children and young people can expect from our services. Once completed the ‘recipe book’ will provide a clear framework for future service improvement initiatives with the assurance that children and young people have been heard and listened to, and the culture of co-design and co-production has been embedded in all our service changes.”
The events, held at various National Trust locations and Talyllyn Railway, allowed children and young people to engage with developing the Charter through fun and interactive activities, which focused on positive mental health, well-being and empowerment, giving them positive experiences and a real opportunity to influence how organisations across North Wales work with young people.
Lorraine Simkiss, Commercial Manager at Talyllyn Railway, said: “Giving the children the opportunity to relax and have fun in a safe environment and to express their feeling and emotions was very rewarding, the comments from the children as to ‘what fun they had’ and ‘could they come again’ shows just how necessary this type of interaction is.
“The Talyllyn Railway was very proud to be part of this event and we would be happy to support CAMHS in any way possible in the future.”
CAMHS has also been consulting with young people in secondary schools and community groups giving them the opportunity to give their views and opinions on how the Charter should be developed.
Rocio Cifuentes, Children’s Commissioner for Wales, said: “We’re really looking forward to seeing the finished Charter which will help all children who visit the health board in the future to understand their rights, and help adults put their rights at the heart of their work.”
Jane Berry, Patient Experience Lead CAMHS said: “The feedback from children and young people through our recent engagement events will now be reviewed and embedded into the Children’s Charter. Our future aim is to ensure that all children and young people who come into contact with BCUHB feel empowered and have voice.”