Children’s Participation Project, Wessex
The Children’s Participation Project, Wessex works with children and young people across a large geographical area covering Bath and North East Somerset and Somerset. It specialises in working within rural communities.
The programme's aim is to ensure that children and young people have the greatest chance to influence what happens in their lives and in their communities regardless of their circumstances.
This involves individual work with children and young people as well as lobbying key agencies and organisations to provide the services that children and young people need.
Main areas of work
The programme's three main areas of work are:
- restorative solutions and support to communities where there is conflict between young people and adults
- intensive support to children and young people from the Travelling community in Somerset
- training and support to schools, pre-schools and other local authority funded services to encourage greater participation and inclusion of children and youth people especially disabled children
Working with New Travellers
Since the early 1990s the programme has worked with New Traveller children and young people.
In 2010, the programme completed a significant piece of research to record the history of New Travellers in the South West. Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the year-long piece of work had several aims:
- increase young New Travellers’ understanding of their own history and culture
- positively raise awareness among the general public of the history and culture of New Travellers
- create something permanent that people could use to learn about the history and culture of New Travellers
The project resulted in 'New Travellers, old story', as well as three public exhibitions and teaching materials.