The Children's Society 'Makes it Happen' by advising Government on disability participation

17 September 2009

The Children's Society has today launched ‘Making it Happen’, a new project funded by the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF). The project will give workshops to Local Authorities to demonstrate the best ways to increase disabled children and young people’s participation.

The free workshops, as well as other tailored support, given by The Children's Society will enable Local Authorities to deliver Aiming High services in nine government regions. A key part of the Aiming High agenda focuses on increasing young people’s involvement in planning disability short breaks and helping young disabled people move from children’s to adult services when they reach the appropriate age.

Making it Happen is employing three Disabled Young People’s Champions who, with support staff, will lead the workshops. The workshops will demonstrate how actively involving disabled young people in strategic planning can enable local communities to make more informed decisions about the services delivered to young disabled people.

The Children's Society will:
· share examples of how agencies are involving disabled children and young people
· provide resources to support participation – such as the Disability Toolkit and localised pages on the Askability website
· help to produce detailed action plans.
· provide inspirational role models through disabled young people’s advisory groups and the work of the Disabled Young People’s Champions.

Lizzie Streeter, Disability Project Worker at The Children's Society, commented: “Local Authorities are tasked with delivering the Aiming High agenda, yet they require innovative ideas, support and advice on the best ways to go about this. Listening to young people is fundamental to making informed decisions, and I hope that Local Authorities will hear this message loud and clear”.

James Doyle, Disabled Young People’s Champion at The Children's Society’s Shared Care Solihull Project, said: “I am keen to show to Local Authorities that disabled children and young people can be, and are, contributory members of society. I feel well able to work with and represent my peers. We will raise awareness of common issues, recommending solutions and ways forward to help Local Authorities listen and act on what disabled children and young people have got to say".

Notes to Editors

Photography available.
For further information please contact Rafi Cooper, Media Officer, The Children's Society, 0207 841 4526 or Rafi.cooper@childsoc.org.uk

The Children’s Society
The Children’s Society is a leading children’s charity committed to making childhood better for all children in the UK; www.childrenssociety.org.uk