What is Participation?
"Participation is the process by which children and young people influence decision-making, which brings about change in them, others, their services and their communities"
Young People Say:
"Participation is listening"
"Participation is getting everyone involved"
"It's getting young people's opinions about what they want and need"
"It's being part of a team"
"It's to make a difference"
"It's our rights"
Why is Participation Important?
It's every child's right
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) says all children have the right to have their say in matters that affect them.
It's the law
The Children's Acts, Children and Families Act and SEN Code of Practice (and more!) all say children and young people must have a say.
To improve services
Listening to and involving children and young people who use services leads to the design and development of better, more relevant services.
To help democracy and community
Children and young people learn about democracy and involvement and are more likely to become active members of their community.
To keep children safe
It is vital that children and young people have a voice and are encouraged to speak out. Listening to children helps keep them safe.
To improve children's skills
Children and young people learn new skills around communication, negotiation, decision-making and independence.
To empower and enhance self-esteem
Children and young people become more confident. They feel proud of themselves, their involvement and their achievements.
To have fun!
Young People Say:
"Participation is important because it brings everyone closer"
"Without participation, nothing will change"
"It's about everyone getting involved"
"It's about everyone being equal"
"It's like sustainability - we can make a difference that's useful for us now, and useful for other children in the future"
"So children and young people are in control and it's not others making decisions for them"
How are children and young people in Kingston and Richmond participating?
In lots of different ways!
We have a Participation Team for children and young people who have special educational needs and/or disability. You can see photos of the team members at the bottom of this page!
The team members do a lot of varied work and young people are involved in lots of ways. For example, young people co-designed these web pages with us.
We have created a separate page to tell you all about our work. Click on the link below to see some examples of what we do and how we involve children and young people.
Why should children and young people get involved in participation?
Young People Say:
"It feels like you're doing a good cause"
"It's so professionals and services can improve"
"(Our monthly meetings) have good community vibes and banter!"
"You will get your opinions heard"
"We learn that being different is not a bad thing"
"(It's) being part of a team"
Participation is for everybody - if you would you like to get involved please contact us
We are the Participation Team for Children and Young People with Special Educational Needs and / or Disability.
We would love to hear from you if:
- You are a child or young person (under 25 years) and you want to get involved in our projects or share your views
- You know a child or young person who wants to get involved in our projects or share their views
- You are an adult who would like to talk to us about how to listen to and involve children and young people
Please contact us using the 'I want to get involved' form at the bottom of this page or directly at:
The Moor Lane Centre
Office: 020 8547 6521
Mobile: 07990 620707
Follow the Participation Team on Instagram: @AfCSENDParticipation