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Healthwatch Champions to represent views of young people in Lancashire

Healthwatch Lancashire are pleased to announce that they are to continue their work with The Children’s Society, who will be supporting young people to have their views heard by becoming Healthwatch Champions. The group has been established to ensure that young people from Lancashire are given the opportunity to have their say on health and social care services in the county.

 HW champions_Central_Aaron and Rebecca_webHealthwatch Champions will be given the opportunity to participate in the activities of Healthwatch Lancashire such as Care Circles, gathering case studies, mystery shopping and creating reports.

According to the Lancashire Children and Young People’s Trust, more than 274,000 of the 1,470 million people in Lancashire are children and young people and Healthwatch Lancashire Chief Officer, Sheralee Turner-Birchall, believes it is important that they are given the opportunity to have a voice when It comes to health and social care.

Earlier this year, Healthwatch Lancashire published a report, which highlighted the views from a group of young people following an event at Preston’s College in collaboration with Macmillan Cancer Support. The main finding from the event was that 48% of the group said that they did not feel listened to by health professions with 27% stating that they only feel listened to sometimes.

Sarah Wells, Participation Worker at The Children’s Society, said: “No one knows more about the things that matter to young people better than young people themselves – and the Healthwatch Champions project is a great way of making sure their views help to shape improvements to local health and social care services.

HW Champion_East_Courtney web“We’ve had some really positive sessions, which, crucially, enable young people to talk directly to their peers about their experiences, good and bad.

“At The Children’s Society we are passionate about giving children and young people the chance to have their say on services which affect them and this project goes beyond consultation in enabling our champions to pro-actively highlight any issues, make suggestions, and offer praise where praise is due.”

Sheralee Turner-Birchall, Healthwatch Lancashire Chief Officer, said: “It is important that the views of children and young people are listened to by those who manage and run health and social care services and the Healthwatch Champions group will ensure that these views are not only listened to but that we are able to learn from them.”

‘Healthwatch Lancashire has an important role to make sure that the voice of the public is not only heard but acted upon and, with just under a quarter of Lancashire residents being children and young people, it is important that we give them the opportunities to have their say.”

The Healthwatch Champions project will be delivered by The Children’s Society for Healthwatch Lancashire.

Young people wishing to become Healthwatch Champions and represent their peers can express their interest by contacting Sarah Wells by email at sarah.wells@childrenssociety.org.uk or by phoning 07734072203.