In November 2017 we started recruiting to Young Healthwatch Hillingdon – a new, bespoke volunteering programme for young people aged 11 to 25 who live, work or study in Hillingdon.
We started Young Healthwatch Hillingdon because we want to ensure that the voices of children and young people are heard and represented when it comes to health and care services in Hillingdon. Young Healthwatch Hillingdon members will achieve this by:
• Promoting information about health issues and services that affect children and young people.
• Gathering the views of children and young people about the health issues and services that are important to them.
• Working with health and social care services to try to shape and improve services for children and young people.
Between November and February, we recruited 16 fantastic young people, and to kick start the programme and welcome our first group of Young Healthwatch Hillingdon members, we held a Welcome and Training Even on Tuesday 13 February. At the event our members took part in ice-breaker activities and energisers to help them get to know each other better and were trained in:
• MECC (Making Every Contact Count) – How to initiate conversations about healthy lifestyles around topics such healthy eating, exercise and smoking;
• REST (Respect, Equality, Safeguarding and Trust) – Covering topics such as Equality and Diversity, Safeguarding, Data Protection and Confidentiality and keeping safe whilst carrying out their role with Young Healthwatch Hillingdon; and
• How to engage people and gather their views.
Here is what some of our members thought about the event:
• “I didn’t know what to expect, but I found an informative, engaging and fun set of lessons and talked to different people. I feel the training session has really helped me and will help me in the future with my role. Definitely worth it.” – Tom, Panel Member
• The training day was awesome! It was really informative and taught us a lot important skills that we could apply in our daily lives as well as in Young Healthwatch.” – Smriti, Panel Member
Since the event our members have already achieved a lot, including:
• Gathered young people’s views about the free health app NHS Go;
• Hosted a stall at Botwell Library Health Fair;
• Attended a ‘Creating a Dementia Friendly Generation’ event;
• Delivered assemblies;
• Set up Young Healthwatch Hillingdon social media accounts; and
• Started to plan their work for the rest of the year.
We would like to thank all our members for making such a great start to the programme!
Recruitment to Young Healthwatch Hillingdon is still open, so if you are a young person who is interested joining, or if you know a young person who may be interested, please click here for more information.
Alternatively, you can email Kim (Community Engagement Officer for Children and Young People) at firstname.lastname@example.org
Young Healthwatch Hillingdon is supported by the Big Lottery Awards for All.