Young Peoples opportunities to have their voice heard and see positive change for the Wiltshire SEND community.
Find out what key messages young people in Wiltshire want to share about taking pride in their ability and disability. Watch YouTube: Wiltshire CIL - Disability Pride Key Messages 2023. Quote extract follows:
We are proud, our disabilities are a part of us. This is nothing wrong with us, we celebrate the uniqueness and differences of our body and minds.
Go behind the scenes with Nathan as he works on the podcast
Listen to Lucy Townsend the Corporate director for People talk about empowering young peoples voice in Wiltshire
The longer version with all the talking points can be found on YouTube: Wiltshire CIL - Pioneer View with Lucy Townsend, the Corporate Director of People at Wiltshire Council.
This feedback work was co-produced with the Young Pioneers involving 55 young people. All were learners who accessed and EHCP aged 14 and above.
- 8 educational settings
- 2 mainstream colleges
- 2 mainstream schools
- 3 specialist colleges
- 1 specialist school
- 2 individuals outside of education
We are the SEND User Engagement Team at Wiltshire Centre for Independent Living (WCIL). We work alongside Young People with lived experience of Health and Social Care Services to support, encourage and facilitate them to have their say. We aim to ensure their voices are heard and they are able to contribute to and influence how services are shaped and developed in Wiltshire. We use creative and interactive ways of engaging with people, co-producing each piece of work uniquely, to value the authentic voice of all service Users.
What young people said
Top things young people disliked about the old form:
Top things young people wanted:
- include my interests
- be accessible
- let me share my goals for the future
- know how to communicate with me
- I want to decide how to share my needs, skills and interests
- help me plan for my future
- keep doing the things that make me happy and secure
- have photos and drawings that reflect me
- "Pictures are to young for me"
- choice and control; young people are to choose what form works best for them
- what makes me, me; young people are able to voice their strengths, interests, needs, challenges and hopes for the future
- right support; young people can communicate what works best for them, sharing their one page profile with the adults they work with
To see this in a easy to read format please visit:
Wiltshire Centre For Independent Living talked to a group of 12 young people with special educational needs and disabilities about what information they would find useful about a school/college in order to help them prepare to go there, they said:
We want to find out about a school/college through:
- a video showing the school grounds
- who the teachers are and some of the students - with a voice over from the teachers and students
- a page of written information which includes pictures of the school and accounts from students
- pictures of the staff, the school/college
- hearing from students about what the school is like - videos
- hearing from the head teacher and other teachers about the school in videos
What we want to know about a school/college:
- how am I going to get there - taxi, bus?
- what will I wear - what will my uniform look like?
- what are the teachers and students like?
- what is for lunch - what is the food like, do I need a lunch box?
- what will my school day look like - is there an example of a timetable?
- who will my tutor be, who are the teachers?
- who will be in my class, how big is my class?
- what will I do if there are any changes - who will tell me?
- where is the school - how far away?
- do I need to have PE clothes?
- can I bring snacks?
- do I have to bring a bag?
- what time does school/college start and finish?
- who will show me around my new school/college?
Through volunteering I've been able to get involved in projects I'm passionate about.
Meet the Young Healthwatch Wiltshire volunteer Robyn and find out why she joined the team by visiting her Healthwatch Wiltshire blog article or watch the video.
Young Healthwatch are calling on the young people of Wiltshire to join their team to help make sure the views of children and young people are listened to.
They want to hear from children and young people aged 16-25 who have something to say about the health and social care services they use - and who want to help others get their voices heard.
Young Healthwatch Wiltshire is open to anyone who wants to make a difference to their community and has an interest in the rights and wellbeing of young people.
For more information visit Young Healthwatch Wiltshire.
The Wiltshire Centre for Independent living (Wiltshire CIL) has set up a new initiative called the Pioneers. This network of disabled people has been sharing their views and expertise to help improve services in Wiltshire, including creating some video guides about their steps to independence. You can find their contributions across a number of the information pages on the Local Offer website:
You can also find more information and videos about the Young Pioneers on the Getting involved page.
The Wiltshire Local Offer was pleased to be invited to attend the All Inclusive Road Show event. It was great to meet new people and share what the Local Offer can help them with and what we need to improve. Hopefully those who engaged with us will keep an eye on our Getting involved page to find future events. Read on to hear some words from the organisers:
Information from services where everyone is welcome
A massive thank you to Knightwood Leisure Ltd for hosting the event at Brown Street and for providing an endless supply of refreshments during the day. Another big thank you to our then Mayor, Councillor Tom Corbin for opening the event and for spending most of the day with us chatting to visitors and stall holders, playing games and enjoying a cake or two! Some amazing feedback:
very interesting with a welcoming and informal atmosphere - it proved to be a good networking opportunity for our charity and we would be very happy to participate again. It really was a well-organised, and welcoming event, and one that we were very proud to be part of. Brilliant...loved the cakes.
Both Kez and I are very proud to have been able to offer this event to Salisbury Residents. The above quotes from thank you messages really say it all for us. We had 42 people involved in showcasing what their organisations have to offer and over 40 visitors. Our visitors enjoyed games with Salisbury U3A, crafting with Lorraine and amazing cakes and savoury baked items made by students at Exeter House School. We had beautiful singing from Lilli Baddock.
The Salisbury Area Board Carers Champion and Disability Action Group Salisbury received permission from the Head at Exeter House School to invite the students to design a poster for them advertising the All Inclusive Showcase event being held in Salisbury on 9 May.
They provided the school with some logos, the date, time and venue and wanted the competition to provide a piece of work that would be able to be made into a poster/leaflet advertising the event.
Helen Dowse - Carers Champion, Kez Adey - Disability Campaigner and Anne Trevett - Chair of Safer and Supportive Salisbury were invited to the Exeter House Vocational Centre to judge the winning design.
They visited three slightly different age groups where all the students showed us their posters.
We were truly blown away by all the fabulous pictures saw. It was very hard to choose a winner!
The winner was presented with a prize by Helen Dowse and all the students also received a small gift in appreciation of their participation.
Here is a picture of the judges with the entries.
You can find more news and updates on our Latest news page.
Ways to connect
The digital platform that connects people, groups and organisations in Wiltshire to their community. You can list support, volunteering, groups and relevant events.
Advocacy - Someone on your side
You have as much right as an adult to be listened to when decisions are being made about your life. What you feel and want is very important.
What an advocate does:
- listens to you
- explains information
- finds out your wishes and feeling
- helps you tell others what you want or tells them for you, if you want the advocate to do this
- gets answers to your questions
- won't tell you what to do
- is independent which means they won't make any decisions about or for you
For more information on the advocacy service for Wiltshire please visit their website:
Ways to have a voice in changing and improving services in Wiltshire
There are many people you can talk to and organisations that can help you take part in shaping services to suit your needs. There is a page you can visit dedicated to this:
Wiltshire Council is dedicated to using consultation and co-creation to produce a people-centred approach to make progress. To find out where Wiltshire SEND community members have been agents of change please read our continually updated summary.
For more information visit: